Portrait of Joachim II of Brandenburg
Companion to the portrait of Magdalena of Saxony in the Art Institute of Chicago (1938.310).
Lucas Cranach the Elder, German (active Vienna, Wittenberg, and Weimar), 1472 - 1553
This portrait of Elector Joachim II (German, 1505-1571) depicts the ruler as heir apparent, six years before he assumed the electoral dignity. It is the companion to Cranach's portrait of Joachim's wife, Magdalena of Saxony (1507-1534), now at the Art Institute of Chicago. Joachim's pearl-decorated doublet displays two repeated motifs: the head of a jester and the letter M. Each M is topped with a heart and crown, probably in playful reference to Magdalena as the queen of Joachim's heart. The jesters may allude to the widespread notion that folly accompanies love.
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