Christ and the Adulteress

Artist: Lucas Cranach the Younger and Workshop (German, Wittenberg 1515–1586 Wittenberg)

Date: ca. 1545–50

Medium: Oil on beech

Dimensions: 6 1/4 x 8 1/2 in. (15.9 x 21.6 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, 1982

Accession Number: 1982.60.35


This small picture illustrates the biblical passage in which a woman accused of adultery—an offense punishable by death in Mosaic law—is brought before Christ. He responds to her accusers with the words written across the top of the painting: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" (John 8:7). Among the many variants of the subject that were made in Cranach’s workshop, this panel is unusual because it most likely formed a pair with Christ Blessing the Children, displayed to the left.