The Fountain of Youth

The charm of this 16th century painting, composed by Lucas Cranach the Elder and executed by his son Lucas Cranach the Younger (click on painting to enlarge) lies not only in its wickedly playful theme – elderly ladies, regaining their youthful vigor, getting dressed up and heading off to cavort with some equally youthful and vigorous gentlemen – but also in its incredible attention to detail.

Here’s a visitor to the Fountain on arrival:-

And on exit, having regained her puppy fat youthful plumpness and firmness:-

After choosing some new clothes (more on the fashions worn in the painting here), a little light exercise:-

And then a meal, with further pleasures doubtless to come later:-

If you’re ever lucky enough to be in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, do take a look at the painting yourself; in the meantime, this you tube video by Meesterschilders is the next best thing:-

Amazing digital archive of Cranach paintings here.

You can read more about the concept of the Fountain of Youth (a very popular meme in the sixteenth century) here.

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About sdaedalus

The sibling of daedalus
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5 Responses to The Fountain of Youth

  1. maurice says:

    Delightful! Sort of the opposite of those grim tableaux from about the same period depicting judgement day and damnation. Of course, comtemporary lore has it that explorer Ponce de Leon was seeking the Fountain of Youth in Florida- evidently never found, given the geriatric population there,.

  2. Caeruloplasmin says:

    Brrr me thinks it may be a little chilly in the fountain…. Especially for creatures like myself who crave warmth!! ;)

  3. sdaedalus says:

    Thanks for the comments, not every one likes the picture, but I love it for the whimsicality and the little details.

    Meant to say:- on the ledge at the very back of the pool (behind the fountain), you’ll see a young lady in what looks very much like the Kate Winslet pose from Titanic lol, an unexpected treat and a nice tie in given the date of the post, enlargement (from the wonderful Cranach digital archive) below:-

  4. Keith Famie says:

    Hello I am a film producer , we are in production on a film called ” The Embrace of Aging”
    Please look at this website. I am interested in using one of the paintings for our film. Please let me know if we can do so.
    I can be contacted at

    Thank you.
    Keith Famie

    • sdaedalus says:

      They’re not my paintings! You should contact the Gemaldegalerie (main art gallery) in Berlin where the painting may be found. Copyright is probably extinct in them now since the artist died a long time ago.

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