>Tha Law and Grace -a Painting by Cranach


Lucas Cranach the Elder: Law and Grace, Gotha version, 1529

Have you seen this painting by Lucas Cranach, The Artist of the Reformation, before?

It is a sermon concerning the Law and Grace, it is full of the gospel’s message. I love to look at it and find all that is in it.

Gene Veith asks this question:

“What is Cranach showing artistically about both the Law and the Gospel?”

Some interesting articles to which Veith points are these:

An article about the Luther-Cranach collaborations.

“See page 4 of this 18-page article, The Allegory of Salvation and Sin, for an analysis of the Gotha panel (shown in Dr. Veith’s post). See page 5 for the similar Prague panel.”

Many things pop out to me, but one that strikes my heart is the person of Adam, running away. That is the response of men in sin, always fleeing from God, always in a desperate state trying to hide from the Omnipotent God. Men without the grace of God never seek God; they cannot, they do not want God.

None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
  All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
  “Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
  “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
in their paths are ruin and misery,
and the way of peace they have not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Romans 3 :10- 18 ESV

Only God can call us to repentance, only because of Jesus’ fulfillment of the law we can come and taste and see the goodness of God.

What are your thoughts on this painting? What do you see?

One of my favorite books by Veith is this, I recommend it a lot!

State of the Arts: From Bezalel to Mapplethorpe (Turning Point Christian Worldview Series)
Related posts, from here and there:

Thank you for Brave Christians
Celebrate our Heritage

You don’t want to miss, Hollie, another passionate Reformed woman, who will be publishing some very interesting articles during October. Her series is called “Remembering the Reformers”; She has already written about Patrick Hamilton, and William Tyndale. Engage in the conversation; let us honor the Reformers with her!


4 thoughts on “>Tha Law and Grace -a Painting by Cranach

  1. >What a beautiful painting. I've never seen this before. There are so many parts to it. It's really quite amazing. I like how the side of the tree on the law part of the painting is dead. It's so telling of how, even those that seem "good" when judged by the world's standards are still dead in the trespasses and sins with out grace!


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