In a departure from his usual subject-matter, Lucas Cranach the Elder here deals with ancient Greek mythology in The Nymph of the Fountain from 1534. Nymphs were minor female deities, usually associated with woodland or water. Here a young nude woman reclines in front of a fountain in the forest.
Her eyes droop tiredly and at her feet are two birds. Cranach’s treatment of the subtle and delicate shroud that covers the young woman’s modesty is a glorious feat of skill. The picture is typified by a serenity and the fruitfulness of nature.
Lucas Cranach the Elder’s The Nymph of the Fountain is in the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.