The Fountain of Youth

Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1546.

Commentary

The Fountain of Youth has the magical property of restoring the health and looks of those who bathe in it. Legend lists a number of such places. While we may not be looking for quite this now, belief in the healing properties of bathing has never disappeared.  It is curious that in Cranach’s painting only women are seeking restoration, entering old on the left, leaving young on the right. Men seem just as youth-seeking, to the level of injecting themselves with monkey glands and other such deceptions.

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Contributed by

Neil Turner

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