Hunting near Hartenfels Castle

Hunting near Hartenfels Castle


Lucas Cranach

(German, 1472-1553)

Oil, originally on wood, transferred to masonite

Framed: 133 x 185.5 x 7.3 cm (52 3/8 x 73 1/16 x 2 7/8 in.); Unframed: 116.8 x 170.2 cm (46 x 67 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1958.425

Did you know?

Humans, dogs, and deer make up most of the creatures in this busy scene—but not all of them! Look closely at the background to spot a bear and three boars.


The Protestant rulers of Saxony commissioned this animated hunt scene, set near their residence seen in the background, Hartenfels Castle (in eastern Germany). John Frederick the Magnanimous, in the bottom left corner, wears dark green hunting attire; he spans his crossbow and waits for his courtiers and dogs to chase a stag across the river. His wife, the Electress Sibylle, stands at right, poised to take the first ceremonial shot. The prince electors of Saxony were passionate practitioners of hunting with dogs—elaborate, highly rehearsed occasions, coordinated by the use of signals from hunting horns. Cranach dated this work and his signature is the winged snake at lower right. 1577 in the right corner is an inventory number.


An Aristocratic Pursuit
The Artist, Lucas Cranach the Elder
The Hunt
Cranach the Elder and the Natural World
The Hounds
Weapons of the Hunt
See also

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