John Bull is a national personification of the United Kingdom in general and England in particular in political cartoons and similar graphic works. He is depicted as a stout, middle-aged, country-dwelling and matter-of-fact man. John Bull originated as a satirical character created by Dr John Arbuthnot, a friend of Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope. Bull first appeared in 1712; the same year Arbuthnot published a four-part political narrative The History of John Bull. In this satirical treatment of the War of the Spanish Succession John Bull brings a lawsuit against various figures intended to represent the kings of France and Spain as well as institutions both foreign and domestic. Derided, William Hogarth and other British writers made Bull "a heroic archetype of the freeborn Englishman." The figure of Bull was disseminated overseas by illustrators and writers such as American cartoonist Thomas Nast and Irish writer George Bernard Shaw, author of John Bull's Other Island. Starting in the 1760s, Bull was portrayed as an Anglo-Saxon country dweller.
He was always depicted in a buff-coloured waistcoat and a simple frock coat. Britannia, or a lion, is sometimes used as an alternative in some editorial cartoons; as a literary figure, John Bull is well-intentioned, full of common sense, of native country stock. Unlike Uncle Sam he is not a figure of authority but rather a yeoman who prefers his small beer and domestic peace, possessed of neither patriarchal power nor heroic defiance. John Arbuthnot provided him with a sister named Peg, a traditional adversary in Louis Baboon. Peg continued in pictorial art beyond the 18th century, but the other figures associated with the original tableau dropped away. John Bull himself continued to appear as a national symbol in posters and cartoons as late as World War I. Bull is depicted as a stout man in a tailcoat with light-coloured breeches and a top hat which, by its shallow crown, indicates its middle class identity. During the Georgian period his waistcoat is red and/or his tailcoat is royal blue which, together with his buff or white breeches, can thus refer to a greater or lesser extent to the "blue and buff" scheme.
By the twentieth century, his waistcoat nearly always depicts a Union Flag, his coat is dark blue. He wears a low topper on his head and is accompanied by a bulldog. John Bull has been used in a variety of different ad campaigns over the years, is a common sight in British editorial cartoons of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Singer David Bowie wore a coat in the style of Bull. Washington Irving described him in his chapter entitled "John Bull" from The Sketch Book: "... plain, matter-of-fact fellow, with much less of poetry about him than rich prose. There is a vast deal of a strong natural feeling, he excels in humour more than in wit. He is a boon companion, if you allow him to talk about himself. A more negative portrayal of John Bull occurred in the cartoons drawn by the Egyptian nationalist journalist Yaqub Sanu in his popular underground newspaper Abu-Naddara Zarqa in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Sanu's cartoons depicted John Bull as a coarse, ignorant drunken bully who pushed around ordinary Egyptians while stealing all the wealth of Egypt.
Much of Sanu's humor revolved around John Bull's alcoholism, his crass rudeness, his ignorance about everything except alcohol, his inability to properly speak French, which he hilariously mangled unlike the Egyptian characters who spoke proper French. Through the early twentieth century, John Bull became seen as not representative of "the common man," and during the First World War this function was taken over by the figure of Tommy Atkins. John Bull's surname is reminiscent of the alleged fondness of the English for beef, reflected in the French nickname for English people, les rosbifs, which translates as "the'Roast Beefs.'" It is reminiscent of the animal, for that reason Bull is portrayed as "virile and stubborn," like a bull. A typical John Bull Englishman is referenced in Margaret Fuller's Summer on the Lakes, in 1843 in Chapter 2: "Murray's travels I read, was charmed by their accuracy and clear broad tone, he is the only Englishman that seems to have traversed these regions, as man not as John Bull."
In 1966, The Times, criticising the Unionist government of Northern Ireland, branded the region "John Bull's Political Slum." In Jules Verne's novel The Myst
The Miller's Tale
"The Miller's Tale" is the second of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, told by the drunken miller Robin to "quite" "The Knight's Tale". The Miller's Prologue is the first "quite"; the general prologue to The Canterbury Tales describes the Miller, Robin, as a stout and evil churl fond of wrestling. In the Miller's Prologue, the pilgrims have just heard and enjoyed "The Knight's Tale", a classical story of courtly love, the host asks the Monk to "quite" with a tale of his own. However, the Miller insists on going next, he claims that his tale is "noble", but reminds the other pilgrims that he is quite drunk and cannot be held accountable for what he says. He explains that his story is about a carpenter and his wife, how a clerk "hath set the wrightes cappe". Osewold the Reeve, a carpenter himself, protests that the tale will insult carpenters and wives, but the Miller carries on anyway."The Miller's Tale" begins the trend in which succeeding tellers "quite" the previous one with their story.
In a way the Miller requites the "Knight's Tale", is himself directly requited with "The Reeve's Tale", in which the Reeve follows Robin's insulting story about a carpenter with his own tale disparaging a miller. "The Miller's Tale" is the story of a carpenter, his lovely wife, two clerks who are eager to sleep with her. The carpenter, lives in Oxford with his much younger wife, a local beauty. To make extra money, John rents out a room in his house to a clever scholar named Nicholas, who has taken a liking to Alisoun. Another scholar in the town, Absolon the parish clerk has his eye on Alisoun; the action begins. While he is gone, Nicholas physically grabs Alisoun "by the queynte" and persuades her to have sex with him, their affair begins. Shortly afterward, Alisoun goes to church, where Absolon sees her and is filled with "love-longing." He tries to woo Alisoun by singing love songs under her window during the full moon, sending her gifts, seeks her attention by taking a part in a local play.
Alisoun rebuffs all his efforts, because she is involved with Nicholas. Nicholas, longs to spend a whole night in Alisoun's arms rather than just the few moments they get together during John's absences. With Alisoun, he hatches a scheme, he convinces John. He says that God told him they could save themselves by hanging three large tubs from the ceiling to sleep in. Once the waters rose, they would float away. John duly climbs into his tub, he thinks Nicholas and Alisoun are doing the same, but in fact, they are spending the night together in John's bed. That same night, Absolon begs Alisoun to kiss him. At first she refuses him, but she agrees. Instead of presenting her lips to Absolon's, she sticks her backside out the bedroom's "shot-window", Absolon kisses her "ers" in the dark. Angry at being fooled, Absolon gets a red-hot coulter from the smith with which he intends to burn Alisoun; when he returns, Nicholas sticks his backside out to get in on the joke and farts in Absolon's face. Absolon thrusts the coulter "amidst the ers" of Nicholas who cries out for "Water!" to assuage the pain.
The screams wake John, who thinks the flood is upon them and cuts the rope attaching him to the ceiling. He crashes to the floor, the townspeople, hearing the noise, rush to the scene. Upon hearing Nicholas' and Alisoun's version of events, they laugh at poor John and consider him mad; the tale ends: "Thus, swyved was this carpenteris wyf, / For al his kepyng and his jalousye, / And Absolon hath kist hir nether ye, / And Nicholas is scalded in the towte. This tale is doon, God save al the rowte!" Geoffrey Chaucer wrote during the reign of Richard II, who much appreciated the arts and culture of the time. We see this in The Miller's Tale, his Almageste and books grere and smale, His astrelabie longynge for his art, Hise augrym stones layen faire apart On shelves couched at his beddes heed" Nicholas is described not by his valor in battle or honour in the court. Instead, his many skills are described at great length, including the fact that he is studying one of the many scholarly arts that were popular at that time.
Chaucer goes on to describe what Nicholas is wearing and his skills as a musician. His presse ycovered with a faldyng reed, And al above ther lay a gay sautrie On which he made a nyghtes melodie So swetely that al the chambre song, And Angelus ad virginem he song, And after that he song The Kynges Noote. Again Nicholas is shown not as a talented musician, he is shown to be cultured as well as studied. Chaucer shows that Nicholas was skilled in the art of music, as he knew these certain songs which might have been quite popular at the time. What Nicholas wears could be here to show that Nicholas wore clothes befitting his social class status; this focus on what a person could wear based on status was important to Richard II. The tale appears to combine the motifs of two separate fabliaux, the'second flood' and'misdirected kiss', both of which appear in continental European literature of the period, its bawdiness serves not only to introduce the Reeve's tale, but the general
"Fart Proudly" is the popular name of an essay about flatulence written by Benjamin Franklin c. 1781 while he was living abroad as United States Ambassador to France. "A Letter to a Royal Academy" was composed in response to a call for scientific papers from the Royal Academy of Brussels. Franklin believed that the various academic societies in Europe were pretentious and concerned with the impractical. Revealing his "bawdy, scurrilous side," Franklin responded with an essay suggesting that research and practical reasoning be undertaken into methods of improving the odor of human flatulence; the essay was never submitted but was sent as a letter to Richard Price, a Welsh philosopher and Unitarian minister in England with whom Franklin had an ongoing correspondence. The text of the essay's introduction reads in part: I have perused your late mathematical Prize Question, proposed in lieu of one in Natural Philosophy, for the ensuing year... Permit me humbly to propose one of that sort for your consideration, through you, if you approve it, for the serious Enquiry of learned Physicians, Chemists, &c. of this enlightened Age.
It is universally well known, that in digesting our common food, there is created or produced in the bowels of human creatures, a great quantity of wind. That the permitting this air to escape and mix with the atmosphere, is offensive to the company, from the fetid smell that accompanies it; that all well-bred people therefore, to avoid giving such offence, forcibly restrain the efforts of nature to discharge that wind. The essay goes on to discuss the way different foods affect the odor of flatulence and to propose scientific testing of farting. Franklin suggests that scientists work to develop a drug, "wholesome and not disagreeable", which can be mixed with "common Food or Sauces" with the effect of rendering flatulence "not only inoffensive, but agreeable as Perfumes"; the essay ends with a pun saying that compared to the practical applications of this discussion, other sciences are "scarcely worth a FART-HING." Copies of the essay were printed by Franklin at his printing press in Passy.
Franklin distributed the essay including Joseph Priestley. After Franklin's death, the essay was long excluded from published collections of Franklin's writing, but it is available online. Advice to a Friend on Choosing a Mistress Flatulence humor
House of Lords
The House of Lords known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is else by heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Unlike the elected House of Commons, members of the House of Lords are appointed; the membership of the House of Lords is drawn from the peerage and is made up of Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal. The Lords Spiritual are 26 bishops in the established Church of England. Of the Lords Temporal, the majority are life peers who are appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister, or on the advice of the House of Lords Appointments Commission. However, they include some hereditary peers including four dukes. Membership was once an entitlement of all hereditary peers, other than those in the peerage of Ireland, but under the House of Lords Act 1999, the right to membership was restricted to 92 hereditary peers.
Since 2008, only one of them is female. While the House of Commons has a defined number of seats membership, the number of members in the House of Lords is not fixed; the House of Lords is the only upper house of any bicameral parliament in the world to be larger than its lower house. The House of Lords scrutinises bills, it reviews and amends Bills from the Commons. While it is unable to prevent Bills passing into law, except in certain limited circumstances, it can delay Bills and force the Commons to reconsider their decisions. In this capacity, the House of Lords acts as a check on the House of Commons, independent from the electoral process. Bills can be introduced into the House of Commons. While members of the Lords may take on roles as government ministers, high-ranking officials such as cabinet ministers are drawn from the Commons; the House of Lords has its own support services, separate from the Commons, including the House of Lords Library. The Queen's Speech is delivered in the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament.
In addition to its role as the upper house, until the establishment of the Supreme Court in 2009, the House of Lords, through the Law Lords, acted as the final court of appeal in the United Kingdom judicial system. The House has a Church of England role, in that Church Measures must be tabled within the House by the Lords Spiritual. Today's Parliament of the United Kingdom descends, in practice, from the Parliament of England, though the Treaty of Union of 1706 and the Acts of Union that ratified the Treaty in 1707 and created a new Parliament of Great Britain to replace the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland; this new parliament was, in effect, the continuation of the Parliament of England with the addition of 45 MPs and 16 Peers to represent Scotland. The House of Lords developed from the "Great Council"; this royal council came to be composed of ecclesiastics and representatives of the counties of England and Wales. The first English Parliament is considered to be the "Model Parliament", which included archbishops, abbots, earls and representatives of the shires and boroughs of it.
The power of Parliament grew fluctuating as the strength of the monarchy grew or declined. For example, during much of the reign of Edward II, the nobility was supreme, the Crown weak, the shire and borough representatives powerless. In 1569, the authority of Parliament was for the first time recognised not by custom or royal charter, but by an authoritative statute, passed by Parliament itself. During the reign of Edward II's successor, Edward III, Parliament separated into two distinct chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords; the authority of Parliament continued to grow, during the early 15th century both Houses exercised powers to an extent not seen before. The Lords were far more powerful than the Commons because of the great influence of the great landowners and the prelates of the realm; the power of the nobility declined during the civil wars of the late 15th century, known as the Wars of the Roses. Much of the nobility was killed on the battlefield or executed for participation in the war, many aristocratic estates were lost to the Crown.
Moreover, feudalism was dying, the feudal armies controlled by the barons became obsolete. Henry VII established the supremacy of the monarch, symbolised by the "Crown Imperial"; the domination of the Sovereign continued to grow during the reigns of the Tudor monarchs in the 16th century. The Crown was at the height of its power during the reign of Henry VIII; the House of Lords remained more powerful than the House of Commons, but the Lower House continued to grow in influence, reaching a zenith in relation to the House of Lords during the middle 17th century. Conflicts between the King and the Parliament led to the English Civil War during the 1640s. In 1649, after the defeat and execution of King Charles I, the Commonwealth of England was declared, but the nation was under the overall control of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, S
William Pitt the Younger
William Pitt the Younger was a prominent British Tory statesman of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. He became the youngest UK Prime Minister in 1783 at the age of 24, he left office in 1801, but served as Prime Minister again from 1804 until his death in 1806. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer for most of his time as Prime Minister, he is known as "the Younger" to distinguish him from his father, William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, called William Pitt the Elder or "Chatham", who had served as Prime Minister. The younger Pitt's prime ministerial tenure, which came during the reign of George III, was dominated by major events in Europe, including the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Pitt, although referred to as a Tory, or "new Tory", called himself an "independent Whig" and was opposed to the development of a strict partisan political system, he led Britain in the great wars against Napoleon. Pitt was an outstanding administrator who worked for efficiency and reform, bringing in a new generation of outstanding administrators.
He cracked down on radicalism. To engage the threat of Irish support for France, he engineered the Acts of Union 1800 and tried to get Catholic emancipation as part of the Union, he created the "new Toryism", which revived the Tory Party and enabled it to stay in power for the next quarter-century. The historian Asa Briggs argues that his personality did not endear itself to the British mind, for Pitt was too solitary and too colourless, too exuded superiority, his greatness came in the war with France. Pitt reacted to become what Lord Minto called "the Atlas of our reeling globe", his integrity and industry and his role as defender of the threatened nation allowed him to inspire and access all the national reserves of strength. William Wilberforce said that, "For personal purity, disinterestedness and love of this country, I have never known his equal." Historian Charles Petrie concludes that he was one of the greatest prime ministers "if on no other ground than that he enabled the country to pass from the old order to the new without any violent upheaval...
He understood the new Britain." For this he is ranked amongst British Prime Ministers. William Pitt, second son of William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, was born at Hayes Place in the village of Hayes, Kent. Pitt was from a political family on both sides, his mother, Hester Grenville, was sister to former prime minister George Grenville. According to biographer John Ehrman, Pitt inherited brilliance and dynamism from his father's line, a determined, methodical nature from the Grenvilles. Suffering from occasional poor health as a boy, he was educated at home by the Reverend Edward Wilson. An intelligent child, Pitt became proficient in Latin and Greek. In 1773, aged fourteen, he attended Pembroke College, where he studied political philosophy, mathematics, trigonometry and history. At Cambridge, Pitt was tutored by George Pretyman. Pitt appointed Pretyman Bishop of Lincoln Winchester and drew upon his advice throughout his political career. While at Cambridge, he befriended the young William Wilberforce, who became a lifelong friend and political ally in Parliament.
Pitt tended to socialise only with fellow students and others known to him venturing outside the university grounds. Yet he was described as friendly. According to Wilberforce, Pitt had an exceptional wit along with an endearingly gentle sense of humour: "no man... indulged more or in that playful facetiousness which gratifies all without wounding any." In 1776, plagued by poor health, took advantage of a little-used privilege available only to the sons of noblemen, chose to graduate without having to pass examinations. Pitt's father, who had by been raised to the peerage as Earl of Chatham, died in 1778; as a younger son, Pitt the Younger received a small inheritance. He received legal education at Lincoln's Inn and was called to the bar in the summer of 1780. During the general elections of September 1780, Pitt, at the age of 21, contested the University of Cambridge seat, but lost. Still intent on entering Parliament, with the help of his university comrade, Charles Manners, 4th Duke of Rutland, secured the patronage of James Lowther.
Lowther controlled the pocket borough of Appleby. Pitt's entry into parliament is somewhat ironic as he railed against the same pocket and rotten boroughs that had given him his seat. In Parliament, the youthful Pitt cast aside his tendency to be withdrawn in public, emerging as a noted debater right from his maiden speech. Pitt aligned himself with prominent Whigs such as Charles James Fox. With the Whigs, Pitt denounced the continuation of the American War of Independence, as his father had. Instead he proposed that the prime minister, Lord North, make peace with the rebellious American colonies. Pitt supported parliamentary reform measures, including a proposal that would have checked electoral corruption, he renewed his friendship with William Wilberforce, now MP for Hull, with whom he met in the gallery of the House of Commons. After Lord North's ministry collapsed in 1782, the Whig Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham was appointed prime minister. Pitt was offered the minor post of vice-treasurer of Ireland, but he refused, considering the post overly subordinate.
Lord Rockingham died only three months after coming to power. Many
Geoffrey Chaucer was an English poet and author. Considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages, he is best known for The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer has been styled the "Father of English literature" and was the first writer buried in Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey. Chaucer achieved fame in his lifetime as a philosopher and astronomer, composing the scientific A Treatise on the Astrolabe for his 10-year-old son Lewis, he maintained an active career in the civil service as a bureaucrat and diplomat. Among Chaucer's many other works are The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, The Legend of Good Women, Troilus and Criseyde, he is seen as crucial in legitimising the literary use of the Middle English vernacular at a time when the dominant literary languages in England were still French and Latin. Chaucer was born in London sometime around 1343, though the precise date and location remain unknown, his father and grandfather were both London vintners, several previous generations had been merchants in Ipswich.
His family name is derived from the French chausseur, meaning "shoemaker". In 1324, his father John Chaucer was kidnapped by an aunt in the hope of marrying the 12-year-old to her daughter in an attempt to keep property in Ipswich; the aunt was imprisoned and fined £250, equivalent to £200,000 today, which suggests that the family was financially secure. John Chaucer married Agnes Copton who inherited properties in 1349, including 24 shops in London from her uncle Hamo de Copton, described in a will dated 3 April 1354 and listed in the City Hustings Roll as "moneyer", said to be moneyer at the Tower of London. In the City Hustings Roll 110, 5, Ric II, dated June 1380, Chaucer refers to himself as me Galfridum Chaucer, filium Johannis Chaucer, Londonie. While records concerning the lives of his contemporary friends, William Langland and the Pearl Poet, are non-existent, since Chaucer was a public servant, his official life is well documented, with nearly five hundred written items testifying to his career.
The first of the "Chaucer Life Records" appears in 1357, in the household accounts of Elizabeth de Burgh, the Countess of Ulster, when he became the noblewoman's page through his father's connections, a common medieval form of apprenticeship for boys into knighthood or prestige appointments. The countess was married to Lionel, Duke of Clarence, the second surviving son of the king, Edward III, the position brought the teenage Chaucer into the close court circle, where he was to remain for the rest of his life, he worked as a courtier, a diplomat, a civil servant, as well as working for the king from 1389 to 1391 as Clerk of the King's Works. In 1359, in the early stages of the Hundred Years' War, Edward III invaded France and Chaucer travelled with Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, Elizabeth's husband, as part of the English army. In 1360, he was captured during the siege of Rheims. Edward paid £16 for his ransom, a considerable sum, Chaucer was released. After this, Chaucer's life is uncertain, but he seems to have travelled in France and Flanders as a messenger and even going on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.
Around 1366, Chaucer married Philippa Roet. She was a lady-in-waiting to Edward III's queen, Philippa of Hainault, a sister of Katherine Swynford, who became the third wife of John of Gaunt, it is uncertain how many children Chaucer and Philippa had, but three or four are most cited. His son, Thomas Chaucer, had an illustrious career, as chief butler to four kings, envoy to France, Speaker of the House of Commons. Thomas's daughter, married the Duke of Suffolk. Thomas's great-grandson, John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, was the heir to the throne designated by Richard III before he was deposed. Geoffrey's other children included Elizabeth Chaucy, a nun at Barking Abbey, Agnes, an attendant at Henry IV's coronation. Chaucer's "Treatise on the Astrolabe" was written for Lewis. According to tradition, Chaucer studied law in the Inner Temple at this time, he became a member of the royal court of Edward III as a valet de chambre, yeoman, or esquire on 20 June 1367, a position which could entail a wide variety of tasks.
His wife received a pension for court employment. He travelled abroad at least some of them in his role as a valet. In 1368, he may have attended the wedding of Lionel of Antwerp to Violante Visconti, daughter of Galeazzo II Visconti, in Milan. Two other literary stars of the era were in attendance: Petrarch. Around this time, Chaucer is believed to have written The Book of the Duchess in honour of Blanche of Lancaster, the late wife of John of Gaunt, who died in 1369 of the plague. Chaucer travelled to Picardy the next year as part of a military expedition. Numerous scholars such as Skeat and Rowland suggested that, on this Italian trip, he came into contact with Petrarch or Boccaccio, they introduced him to medieval the forms and stories of which he would use later. The purposes of a voyage in 1377 are mysterious, as details within the historical record conflict. Documents suggest it was a mission, along with Jean Froissart, to arrange a marriage between the future King Richard II and a French princess, thereby ending the Hundred Years War.
If this was the purpose of their trip, they seem to have been unsuccessful. In 1378, Richard II sent Chaucer as an envoy to the Visconti and to Sir John Hawkwood, English condottiere in Milan, it has been specu
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Lucas Cranach the Elder was a German Renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcut and engraving. He was court painter to the Electors of Saxony for most of his career, is known for his portraits, both of German princes and those of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation, whose cause he embraced with enthusiasm, he was a close friend of Martin Luther. Cranach painted religious subjects, first in the Catholic tradition, trying to find new ways of conveying Lutheran religious concerns in art, he continued throughout his career to paint nude subjects drawn from religion. Cranach had a large workshop and many of his works exist in different versions, he has been considered the most successful German artist of his time. He is commemorated in the liturgical calendars of the Lutheran churches, he was born at Kronach in upper Franconia in 1472. His exact date of birth is unknown, he learned the art of drawing from his father Hans Maler. His mother, with surname Hübner, died in 1491; the name of his birthplace was used for his surname, another custom of the times.
How Cranach was trained is not known, but it was with local south German masters, as with his contemporary Matthias Grünewald, who worked at Bamberg and Aschaffenburg. There are suggestions that Cranach spent some time in Vienna around 1500. According to Gunderam Cranach demonstrated his talents as a painter before the close of the 15th century, his work drew the attention of Duke Frederick III, Elector of Saxony, known as Frederick the Wise, who attached Cranach to his court in 1504. The records of Wittenberg confirm Gunderam's statement to this extent that Cranach's name appears for the first time in the public accounts on the 24 June 1504, when he drew 50 gulden for the salary of half a year, as pictor ducalis. Cranach was to remain in the service of the Elector and his successors for the rest of his life, although he was able to undertake other work. Cranach married Barbara Brengbier, the daughter of a burgher of Gotha and born there. Cranach owned a house at Gotha, but most he got to know Barbara near Wittenberg, where her family owned a house, that also belonged to Cranach.
The first evidence of Cranach's skill as an artist comes in a picture dated 1504. Early in his career he was active in several branches of his profession: sometimes a decorative painter, more producing portraits and altarpieces, woodcuts and designing the coins for the electorate. Early in the days of his official employment he startled his master's courtiers by the realism with which he painted still life and antlers on the walls of the country palaces at Coburg and Locha. Before 1508 he had painted several altar-pieces for the Castle Church at Wittenberg in competition with Albrecht Dürer, Hans Burgkmair and others. In 1509 Cranach went to the Netherlands, painted the Emperor Maximilian and the boy who afterwards became Emperor Charles V; until 1508 Cranach signed his works with his initials. In that year the elector gave him the winged snake as an emblem, or Kleinod, which superseded the initials on his pictures after that date. Cranach was the court painter to the electors of Saxony in Wittenberg, an area in the heart of the emerging Protestant faith.
His patrons were powerful supporters of Martin Luther, Cranach used his art as a symbol of the new faith. Cranach made numerous portraits of Luther, provided woodcut illustrations for Luther's German translation of the Bible. Somewhat the duke conferred on him the monopoly of the sale of medicines at Wittenberg, a printer's patent with exclusive privileges as to copyright in Bibles. Cranach's presses were used by Martin Luther, his apothecary shop was open for centuries, was only lost by fire in 1871. Cranach, like his patron, was friendly with the Protestant Reformers at a early stage; the oldest reference to Cranach in Luther's correspondence dates from 1520. In a letter written from Worms in 1521, Luther calls him his "gossip", warmly alluding to his "Gevatterin", the artist's wife. Cranach first made an engraving of Luther in 1520, he was godfather to their first child, Johannes "Hans" Luther, born 1526. In 1530 Luther lived at the citadel of Veste Coburg under the protection of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and his room is preserved there along with a painting of him.
The Dukes became noted collectors of Cranach's work, some of which remains in the family collection at Callenberg Castle. The death in 1525 of the Elector Frederick the Wise and Elector John's in 1532 brought no change in Cranach's position.