Wednesday, June 09, 2004

"Just Reward for the Most Satanic Pope and His Cardinals": Cranach's "Hanging" Woodcut, Commissioned by Martin Luther

Just Reward for the Most Satanic Pope and His Cardinals -- from the series mentioned below. Luther's accompanying text reads: "If the pope and cardinals were to receive temporal punishment on earth, their blasphemous tongues would deserve what is rightly depicted here." In the pathetic anti-Catholic treatise accompanying these outrageous woodcuts, Luther wrote:

Next one should take the pope, cardinals, and whatever servants there are of his idolatry and papal holiness, and rip out their tongues at the roots (as blasphemers of God) and nail them on the gallows. . . Next, let them hold a council or whatever they want on the gallows or in hell among all the devils.

Writing about this book to his friend Amsdorf on 14 April 1545, Luther stated: "But you know my nature, that I am not accustomed to attend to what displeases many provided that it is pious and useful and that it pleases the few good . . ."

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