Untitled (Luther)


Oil on canvas, two parts

49.8 x 49.8 cm (19 5/8 x 19 5/8 in.) (each)

The face of the man behind the Protestant Reformation appears twice in blue-grey tones on a black disc. This picture based on Lucas Cranach the Elder’s portrait of Martin Luther looks so worn and altered that it seems as though it has been erased in the second painting. By duplicating and concealing a historical figure and a painting by a great Renaissance master, Wilhelm Sasnal highlights the relativity of images.

The Polish artist often works with existing images from films, the Internet, the press or famous paintings, which he alters until they are recreated. The outcome is a palimpsest of time and meaning, as in the enigmatic Untitled (Luther).

Sasnal's diptych Untitled (Luther) was shown for the first time by the Pinault Collection during the 2009 exhibition "Mapping the Studio" at the Palazzo Grassi.