Skip to main content

Lucas Cranach the Elder, Portrait of a Woman

Key facts
Full title Portrait of a Woman
Artist Lucas Cranach the Elder
Artist dates 1472 - 1553
Date made 1525-7
Medium and support Oil on wood (beech?)
Dimensions 35.9 × 25.1 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1857
Inventory number NG291
Location Room 25
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Portrait of a Woman
Lucas Cranach the Elder

We don‘t know the identity of this woman dressed in sumptuous fabrics and heavy gold jewellery, but her clothing is like that worn by the elite of society and ladies of the Saxon court. Her outfit is, in parts, physically impossible: the rings she wears under her gloves are higher up her fingers than the ones she wears over them. Cranach has manipulated reality to emphasise her wealth and beauty.

The letter ’M' is fashioned in pearls across her bodice, suggesting that this is a portrait of a real person, but her facial features follow a generic, idealised perception of beauty. It has been suggested that this woman could have been a mistress of one of the electors of Saxony, and her features were deliberately generalised by Cranach.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo