Lucas Cranach the Elder: Three princesses of Saxony (1535)

 (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria)

Lucas Cranach the Elder is a very famous German painter/ printer of woodcuts from the 15th and 16th century. He was the court painter to the Electors of Saxony and quite a number of his portraits are Saxonian royalty. This portrait is an example of this. The three women on this painting are from left to right:

- Sidonie, Duchess of Brunswick-Kalenberg (1518-1575)
- Emilie, Margravine of Brandenburg-Ansbach (1516-1591)
- Sybille, Duchess of Saxe-Lauenburg (1515-1592)


All three are daughters of Henry IV the Pious, Duke of Saxony and his wife Catherine of Mecklenburg. All three the girls are about 20 years old in this painting. Cranach is also famous for the dresses in his painting which today are called 'Cranach dresses'. These dresses are characterized by tight slashed sleeves, a gathered and guarded skirt, and an open laced panel on the front under the best band. The women also usually wear a caul of pearls or gold netting with a large brimmed hat with feathers. The style was popular among German noblewomen around 1540. Painting from around 1535.

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