Duke Philip I at 17,000,000,000 Pixels

One of the most precious objects in the collection of The National Museum in Szczecin – "Portrait of Pomeranian Duke Philip I” by Lucas Cranach the Younger, on account of Fundacja Wirtualizacji Narodowego Dziedzictwa Kulturowego (Foundation for Virtualisation of the National Cultural Heritage), may be viewed at exceptionally high resolution of 17 billion pixel.  

Gigapixel photograph: https://wirtualnedziedzictwo.pl/gigapixel/Cranach-Philip-I.html

The original painting may be admired at The National Museum in Szczecin – The Museum of Regional Traditions (ul. Staromłyńska 27) within the permanent exhibition "The Golden Age of Pomerania. Art at the Court of Pomeranian Dukes in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries”. The Museum is open from Thursday to Sunday between 12.00 at noon and 6.00 P.M. 

Explore the www.wirtualnedziedzictwo.pl foundation service including more virtual works of art and relics (also from West Pomerania). 

 

Lucas Cranach the Younger was born on October 4th 1515 in Wittenberg, Germany. He was the son of the then famous artist Lucas Cranach the Elder, the court painter of the rulers of Saxony. He was educated by his father, he was his main associate, and after his death in 1553 he took charge of the workshop. The Cranachs specialised in both religious and mythological paintings, as well as in portraits. Lucas Cranach the Younger for a long time remained in the shadow of his father, and his work was seen only as a continuation of the style developed by the master. Only recently has he been appreciated as an independent artist who made his own contribution to German art of the 16th century.

Painted in 1541, "Portrait of Pomeranian Duke Philip I" belongs to the early period in the artistic work of Lucas Cranach the Younger. It is one of the most precious paintings in the collection of The National Museum in Szczecin, important also because of the portrayed person: a duke of Wolgast, a patron of the arts and benefactor of the University in Greifswald, who in 1534, together with Barnim IX (XI) ruling Szczecin at that time, introduced Lutheranism in Pomerania (in 1536 he married Maria, the daughter of the Saxon elector, Johann the Constant, and the wedding was presided over by Martin Luther himself). By an interesting coincidence, Philip I was born in the same year as Lucas Cranach the Younger, just a few months earlier, on July 14th 1515.

The portrait depicts Philip I at the age of 26. The artist focused primarily on the duke's face, clearly idealising it, but at the same time recreating its features faithfully, with remarkable meticulousness. The ruler is dressed in a wams and a coat, his left hand resting on the hilt of the rapier. In the upper left corner of the painting there is the Cranach sign and the date 1541. The authorship of the painting, previously considered to be the work of Lucas Cranach the Elder, since the 1990s has been associated with the artist's son, who worked in his father's workshop since 1527.

 

Lucas Cranach the Younger (1515–1586) 
Portrait of Pomeranian Duke Philip I, 1541 
oil on board, 60 x 46 cm
The National Museum in Szczecin

 

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