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Lucas Cranach the Elder and Workshop
(German, 1472–1553)
Portrait of Martin Luther and His Wife, Katharina Von Bora, 1525
Oil on panel
Unframed: 7 5/8 x 12 3/8 inches (195 x 315 mm)
Framed: 13 1/4 x 18 inches (337 x 457 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1909; AZ038
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Cranach painted this pair of portraits in 1525, the year Martin Luther married Katharina von Bora, a former Cistercian nun who had escaped from her convent with Luther's help in 1523. Luther argued against the practice of celibacy within the church, asserting his belief in clerical marriage with his own union. A friend of Luther's and a witness at his wedding, Cranach thereafter became the principal portrait painter of the couple.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.