Antique subjects were very popular in Germany during the Renaissance. The plot of the canvas of the great painter was based on the events associated with the legendary ancient Roman heroine - the beautiful Lucretia, the high-moral wife of the patrician, raped by the son of the king and unable to survive the shame and humiliation. The artist created more than 30 paintings on this topic. This story was addressed by Titian and Botticelli, Veronese and Rembrandt.
Cranach inspired the scene prior to suicide. In the picture, the figure of Lucretius is half-naked: a beautiful naked chest is visible. The beauty fearlessly grips the dagger in her hand, directing it to her heart. The beautiful gaze of the almond-shaped eyes is saddened and thoughtful, but the face itself is calm: she has already made her choice. On some canvases, drops of blood protruding from under the blade are visible, in harmony with the brocade of the decoration of a proud woman who decided on the last step.
The flickering of precious jewelry and the draping of luxurious robes are superbly conveyed. By the way, clothes on the canvases of Cranach often look much more attractive than the faces of characters that resemble template masks. The curves of silk fabric, the folds of suits, trimmed with ribbons and pearls, have a unique expressiveness. Beautiful female arms and shoulders are also colorful and embossed.
Even the body itself, devoid of clothing, is draped with rich ornaments. Pearl strands are woven into carefully combed hair flowing onto the shoulder, a gracefully curved neck is tied with rows of beads and a necklace. Often, Cranach uses transparent fabrics to drape the female body, enveloping, like a haze, the figures of heroines. With this technique, he achieves an incredible effect in the image of a woman dressed and undressed at the same time. All these methods allow you to show the heroine at a turning point in her life's journey - on the verge of life and death.
Peter Bruegel's Triumph of Death