Parthagica Directory 07

After the Parthagica moments everything else pales.


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Parthagica Directory 07

He continued, however, during his reign, to manifest the peaceful, quiet, and serious character which had led him to enter the monastery, and which had probably been strengthened and confirmed by the influences and habits to which he had been accustomed there. He had, however, a very able, energetic, and warlike minister, who managed his affairs with great ability and success for a long course of years. Ethelwolf, in the mean time, leaving public affairs to his minister, continued to devote himself to the pursuits to which his predilections inclined him. He visited monasteries; he cultivated learning; he endowed the Church; he made journeys to Rome. All this time, his kingdom, which had before almost swallowed up the other kingdoms of the Heptarchy, became more and more firmly established, until, at length, the Danes came in, as is described in the last chapter, and brought the whole land into the most extreme and imminent danger. The case did not, however, become absolutely desperate until after Ethelwolf's death, as will be hereafter explained.

Lucas Cranach (1472-1553) was a Franconian master, who settled in Saxony and was successively court-painter to three Electors and the leader of a small local school there. He, perhaps, studied under Gruenewald, but was so positive a character that he showed no strong school influence. His work was fantastic, odd in conception and execution, sometimes ludicrous, and always archaic-looking. His type was rather strained in proportions, not always well drawn, but graceful even when not truthful. This type was carried into all his works, and finally became a mannerism with him. In subject he was religious, mythological, romantic, pastoral, with a preference for the nude figure. In coloring he was at first golden, then brown, and finally cold and sombre. The lack of aerial perspective and shadow masses gave his work a queer look, and he was never much of a brushman. His pictures were typical of the time and country, and for that and for their strong individuality they are ranked among the most interesting paintings of the German school. Perhaps his most satisfactory works are his portraits. Lucas Cranach the Younger (1515-1586) was the best of the elder Cranach's pupils. Many of his pictures are attributed to his father. He followed the elder closely, but was a weaker man, with a smoother brush and a more rosy color. Though there were many pupils the school did not go beyond the Cranach family. It began with the father and died with the son.

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