Lucas Cranach the ElderLucas Cranach the Elder, an artist's son, was born in Cronach in Franconia in 1472. He spent 1501 to 1504 in Vienna beforecoming to Wittenberg as court painter to the Saxon Elector Friedrich the Wise. The latter made him a member of the nobility in 1508, presenting him with a coat of arms made of a winged snake. During that same year, Cranach traveled to the Netherlands at the request of his Elector.
Some two years later he married Barbara Brengbier, a daughter of the mayor of Gotha.
His two sons Hans and Lucas (the younger) were born in 1513? and 1515. Both followed in their father's footsteps and became artists. Cranach's daughters Ursula and Barbara were born in 1517 and 1519. In 1520 Cranach acquired the apothecary's privilege; in that same year, Martin Luther was the Godfather of his daughter Anna. After 1523 Cranach had a printing press and later a book shop for a while as well. Lucas and Barbara Cranach were the witnesses to Martin Luther and Katharina von Bora's wedding, and Cranach was the Godfather of their first son Johannes.
Cranach was one of the most highly respected and richest citizens of Wittenberg. As such he was a member of Wittenberg's town council for numerous years and also held the office of mayor a number of times.