The Holy Kinship, c. 1509


Gift of Herschel V. Jones, 1926expand_more  P.10,607

Not on Viewexpand_more

Both Cranach and Dürer lived through the tumultuous early years of the Reformation in Germany, begun by Martin Luther in 1517, and both were converts to the new religion. Cranach, however, became personally involved. Cranach was court painter in Wittenberg, where his patron, the Elector of Saxony, was Luther's protector. Also a close friend of Luther's, Cranach produced woodcuts and engravings to illustrate printed broadsides arguing the Protestant cause. Cranach continued to make prints throughout his career. Many of his themes were biblical interpretations, conforming to one of Luther's main tenets in his revolt against ecclesiastical abuses: the affirmation of the Gospel as the sole guide to righteousness. Cranach was certainly aware of the innovations in Durer's work, but did not fully assimilate them. Whereas Durer was constantly simplifying and centralizing his compositions, the elements Cranach's compositions remained scattered and highly detailed, as in this example.

The Holy Kinship
Artist Life
(Saxony), 1472 - 1553
Accession Number
Albertina, Vienna; Albertina duplicate sale, C. G. Boerner, Leipzig, May 25, 1925, lot 374; sold to Alfred Strolin (1871-1954, Paris and Lausanne). Herschel V. Jones, Minneapolis; his gift to Mia, 1926.
Catalogue Raisonne
Holl.71, B.5, 280
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.

No Image Available