Unequal couple (old man in love)

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The theme of “unequal couples”, which enjoyed its heyday in 16th-century printmaking, can be thought of as a combination of secular genre work and medieval Christian representations of vice. The old man with his comically distorted face, in this photo, is embracing a visibly young and beautiful woman, and is giving her a piece of jewelry as a symbol of his wealth, hoping to persuade her to stroke his beard, Be nice to him. The image of the couple is often interpreted as a prostitute and her client, but it could also be a marriage of convenience, especially when the erotic undertones of the theme are toned down here. Especially in the context of the Lutheran claim that “equal marriage is best”, we can see a moralizing thrust.

Lucas Cranach the Elder was a German Renaissance painter and printmaker specializing in woodcuts and engravings. He was a court painter in the Duchy of Saxony for most of his career and is known for his portraits of German princes and leaders of the Protestant Reformation, with a passion for the cause. He was also a close friend of Martin Luther. Throughout his career, he continued to paint nude subjects from mythology and religion.

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25.7 x 38.8 cm


Museum Kunstpalast

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