The Whore of Babylon Illustration for Luther’s New Testament

Lucas Cranach the Elder, The Whore of Babylon Illustration for Luther’s New Testament, 1522.The British Library, London. 

One of the leading artists and businessmen of the German Renaissance, Lucas Cranach the Elder was ahead of his time and oversaw a successful workshop that used division of labor and "seals of approval" to meet the high demand of his clients from both the aristocracy and the clergy. He developed a standard approach for his portraits and landscapes as well as his popular religious and mythological scenes which the workshop could replicate. 

The Cranach family played a major role in promoting the message of Martin Luther and the Reformation. This image from the Luther's New Testament shows the whore of Babylon (from the Book of Revelation) wearing the papal tiara to clearly identify her with the Catholic Church. After warnings that this symbolism was too controversial, the book was reprinted with the papal tiara removed.

whore-babylon-cranach

A collection of first-century Jewish and early Christian writings that, along with the Old Testament, makes up the Christian Bible.

German cleric usually considered to have formally launched the Protestant Reformation with his list of 95 "theses" itemizing grievances against the Roman Catholic Church, especially its sale of indulgences claimed to absolve individuals' sins.

A sixteenth-century movement in Europe that questioned the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.

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