Melancholy

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Lucas Cranach the Elder (German, - 1553)

Melankolien, 1532,  Olie på træ

Med en kæp som eneste hjælp forsøger tre små nøgne drengebørn at lege en leg, der går ud på at få en stor kugle igennem et tøndebånd.

En bevinget kvinde sidder i sine egne tanker og snitter i en kæp, tilsyneladende i færd med at lave endnu et tøndebånd.

Kvinden som personifikation af melankolien
Under henvisning til en lignende kvindeskikkelse i et kobberstik af Albrecht Dürer er hun blevet tolket som en personifikation af temperamentet melankoli. I renæssancen troede man, at verden hang sammen gennem et system af korrespondancer. Melankoli var knyttet til Saturn, vinteren, dragen, bly og jord.

De andre temperamenter var det koleriske, det sangvinske og det flegmatiske. Hver især korresponderede de med andre elementer, metaller, dyr og årstider. I Cranachs maleri synes melankoli forbundet med noget negativt, fordi et dæmonisk hekseridt udfolder sig i en sort sky udenfor.

Luthers opfattelse af melankolien
Måske afspejler Cranachs Melankolien vennen Martin Luthers opfattelse af melankolien som et "Satans bad", der skal bekæmpes med "åndelig glæde" og tro på Guds ord. I hvert tilfælde er Cranachs maleri med sin gådefuldhed åbent for beskuerens egen tolkning.

Melancholy, 1532, Oil on panel

With only a stick to help them, three nude boy children attempt to play a game, the object of which is to pass a large ball through a hoop.

A winged woman, lost in thought, splits a stick, seemingly in the process of making another hoop.

The female as a personification of Melancholy
Through reference to a similar figure in an Albrecht Dürer print, the seated female has been read as a personification of Melancholy, one of the four temperaments. Renaissance scholars believed that the world was built from a system of correspondences. Melancholy was associated with Saturn, winter, the dragon, lead, and earth.

The other three were the choleric, the sanguine, and the phlegmatic temperaments. Each of these corresponded to other elements, metals, animals, and seasons. In Cranach’s painting, melancholy seems to be linked to something negative: a demonic witches’ ride takes place in a black cloud outside.

Martin Luther's perception of melancholy
Perhaps Cranach’s Melancholy reflects his friend Martin Luther’s perception of melancholy as a "bath of Satan" to be fought with "spiritual joy" and faith in the Word of God. Whatever the case may be, the enigmatic nature of Cranach’s painting leaves it open to individual interpretation.

Details

The prints are individually crafted in heavy duty 280 gram Museum Quality Art Print paper.

Ordered framed the artwork is custom mount, cut perfectly to your image.
Delivered fully strung, ready for hanging.

Created from high-quality wood, milled with simple clean lines and presented with a satin finish.
This frame has a square profile measuring 20mm (front face) by 23mm (depth from wall).

Available in black or natural.