Inventory number
Cranach, Lucas
Hunt in Carlos V’s Honour at Torgau Castle
114 cm x 175 cm
Genre and Society
On display
Royal Collection (collection of María de Hungría?; Royal Palace of El Pardo, Madrid, 1564; El Pardo,” galería principal”, 1582?; Royal Alcázar Palace, Madrid, “pieza de las bóvedas en que come su majestad en tiempo de calor”, 1636 y 1666; Buen Retiro Palace, Madrid, “cuarto de las infantas”, 1772, nº 627; Buen Retiro Palace, 1794)

A hunting scene characterized by a very developed landscape with Torgau Castle in the background and elector Johann Friedrich of Saxony and Emperor Carlos V hunting deer in the foreground. This work is signed with the monogram of Lucas Cranach and dated 1544. It was brought to Spain by Maria of Hungary and hung in the El Pardo Palace, where it is listed in the inventory of 1564.

Lucas Cranach and his workshop painted various scenes similar to this one. Each of them shows the elector of Saxony in possession of Torgau Castle, accompanied by different rulers of that time.

Those paintings, which may have been commissioned by elector Johann Friedrich as presents to other princes during the fifteen forties, have a political meaning. On one hand, they depict him as the legitimate Lord of his territory, with a commitment to the Reformation, as Torgau was the first Protestant church built ex-novo. At the same time, hunting was synonymous with good government at that time, and it alludes to the necessary collaboration among rulers in order to insure peace.

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