Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) was a German Renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcut and engraving. He was court painter to the Electors of Saxony for most of his career, and is known for his portraits, both German rulers and those of the pioneers of the Protestant Transformation, whose cause he embraced with enthusiasm. One of his closest friends was Martin Luther. Cranach painted religious subjects, to begin with within the Catholic tradition, and later attempting to discover other ways of conveying Lutheran religious concerns in art. He proceeded all through his career to paint nude subjects drawn from mythology and religion.