Lucas Cranach (aka Lucas Cranach, the Elder)
Christ before Annas
Northern Europe, German
9 3/4 in. x 6 3/4 in. (24.77 cm x 17.15 cm)
Medium and Support:
Woodcut on paper
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Jr., in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Sr.
In the time of Christ, the Sanhedrin was the highest Jewish court for secular and religious matters. By its order, Christ was arrested and (according to John 18:13) was brought before Annas, the father-in-law of the high priest Caiaphas. Of the various Biblical accounts of the Passion of Christ, only John mentions Annas, who sent Christ on to Caiaphus (John 18:24). Scenes of Christ before Herod, Pilate, Caiaphus, and Annas are the nucleus of Cranach’s fourteen-sheet "Passion" first published in 1509. The soldiers surrounding Christ are depicted in ceremonial armor that reflects the style of sixteenth-century Saxony where Cranach was court painter to Elector Friedrich the Wise. In keeping with early printmaking tradition, Cranach borrowed motifs from his friend and rival, Albrecht Durer (German,1471–1528), who had completed only seven images in his own "Large Passion" series.
Note: This print is sometimes identified as “Christ before Caiaphas”. See http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/Collection/art-object-page.656.html, NGA 1941.1.78, and further explanation of the title discrepancy at http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1419111&partId=1&searchText=Lucas+Cranach+the+Elder,+Christ&page=1 accessed October 16, 2013.