Portraits of Martin Luther and His Wife, Katharina von Bora

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Lucas Cranach
Germany, 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); left portrait: 4 1/16 inches (103 mm); right portrait: 4 inches (101 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1909.

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 portraitist of the couple.
Versions of these portraits exist in Basel and Stockholm.

Both portraits are signed with the artist's emblem, the dragon, and the date of the couple's marriage, 1525.
Farrer collection, 1853; Earl de Grey; Duveen Brothers, New York; from whom purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan, 1909.

Two round portraits. On the left is Martin Luther (1483-1546) and on the right his wife, Katharina Von Bora (1499-1552).