"Renaissance and Reformation" at LACMA
At top is Albrecht Dürer's portrait of Jakob Muffel, 1526. It's one of three major Dürer paintings in the show, and that alone is reason to visit.
The show foregrounds the weirdness of German Renaissance art. While Dürer's naturalism drew on lofty Italian and Netherlandish traditions, many of his contemporaries took "realism" in delirious new directions. There was an fashion for battle or crowd scenes with each figure rendered in insane detail. Two examples are a Lucas Cranach the Elder The Crossing of the Red Sea (1530) and a 1533 The Siege of Alesia by Melchior Feselsen. Below are small details of both. In each case the horror vacui details are amazing; the whole picture is less successful.
Dürer's prints were the most influential works of the German Renaissance. They get only a nod here; instead "Renaissance and Reformation" shows us something American audiences haven't seen before: the fake-news memes of the alt-Lutheran movement.
Melchior Lorch presents The Pope as Wild Man. The Wild Man was a German Bigfoot, and the Lutheran artist intended no compliment. The print was published the year that Martin Luther called the Pope the Antichrist.
You'll see the name Cranach quite a bit, but note that there are two artists on view here: the famous Lucas Cranach the Elder, and his less famous son, Lucas Cranach the Younger.
Below: Hans Holbein's Double Portrait of Thomas Goldsalve and His Son (1528), Tilman Riemenschneider's Saint Matthew (1500-05), Peter von Speyer the Elder's Three-quarter Armor of Elector Augustus of Saxony (1546), Monogrammist JZ's Head of a Roebuck with Monstrous Antlers (c. 1570), and a jewel box attributed to the workshop of Wenzel Jamnitzer.