Cranach - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung
The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
23.11.2017 - 00:56
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Painting:
CDA ID / Inventory NumberAT_KHM_GG6905
Persistent Linkhttp://lucascranach.org/AT_KHM_GG6905
FR (1978) No.FR001
Title:
The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung[CDA 2010]
Attribution:
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Kunsthistorisches Museum, revised 2010]
Dating:
1501[Karl Schütz, 2005]
about 1500[Sandner 1998 B, 84][Heydenreich 1998 A, 185][Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, No. 1]
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Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerKunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
RepositoryKunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
LocationVienna
Dimensions:
Dimensions of support: 58.4(t) - 58.1 (b) x 45.1 (l) - 45.8 (r) x 2.5 - 2.6 cm (3-4 mm laminated board, total max. 9 mm. The original size has largely been preserved) [Kunsthistorisches Museum, revised 2010]
Support:
Painting on lime wood (Tilia sp.) [Klein, Report 2013] [P. Klein, report from 1980]
Signature / Date:
None
Description:
The panel depicts a crucifixion with many figures set in a rocky landscape. The cross, which occupies the centre of the painting consists of roughly worked tree trunks, the body of Christ is covered in blood and marked by wounds from the flagellation. The two thieves flank him either side to the left and the right. The attendant figures are divided between two groups at the foot of the cross: to the left are the women in mourning and St John grouped around the Virgin and to the right is a group of flamboyantly dressed men on horseback. On the left edge of the painting there is a man in peasant clothing. [Karl Schütz, 2005]
Provenance:
- 1800: handwritten inventory entry from the Viennese Scottish Monastery, No. 24 attributed to Lucas van Leyden
- 1842 inventory entry from the Viennese Scottish Monastery, attributed to Lucas van Leyden [Dörnhöffer 1904, 188]
- 1934 acquired by the Kunsthistorisches Museum

Documents:
- Gal. Akt Z.17/1934: Stix in correspondance with the office for the protection of public monuments (23.20.1934):
"Prelate Peichl rang yesterday and informed us that the Scottish foundation did not need to sell the Scottish Crucifixion at present; Stix ensured them that should it become necessary in the near future, the KHM would pay a fair price, as there is a certain public interest that this painting, which is bound in a special way to Austria, should not leave the country."
- Gal. Akt Z.20/1934: (compare Zl. 25 u. 30 / ex 1932, Zl. 2, 5 u. 9 / ex 1934, Z. 33 /1933, Zl. 17 / 1934, Tausch XXIII. pro memoria 23.11.1934, Stix: State Secretary Dr. Pernter agrees to the purchase of the Scottish Crucifixion, financed with the sum of 90,910 Shillings from two fonds. To Dr. Peichl, Abt-Koadjutor, 24.11.1934: the office for the protection of public monuments accepts the sale to the KHM. Buchner (Bayr. Staatsgemäldesammlungen) to Buschbeck, 13.11.1934: 'I have heard, that the Cranach Crucifixion belonging to the Viennese Scottish Monastery is available.' Should the KHM not acquire it, the Alte Pinakothek would make efforts to do so.

[Alice Hoppe-Harnoncourt, 2010]
Exhibitions:
Vienna 1935
Berlin 1937, No. 1
Munich 1938, No. 388
Vienna 1939, No. 180
Amsterdam 1947, No. 39
Paris 1947
Stockholm 1948, No. 169
Copenhagen 1948, No. 43
Art Treasures from Vienna, 1949, No. 42
Vienna 1950
Oslo 1952, No. 36
Graz 1953, No. 23;
St. Florian 1965, No. 25
Vienna 1972, No. 1
Kronach 1994, No. 110
Jerusalem 1996
Wiener Neustadt 2000, No. 101
Tokyo, Kyoto 2002/2003, No. 2
Frankfurt, London 2007/2008, No. 2
Brussels 2010/11, No. 5

Historical documentation:
- Gal. Akt Z.3/1935: Documentation from the Cranach Exhibition in Vienna, with a loan request to the Albertina the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (2 copies of the Missale Pataviense) and the Academy of fine Arts as well as photographs of contemporary works in foreign collections.

- Gal. Akt Z.1/1936: Exhibition ,The young Cranach'. The acquisition of the earliest Cranach [...], offered us the opportunity to organize a small exhibition about the young Cranach, the early works created in Austria. The two originals in the Gallery were united with two paintings from the Academy in one room and while the graphic works, part in original from the Albertina and part as facsimile reproduction, were displayed in an adjoining room. Photographs were exhibited of paintings and drawing that existed outside Austria'.

[Alice Hoppe-Harnoncourt, 2010]
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Bonnet, Görres 201514-152p. 15
Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt 201492-9333p. 93
Kunz 201082
Exhib. Cat. Brussels 2010103-1045
Heydenreich 2007 A47Figs. 16, 17
Seipel et al. 2007182with Fig.
Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt 2007116-1172p. 117
Heydenreich 2007 B35
Stadlober 2006155-164Fig. 25
Lechner 200529Fig. 23
Wegmann 2003
Bierende 200216-24, 38-84, 84-108Figs. 1, 13, 34
Heiser 200225-27, 34, 39, 42, 54, Fns. 214, 257; 88-89, Fn. 559; 93, 108, 111, 134Figs. 9, 79, 110, 111
Anzelewsky 1999125, 128, 132-133Fig. 4
Heydenreich 1998 A185, 196
Sandner 1998 B83-85, 88, 90, 96, 97, 10311.1Figs. 11.1, 11.1a-e
Exhib. Cat. Eisenach 199896, 97, 103No. 11.1Figs. 11.1a-e
Stadlober 1998420, 421Fig. p. 467
Schawe 1998165
Deroo 199620-21with Fig.
Klein 1994 A195Tab. 1
Grimm 199418, 19110Fig. A1
Hörsch 199496
Reiter 199442, Fn. 20
Büttner 199424Fig. 1
Sandner, Ritschel 1994186-189Fig. A123
Schütz 199192
Locicnik 199026, 134, Fn. 16, 138-140, 176, 177-182, 183, 187-188, 193, 200, 203, 205Figs. 79, 82
Exhib. Cat. Berlin 1988328
Schindler 198721
Exhib. Cat. Paris 198427
Stadlober 1982151, 152 (Bd. 1)Plate XXXV (Bd. 2)
Schindler 198169
Friedländer, Rosenberg 197913, 15, 66No. 1Fig. 1
Klauner 197878-80Fig. 37
Exhib. Cat. Basel 1974120, 124, 170, 443, 488
Schade 197415, 16Plate 1
Cat. Vienna 197348Plate 130
Koepplin 1973 A40, fns. 101, 102
Benesch 1972 A5Fig. 40
Benesch 1972 B35-37, 42-44, 48-51Fig. 40
Benesch 1972 C344-345Fig. 40
Benesch 1972 D259-260Fig. 40
Exhib. Cat. Vienna 1972No. 1Fig. 3
Osten, Vey 1969132, 133
Cat. Vienna 1968XXINo. 202
Talbot 196772-76Fig. 5
Benesch 196664
Perger 196671, 74
Exhib. Cat. Linz 1965No. 25
Stange 196452, 138No. 1Fig. 59
Ruhmer 19637, 85Fig. 3
Cat. Vienna 196335-36No. 103
Oberhammer 1959Plate 20
Jahn 1953 A24-25, 26Fig. 14
Exhib. Cat. Graz 1953No. 23
Exhib. Cat. Oslo 195210No. 36
Exhib. Cat. London 1949No. 42Fig. 8
Exhib. Cat. Stockholm 194862No. 169
Exhib. Cat. Copenhagen 194832No. 43
Exhib. Cat. Amsterdam 194719No. 39
Posse 19437, 49Pl. 1
Posse 19427, 49Pl. 1
Lilienfein 194211Fig. 6
Möhle 1940117Fig. p. 117
Exhib. Cat. Vienna 1939No. 180
Baldass 1938136
Wolters 1938120, 121Figs. 68, 70
Exhib. Cat. Munich 1938No. 388
Cat. Vienna 193843No. 1825
Exhib. Cat. Berlin 19375No. 1
Burke 193632
Leporini 1935 A45
P. 19353
P. 1934 B10with Fig.
Friedländer, Rosenberg 19323, 71
Buschbeck 1931 A43Fig. 3
Benesch 1928 C
Benesch 1928 A92-93, 94, 101Fig. 138
Baldass 192876, 77, 80
Glaser 192318-24Fig. p. 19
Baldass 1922 B80
Ankwicz Kleehoven 192259-60
Frimmel 1917104-105
Voss H. 190797
Riggenbach 190725
Fischer 190771
Dörnhöffer 1904175-198
Frimmel 1896 B4
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
The painting depicts a many figured crucifixion set in a rocky landscape, the cross in the centre of the painting is made from crude logs, roughly worked, the figure of Christ is covered in blood and exhibits extensive wounds (stigmata). He is flanked to the left and right by the two thieves, both have also been crucified on crosses made using crude logs. The assistant figures at the bottom of the cross are divided into two groups, to the left the weeping women and the Virgin with St John, on the far left a peasant figure, to the right a group of three conspicuously dressed men on horseback: one with a moustache wearing a large white turban, and a white undergarment covered by a sleeveless yellow coat with a wide red collar and fastened with laces. The horseman to the right is wearing a cone shaped hat, with a broad rim folded up on one side, a black coat with a fur collar and long, loose-hanging sleeves. The expressive style of the figures equates to the depiction of the landscape with rocky cliffs and tousled and bare trees.
The depiction of the Crucifixion differs in format but above all in type from earlier and contemporary late gothic painted versions, as it is not part of a cycle but rather an altarpiece. This raises the question of its original function, possibly as small retable, devotional or private image[1].
The painting, formerly in the collection of the Viennese Scottish Foundation, had until 1904 been attributed to Lucas van Leyden, and was identified by Friedrich Dörnhöffer as one of the earliest known works by Lucas Cranach and dated to 1500.[2] It was thus positioned on the pinnacle of Cranach's early work, which since the mid 19th century has gradually been identified as stylistically belonging together and by one artist.[3] It was above all the exhibition in Dresden in 1899, which played a key role in this research.[4]
At the same time it was realized that this stylistically coherent body of work - partially panel paintings of on the one hand Christian subject matter on the other hand portraits of Viennese humanists and partially woodcuts which radically differ from the late gothic works by other contemporary artists and indeed his own later works - was produced during Cranach's stay in Vienna.[5]
Friedländer (1932)[6] was the first to attempt a chronology of the early works created in Vienna. He put the Crucifixion in first position before two woodcuts, which also depict the crucifixion, one of which bears the date 1502. According to Friedländer the drawing in the panel seems more tentative and more undecided than that of the woodcut from 1502 and may be of an earlier date.
Art historical research has attempted to explain Cranach's artistic origin and the style of his early work. To this purpose reference has been made on the one hand to Albrecht Dürer's woodcut cycles from before 1500, especially the Apokalypse[7] and on the other hand to local artists in Franken, Bavaria and Austria, like the old Bavarian painter Jan Polack[8], whose paintings show similarly distorted and horrible head types and the Bamberg Master of the Hersbruck Panels[9]. Works of art from the artist's immediate vicinity were also influential like a stone sculpture of St John the Baptist from 1498 by the otherwise unknown Hans Hart(lin) on the fasade of Kronach's town church[10], Pacher's pupil Marx Reichlich and finally the altarpieces by JörgBreu d. Ä, a contemporary painter from Augsburg, working in Austria[11]
Crucial therefore is, amongst others, the question of where Cranach worked before his stay from 1501/1502 in Vienna. As early as 1899 Flechsig[12] assumed that Cranach must have spent time in Budapest on the grounds of a strangely clothed horseman, which he thought to be Hungarian, in one of the early woodcuts of the crucifixion. The Hungarian looking clothing of the horseman in the Viennese Crucifixion was an additional reason. A document appeared to support this theory. It was assumed that Lucas Cranach may have been related to the Kronacher family who can be traced both in Ofen and Vienna.[13] Johannes Kirchhaimer, 1458 and 61 Dean of the medical faculty at the University of Vienna was with respect to the conflict of 1462/63 between King Friedrich III and his brother the Archduke Albrecht one of Albrecht's leading followers. For this reason he had to leave Viennaduring the reign of Friedrich III and settle in Ofen. There one of his daughters married Albrecht Kronacher, citizen of Ofen, about whom nothing further is known. Albrecht's son, Ulrich Kronacher, returned to Vienna and reclaimed his mother's house; from 1511 he is mentioned as citizen and house owner/landlord in Vienna.
Anzelewsky questions this line of argumentation.[14] It is impossible to draw conclusions from the mere concurrence of names and the eastern European costume in both the crucifixion woodcuts and the crucifixion panel are polish and not Hungarian. Anzelewsky draws a comparison with the clothes of the soldier in the depiction of the battle of Orsza (Warsaw, NationalMuseum) [15] by an unknown artist (recently attributed to Hans Krell[16]), the minatures in the Behaim-Codex, and similar costumes in the Adoration of the Magi (Berlin, Gemäldegalerie) by Hans Süß von Kulmbach and which was probably painted in Krakau.
Anzelewsky concludes that before Cranach went to Vienna he must have been in Krakau between 1498 and 1502. Incidentally, similar to Vienna and later Wittenberg, Krakau was a princely residence with a university, which probably offered the artist good prospects. In contrast with the stagnant mannerist style, which had been passed down in the artisan tradition of the late gothic through generations of workshops and their apprentices, the young Cranach's new individual style was suited/appropriate for the quick blossoming Viennese Humanism around 1500.[17] In fact Cranach was in close relations with the main representatives. He made woodcuts for the printer Johannes Winterburger who had been in Vienna since 1493,[18] for Johannes Fuchsmagen he drew monthly depictions after a Filocalus manuscript from late antiquity[19] and he painted a depiction of St Jerome in the desert in 1502[20], which was formerly thought to have been commissioned by Johannes Cuspinian. A drawing of the sculpture 'The Youth of Magdalensberg' which had been discovered in 1502 indicates, just as the copies of manuscripts from late antiquity, the antiquarian interest s of a learned client.[21] Around 1502 he painted portraits of both the humanist Cuspinian and his wife Anna Putsch,[22] in 1503 he painted a further portrait pair of a humanist (in the past wrongly held to be a portrait of the lawyer Stephan Reuss, several times dean of the faculty of law and 1504 rector of the university.) and his wife in a landscape, which equals in appearance and artistic quality the Cuspinian portrait pair.[23]
It has been accepted to begin the Danube school with Cranach's early work. However this term cannot contribute to the explanation of the stylistic phenomenon and its genesis, as has frequently been critically remarked in more recent times.[24] Indisputable is however the fact that the works of art created in Vienna between 1501 and 1503/04 by Cranach are the first manifestation of this new style, which was a few years later embodied in the work of Altdorfer.[Karl Schütz 2005, translated by Smith, cda]

[1]Heiser 2002, 88ff.
[2] Dörnhöffer 1904, 175
[3] Bierende 2002, 16 and 21
[4] Deutsche Kunst-Ausstellung Dresden 1899, Abteilung Cranach-Ausstellung, K. Woermann, Dresden 1899; Heiser 2002, 29ff.
[5] Mentioned by Schuchardt in 1851.
[6] Friedländer 1932 (1979), 13.
[7] First of all by Friedländer, in: Sitzungsberichte der Kunstgeschichtlichen Gesellschaft zu Berlin 7, 1899, 31-34; Friedländer 1932 (1979), 16; Bierende 2002, 16.
[8] Glaser 1921, 17ff.; Bierende 2002, 33ff.
[9] Stange 1964, 33.
[10] Rosenberg, quoted in [AK Basel 1974] Koepplin 1974, 109
[11] Winzinger, in: [AK St. Florian 1965] Wutzel, 21; Koepplin, in: [AK Basel 1974] Koepplin 1974, 109
[12] E. Flechsig, Die Lösung der Pseudogrünewald-Frage (written for the opening of the Cranach Exhibition in Dresden), Kunstchronik NF 10, 1898/99, 357
[13] Perger 1966, 70ff
[14] Anzelewsky 1999, 125ff.
[15] Exhibiton cat. Thesauri Poloniae. Schatzkammer Polen, Zur Geschichte der polnischen Sammlungen, Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum 2002, Cat. No. III.6
[16] D. Koepplin, Neue Werke von Lukas Cranach und ein altes Bild einer polnischen Schlacht - von Hans Krell ?, Basel 2003
[17]K. Schütz, Lucas Cranach d. Ältere und die Malerei in Wien um 1500, in: [AK Wiener Neustadt 2000] Koppensteiner 2000, 123; Heiser 2002, 56ff
[18] [AK Basel 1974] Koepplin 1974, No. 50
[19] [AK Basel 1974] Koepplin 1974, No. 69
[20] Vienna, Gemäldegalerie des Kunsthistorischen Museums (Friedländer-Rosenberg)1932, No. 4; [AK Wien 1972] Schütz 1972, Cat. No. 2; Koepplin, in: [AK Basel 1974] Koepplin 1974, 121
[21] Koepplin, in: Exhibition cat. Basel 1974, 131
[22] Winterthur, Sammlung Oskar Reinhart, Museum Am Römerholz (Heiser 2002, 57)
[23] Nürnberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseums bzw. Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Gemäldegalerie ([AK Basel 1974] Koepplin 1974, Nr. 88, 89; Kurt Löcher, Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg, Die Gemälde des 16. Jahrhunderts, Stuttgart 1997, 123ff.)
[24] P. Vaisse, Überlegungen zum Thema Donauschule, in: exhibition cat. Altdorfer und der fantastische Realismus in der deutschen Kunst, Paris 1984, 149ff.;Locicnik 1990, 170ff.; Heiser 2002, 34ff.; Bierende 2002, 24ff.
(Dr. Karl Schütz, 01.01.2005)
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 08.04.2013
  • Scientific analysis
  • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology
  • Support
  • Identification of wood species: lime wood (Tilia sp.)
    Examined in 1980
    • analysed by: Peter Klein
    • Date: 31.03.2010
    • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
    • Infrared reflectography
    • X-radiography
    • Stereomicroscopy
    • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - Infrared ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - X-RadiographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - X-RadiographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - ReverseLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - PhotomicrographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - Photomicrographs
    • Support
    • - the panel consists of three vertical planks of varying and slightly oblique widths (plank I: t.: 9.9/b: 7.3, plank II: t: 17/b: 19.3, plank III: 18.2/b: 19.1
      - the planks are butt joined and the joins have been covered on the painted side with fibrous material
      - on the reverse of the panel, the original surface has not been preserved
      - the panel was thinned, mounted on a secondary panel consisting of four component parts and cradled
    • Ground and Imprimatura
    • - pale ground (probably calcium carbonate bound in glue, no analysis carried out)
      - there is a thin, lead white imprimitur [1], which is occasionally visible as a slight streakiness beneath certain areas of paint eg. the torso of the thief on the right (see X-radiography)

      [1] [Heydenreich 1998, 196] [Heydenreich 2007 A, 97]
    • Underdrawing
    • Carried out in a fluid medium with a brush or possibly feather. The underdrawing is visible with the naked eye in areas where the paint application is thin or where it has become more transparent over time.
      Infrared reflectography shows that in the underdrawing Cranach sketched in all the figures and forms. Between the preparatory drawing and the final painted version no significant alterations were made to the composition. The drawing has a free and sketchy character. It can be presumed that Cranach applied the fluid medium to a large extent with a brush (for example in the area of the trees). Some of the lines change direction so abruptly that it is plausible that a feather may have been employed (Eg. the man on the left hand side in the foreground looking up at the cross)[1]. It seems to be a design created by Cranach, which he used as a base and as preparation for the painting process. In the period around 1500 Cranach did not yet run his own workshop and was not attached to such an infrastructure in Vienna as an employee [2]. As was already observed by Ingo Sandner, the identified underdrawing from the period before Wittenberg (1504) is sketchy and to be viewed as a preparatory design [3].

      Pentimenti
      A significant correction for the composition of the painting is visible in the change in the perspective of the horizontal member of the good thief's cross. In the group of men on horseback some corrections were made to the horses' legs: the fore-leg of the white horse, which is barely visible and whose rider wears a red cloak, was originally further to the left. There is no underdrawing beneath the present painted position just as is the case with the only visible hind-leg. It appears as if the artist had problems arranging all the horses and riders in this small area. The castle in the distance was changed slightly: the original drawing of a round tower was changed to a crenelated square one [4], and it appears as if originally more vegetation was planned.
      Christ's loincloth is not included in the underdrawing and was not intended to be so extensive as -according to the underdrawing- the tree to the right of the cross should have risen up higher. Christ is depicted as a naked figure, while the clothes of the thieves are meticulously drawn. It is not to be assumed that Cranach wished to break so radically with conventions and depict Christ without a loincloth, but apparently it was first conceived in the painted version. This is remarkable considering it is the central motif of the crucifixion; and it is executed in a rather unusual manner (without knots or convolutions).

      [1] We came to this conclusion after a comparing the underdrawing with that of the sitting angels in Rest on the Flight into Egypt, Lucas Cranach the Elder 1504, Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Gemäldegalerie; identified by both I. Sandner [Sandner 1998, 54, Fig. 7.2] and A. Siejek [Siejek 2004, 82, Fig. 40] as having been executed with a feather.
      [2] [Heydenreich 1998, 572] [Heiser 2002, 89]
      3] [Sandner 1998, 83]
      [4] [Bierende 2002, 7] : The author suggests that the Salzburg Trompeterschloss is depicted here as in the Schedel'schen Weltchronik. The underdrawing does not support this theory.
    • Paint Layers and Gilding
    • The painted area measures 57 x 44.5 cm. The unpainted edge (varying in width) of the painting and a barbe created by the ground are visible on all sides with the exception of the right hand side, where they are only partially preserved. The unpainted edges and the barbe do not run parallel to the edge of the panel presumably because the painted area was originally at a slight angle to the panel and the panel was later cropped slightly (probable when it was mounted and cradled). This would have been when the barbe and unpainted edge were partially removed from the upper right hand edge. Along the edges,above all left and right there are remains of an early (original?) black coating (see also IRR image). The edge of the painting was later reworked (retouched).
      Various areas of the painting present a wide spectrum of different methods of paint application and thickness. In some areas the paint has been applied in a number of layers. Sometimes the final layer is impasto with a localized underpainting as with the trees and drapery, whereas in other areas the paint was applied thinly and distributed with a brush, partially wet-in-wet, as with the landscape in the fore- and background and the clouds. In many areas the slightly toned ground or imprimatura was incorporated into the final image e.g. the part of the tree trunk without bark (central cross).
      In many areas there is local underpainting, generally brown or grey tones e.g. the Virgin's robe. The blue paint layer (presumably azurite with the addition of lead white to model the folds) is above a brown underlayer, which has been partially left unpainted along the folds. The foreground has an initial warm brown layer, while the trees on the horizon are dark grey and the horses are partially underpainted with light grey.
      A great variety of approaches can be observed in the application of paint in red areas. Cranach employed different paint layer combinations to achieve a variety of hues and shades. In the red garments of the figures around the Virgin the red paint is applied over a lighter layer containing lead white. In other areas the red paint appears to lie directly over the ground, as in the red arm of the Virgin or the garment of the woman behind her. The areas of shadow in the draperies are achieved with a red lake glaze and appear to have an initial black layer and/or to be modulated with black paint in the darkest areas. Other red areas, such as the cover of the brown horse have a continuous black underlayer, followed by a red paint layer with white highlights.
      Cranach executed the flesh paint employing an initial localized light paint layer. This layer was frequently applied on a larger area beyond the exact outline of a face, as is clearly visible in the X-radiograph, e.g. in the figure of St. John where the free brushstrokes feather out above his forehead. Heydenreich describes the differentiation between faces -often within one painting- with the aid of varying painting techniques [1]. Variation in the deployment of lead white and brushwork can be observed in the Crucifixion. The highlights in the faces of the women appear to be softer and flatter in their modulation, whereas in the male faces they are more prominent, with visible brushstrokes and appear to have been applied with a pointed brush.
      Depending on the desired shade and hue the flesh paint is modelled with either brown or reddish glazes, that of the women is general kept in a cooler tonality and accordingly contains more lead white. Brown glazes were employed for the male faces apart from the central figurative group. The facial form was achieved with single brushstrokes, not blended, for the highlights. In some of the faces blue pigments were added to the paint to indicate beards.
      The richness of detail in the figures is remarkable despite their small scale. The women's tears are painted with a very fine paintbrush as a gentle blue stream. The oppressively realistic depiction of the crucified Christ's lips is also in blue paint. The traces of blood on Christ's body were applied to the dry flesh paint whereas the bluish wound is painted wet-in-wet. The blue pigment employed is relatively coarsely ground and irregular in size. Isolated green pigment particles are also present. To depict the metallic shine of the nails highlights in blue paint were employed. Powdered gold was employed for the saints' haloes and the decoration of the robes and tack.
      The foliage was initially painted with a greenish or brown base tone. A more detailed formation of the leaves and branches followed -partially wet-in-wet - in numerous layers of various green tones and yellowish-green or ochre impasto highlights, which was completed with a now brown glaze [2]. In some areas, like on the right hand side, this lower layer has in its consistency the character of a medium rich glaze and appears to have been spread out with a feathery hairbrush.

      The figures were laid in at an early stage of the painting process. While the figurative groups to the left and right of the central cross are overlapped by the foreground paint (with the exception of e.g. the Virgin's blue robe), some areas of the foreground have also been left uncovered, leaving the brown underpaint visible, e.g. between the front hooves of the horse on the right.
      The crucified figures also appear to have been laid in at an early stage, before the sky was painted. Their contours are partially cropped by the sky paint and partially lie side by side without actually bordering on each other. The sky seems to have been painted after the figures. However the crucified figures, the crosses and the large cloud formation were held in reserve, which is clearly visible in the X-radiograph. Here the observation made after infrared examination regarding Christ's loincloth is confirmed. It was not held in reserve as it acquired its shape during the painting process. The crosses were painted during a later stage.
      The clouds are essentially held in reserve in the blue sky paint with only a very thin light and dark scumble employed over the light ground, partially blended wet-in-wet, to modulate their structure. Only a few wisps of cloud are applied without reserve directly over the painted sky. Only the sides of the panel with the inscription INRI were indicated. The letters were applied directly on top of the clouds.
      Painted areas are juxtaposed in such a way that frequently tiny gaps occur between them where the only slightly covered ground or imprimatura has remained visible. This can be seen with the naked eye but is more clearly evident in the X-radiograph. There are however tiny overlapping painted areas where the artist painted beyond an area which had been held in reserve or where a detail was added later.
      Most of the pentimenti occur where the painted version deviates from the underdrawing, as was already described in the evaluation of the infrared reflectogram. The perspective was altered to the left of the cross and numerous alterations were made to the horses' legs. Corrections within the painting process are hardly present. One exception is where the shaft of the good thief's cross was widened. The process is interesting here: Cranach applied a dark stroke beneath the light paint employed to correct the width. This appears unusual in such a light relatively transparent area and was possible carried out to cover the impasto paint application of the foliage (see infrared reflectograph and X-radiograph).
      [1] 'Cranach differentiated faces within a painting by different pigment combinations, varying layer sequences and changing brushwork'. [Heydenreich 2007 A, 195]
      [2] Some of the areas ,which appear brown today may originally have been green. Verdigris, an allkaline copper acetate, which has been frequently identified in Cranach paintings [Heydenreich 2007 A, 148] can turn brown with age.
      [Translation, Smith, cda 2014]
      • written by: Monika Strolz
      • Date: 31.03.2010
      • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
      • X-radiography
      • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - X-RadiographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - X-Radiographs
      • The x-radiograph shows that the panel is constructed of three planks and that the joins are covered on the painted side of the panel with a fibrous material. This has led to localised unevenness in the paint layer, which has resulted in increased abrasion of the raised areas [1] - in the X-radiograph this is particularly evident in the area to the right of Christ's cross. Wedge shaped wooden inserts are visible in the upper left and lower right hand corners. They probably date to the restoration carried out in 1934 and have a ground or fill containing lead white.
        Streaky brushstrokes can be observed in some areas, which probably result from the lead white content of an imprimatura e.g. in the foreground or in the torso of the thief on the right hand side.
        Vertical, dark bands are visible in the right hand plank that may be plane marks.
        The use of reserves (for the two crosses on the left and the clouds) and the slight gaps between adjoining areas of paint are clearly visible in the sky and along the contours of Christ and the thief to the left.The contours of the lance to the left of Christ were incised into the sky paint.
        Prominent brushstrokes in the areas where an initial light paint layer for flesh paint or other light colour was applied indicate that the artist only conformed vaguely to the intended forms. Like in the underpainting of the faces, described above, this is also visible in the right hand of the thief on the left as well as in the white horse
        In addition to the above mentioned abrasion and small losses in the areas where the fibrous material was applied, there are further tiny paint losses in the dark folds of the red robes. The right foot of the thief on the right hand side is rather damaged, exhibiting numerous tiny losses. Three of the largest losses to the right of the Crucified Christ are filled with a material containing lead white.

        [1] This fibrous material can become visible on the surface when it is present in areas that have been thinly painted, particularly if the animal skin glue applied as an adhesive has been caused to swell [Most 2009, 89].

        [see 31.03.2010 (Monika Strolz) Technical Examination]
        [Translation, Smith, cda 2014]
        • written by: Monika Strolz
        • Date: 08.02.2008
        • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
        • Infrared reflectography
        • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna - The Crucifixion of Christ, the so-called Schottenkreuzigung - Infrared Images
        • Carried out in a fluid medium with a brush or possibly feather. The underdrawing is visible with the naked eye in areas where the paint application is thin or where it has become more transparent over time.
          Infrared reflectography shows that in the underdrawing Cranach sketched in all the figures and forms. Between the preparatory drawing and the final painted version no significant alterations were made to the composition. The drawing has a free and sketchy character. It can be presumed that Cranach applied the fluid medium to a large extent with a brush (for example in the area of the trees). Some of the lines change direction so abruptly that it is plausible that a feather may have been employed (Eg. the man on the left hand side in the foreground looking up at the cross)[1]. It seems to be a design created by Cranach, which he used as a base and as preparation for the painting process. In the period around 1500 Cranach did not yet run his own workshop and was not attached to such an infrastructure in Vienna as an employee [2]. As was already observed by Ingo Sandner, the identified underdrawing from the period before Wittenberg (1504) is sketchy and to be viewed as a preparatory design [3].

          Pentimenti
          A significant correction for the composition of the painting is visible in the change in the perspective of the horizontal member of the good thief's cross. In the group of men on horseback some corrections were made to the horses' legs: the fore-leg of the white horse, which is barely visible and whose rider wears a red cloak, was originally further to the left. There is no underdrawing beneath the present painted position just as is the case with the only visible hind-leg. It appears as if the artist had problems arranging all the horses and riders in this small area. The castle in the distance was changed slightly: the original drawing of a round tower was changed to a crenelated square one [4], and it appears as if originally more vegetation was planned.
          Christ's loincloth is not included in the underdrawing and was not intended to be so extensive as -according to the underdrawing- the tree to the right of the cross should have risen up higher. Christ is depicted as a naked figure, while the clothes of the thieves are meticulously drawn. It is not to be assumed that Cranach wished to break so radically with conventions and depict Christ without a loincloth, but apparently it was first conceived in the painted version. This is remarkable considering it is the central motif of the crucifixion; and it is executed in a rather unusual manner (without knots or convolutions).

          [1] We came to this conclusion after a comparing the underdrawing with that of the sitting angels in Rest on the Flight into Egypt, Lucas Cranach the Elder 1504, Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Gemäldegalerie; identified by both I. Sandner [Sandner 1998, 54, Fig. 7.2] and A. Siejek [Siejek 2004, 82, Fig. 40] as having been executed with a feather.
          [2] [Heydenreich 1998, 572] [Heiser 2002, 89]
          3] [Sandner 1998, 83]
          [4] [Bierende 2002, 7] : The author suggests that the Salzburg Trompeterschloss is depicted here as in the Schedel'schen Weltchronik. The underdrawing does not support this theory.

          [Translation, Smith, cda 2013]
          • photographed by: Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
          Condition Reports:
          • Date: 31.03.2010
          • Support: An old black and white photograph of the front of the painting from 1918 (framed) shows that both joins in the panel were clearly visible. The join between planks I and II was slightly open in the area of the good thief and there were small losses in the paint layer in this area. In the lower left hand corner there are tiny losses, possibly along a split. It is impossible to tell from this photograph whether or not the reverse of the panel has already been treated. The present cradling dates to 1934 and was carried out in the restoration studio after the painting was purchased. The condition of the painting before this intervention is very scantily documented. Some splits in the panel are mentioned. It is possible that the panel had already been thinned and mounted on an auxiliary support at this stage: an x-radiograph from 1934 shows the painting before it was cradled. However joins are visible along the lower edge, which correspond to the width of the planks of the auxiliary support. Either way, the entry from 1934 in the restoration files only mentions the cradle, but not the auxiliary support . The c. 10 cm long wedge shaped wooden inserts in the upper left and the lower right corners were probably carried out during this campaign. Despite the complicated structure of its support the panel is in a relatively stable condition. A number of small, older hairline cracks are visible along the top and bottom edge of the panel and there is some inactive woodworm present along the top right edge. Paint Layers: The paint layers are overall in a stable condition, but exhibit tenting in the darker areas of shadow in the red garments. In this area there are numerous tiny, old losses e.g. the garment of the central horse rider with the red cloak or the robes of St John and Mary Magdalene. In the area where fibrous material was applied to the panel the paint layers are abraded and there are tiny losses, particularly in the sky either side of the right hand join. A very defined craquelure can be observed here too. There are three larger losses to the right of Christ's cross. In the rest of the painted area there are isolated small, but old losses and some lead white fill used for wormholes. Numerous tiny losses amount to a rather large area of damage in the right foot of the left thief. In addition to the relatively deep abrasion in the sky to the right of Christ there is minimal paint surface abrasion in many areas e.g. the wounds and blood stains of the crucified figures or the tree to the left. Examination under the stereomicroscope revealed that many of the glazes have suffered from abrasion e.g. in the faces. On the whole the contours have lost a degree of sharpness due to the abrasion. Old photographs show that there are numerous whitish retouches in the sky (which have been toned in). Varnish: The natural resin varnish has yellowed and become slightly greyish. Above all in the sky there are disturbing patches. In the coat of the horse rider to the right there is a circular area in which the varnish appears to be less dull/cloudy. There is a glossy drip on the soldier's dark horse. Examination under UV light showed that the circular area in the coat of the rider on the right appeared to be darker than the surrounding area. The varnish layer appears to have been thinned here during a cleaning test. [Translation, Smith, cda 2013]
          • written by: Monika Strolz
          History of Restoration:
          • Date: 1934
          • The entry in the restoration files from 1934 describes briefly the condition of the painting, the presence of splits is mentioned as is the fact that the painting has already been cleaned and is partially abraded. The treatment carried out consisted of gluing the splits, applying a cradle to the reverse, cleaning, filling, retouching and varnishing. [Monika Strolz, 2010] [Source: Restoration files, volume 1, entry no. 915] 'Restoration Studio [...] Mr. Restorer Isepp cleaned and restored the newly acquired Cranach.' [Source: Gal. Akt Z.1/1936, Annual Report, 5] [Translation, Smith, cda 2013]
          • conservation treatment by: Isepp