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Stolen Cranach Painting Returned

August 23rd, 2012
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This is a great story about the theft, and return, of a painting by Lucas Cranach, a particularly beautiful rendition of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Son of God. Read the whole story here. I’ve included a screenshot that is a detail from the painting. At the link, you can see the whole painting and see it in a very large size, too large to insert here.

Lucas Cranach the Elder’s Madonna under the Fir Tree is one of the master’s most elaborate and highly prized Madonnas, completed around 1510 for the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Breslau, Bohemia (now Wroclaw, Poland). It hung in the Chapel of St. John in the cathedral’s north aisle, a staple of travel guides and art histories, for more than 400 years. Following the detail from the painting is a view of the whole thing.You can “supersize” it by going to the link above.



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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Joanne
    August 23rd, 2012 at 11:13 | #1

    This is so icon like. If the size at the link is the full size, that would fit the personal icon size well, but be a bit tiny for a cathedral display.

    Two of the commenters at the History link clear up the idea that Breslau was in Bohemia. It apparently was in the control of the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1510, but it is in Silesia, a people who have never had their own borders. They speak a slavic language very similar to Czech and Polish and Slovak, but they do have a since of being a separate people and are currently giving the Polish government in Upper Silesia pressing demands for more local autonomy.

    Lower Silesia was in Hapsburg and Hohezollern hands for hundreds of years, but before the 30 Years War like most of the western slavs had become mostly Lutheran until the Battle of White Mountain put them under the thumb of the Hapburgs.

    Today, there are very few Silesians living in Lower Silesia, where Breslau is. The Soviets annexed much of eastern Poland and shipped these eastern Poles to the west to repopulate exGerman Silesia. It’s only now in the 3rd generation that these resettled eastern Poles are beginning to set down roots in their strange new land.

    The painting itself is one of the most distinctive madonnas I’ve seen, and her eyes are open.

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