Cranach - The Mouth of Truth
The Mouth of Truth
Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder
Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg
31.05.2020 - 11:22
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Painting:
CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_BStGS-GNMN_Gm1108
Persistent Linkhttp://lucascranach.org/DE_BStGS-GNMN_Gm1108
FR (1978) No.FR278
Title:
The Mouth of Truth[CDA 2011]
Attribution:
Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder [Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 151] [Lutze, Wiegand, Cat. Nuremberg 1936/1937, 44, Fig. 376][1] [1][Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 152]
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, No. 278 and Fig.][1] [1][Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 152]
Hans Cranach [Flechsig 1900 A, 274, No. 62][1] [1][Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 152]
Lucas Cranach the Younger 'Lucas Cranach the Younger (and the Elder ?)' [Koepplin, Exhib. Cat. Basel 1974, 580][1] [1][Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 152]
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Dating:
1534[dated]
Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerBayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen
RepositoryGermanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg
LocationNuremberg
Dimensions:
Dimensions of support: 75.5 x 117.4 cm [Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 151]
Support:
Painting on beech wood (Fagus sylvatica) [Klein, Report 2013] [Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 151]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia bottom left: winged serpent with elevated wings, facing right and dated '1534' [CDA 2011]
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
Reverse of the panel: paper label: BStGS Inv. 1855, Nr. 1461 1905, Nr. 1138 Reverse of the frame: paper label from the Cranach exhibition, Berlin 1937, Nr. 127, and Basel 1974, Nr. 480 [Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 151]
Description:
The painting illustrates one of the 'Weiberlist' which became popular during the Middle Ages. A woman accused of adultery places her hand in the lion's mouth. She professes to have lain only in the arms of her husband and the jester, and because she is telling the truth the lion does not bite. The jester is really her lover, but he is not taken seriously by the witnesses.The scene alludes to the roman stone mask 'bocca della verita', which according to the legend bit the hand off liers. [Display label, GNM 2010]
Provenance:
Loan from the BStGS, Inv. No. 1461

- from Mannheim palace, Picture Gallery, Inv. 1799, No. 570
- BStGS Inv. 1822, No. 1325; 1905, No. 1138
- Schleissheim Palace Picture Gallery)
- 1920 given on permanent loan to the GNM

[Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 152]
Exhibitions:
Dresden 1899, No. 62
Basel 1974, 480
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Cat. Coburg 201898, fn. 8under no. 16Fig. 3
Heydenreich 2007 A45
Heydenreich 1998 A184
Cat. Nuremberg 1997151-153
Klein 1994 A195Tab. 1
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979125No. 278Fig. 278
Strieder 1975170
Exhib. Cat. Basel 1974580, 582No. 480
Osten 1973203
Exhib. Cat. Kronach 1953No. 20
Hanckel 1952187-188
Exhib. Cat. Cappenberg 1951No. 20
Lilienfein 194283
Exhib. Cat. Berlin 1937No. 98Plate 80
Cat. Nuremberg 1936/193744Fig. 376
Friedländer, Rosenberg 193271229
Cat. Schleissheim 191463No. 3186
Heyck 1908112-113Fig. 75
Cat. Schleissheim 1905No. 186
Flechsig 1900 A274No. 62
Exhib. Cat. Dresden 1899No. 62
Cat. Schleissheim 1885No. 190
Cat. Schleissheim 1875No. 179 ?
Schuchardt 1871193-19582
Heller 185496
Kugler 185261
Schuchardt 1851 C111390
Cat. Schleissheim 1831No. 320
Heller 1821222
Cat. Schleissheim 1810No. 1656
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 08.04.2013
  • Scientific analysis
  • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology
  • Support
  • Identification of wood species: beech wood (Fagus sp.)
    • analysed by: Peter Klein
    • Date: 01.09.2010
    • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
    • Infrared reflectography
    • Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder - Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg - The Mouth of Truth - Infrared Images
    • Underdrawing
    • DESCRIPTION

      Tools/Materials:
      - fluid black pigmented medium, brush

      Type/Ductus:
      - underdrawing barely visible
      - thin lines

      Function:
      - binding for the final painted version; line delineate contours and describe the essential features within the forms; no representation of volume

      Deviations:
      - no alterations visible

      INTERPRETATION

      Attribution:
      - not possible

      [Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2012]
      • photographed by: Gunnar Heydenreich
      • photographed by: Ingo Sandner
      • Date: 1997
      • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
      • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology
      • Infrared reflectography
      • Stereomicroscopy
      • Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder - Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg - The Mouth of Truth - Detail ImagesWorkshop Lucas Cranach the Elder - Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg - The Mouth of Truth - Detail ImagesWorkshop Lucas Cranach the Elder - Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg - The Mouth of Truth - Detail ImagesWorkshop Lucas Cranach the Elder - Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg - The Mouth of Truth - Detail ImagesWorkshop Lucas Cranach the Elder - Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg - The Mouth of Truth - Detail ImagesWorkshop Lucas Cranach the Elder - Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg - The Mouth of Truth - Detail ImagesWorkshop Lucas Cranach the Elder - Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg - The Mouth of Truth - Detail ImagesWorkshop Lucas Cranach the Elder - Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg - The Mouth of Truth - Detail Images
      • Support
      • - beech wood (Fagus sylvatica)
        - 4 planks, glued horizonally
        - widths from the top: left 27.1, 28.1, 36.8, 25.4 cm, right 26.2, 29.0, 36.5, 25.6 cm
        - thinned to a thickness of 0.2-0.4 cm
        - the knots were left in the wood
        - right join covered with tow
        - there is a 7 x 7 cm canvas application at the bottom on the right
      • Ground and Imprimatura
      • - a ground was applied to the panel and it was painted before it was framed
      • Underdrawing
      • - the contours and the lines within the forms are only barely visible
      • Paint Layers and Gilding
      • - the binding medium has cause the paint to wrinkle in the light flesh paint
        - a light red, streeky glaze was applied to the green dress of the adulteress lending it a reddish appearance
        - the dark green dress of the woman on the far right is almost black
        - although Schuchardt (1851) challenged the authenticity of the signature and date they exhibit the same ageing characteristics as the paint layers beneath

        [Bartl, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 152]
          Condition Reports:
          • Date: 1997
          • Support: - the panel has been thinned to a thickness of 0.2-0.4 cm - there is a long, horizontal cut extending from the head of the adulteress to the lion - old wood worm damage -10 dowels of different sizes have been inserted at varying intervals into the panel along the top edge and 13 along the bottom. These are evidently a relique from a former frame fitting. - numerous splits suggest that the panel was very warped before it was cradled - the panel has been trimmed slightly along all four sides Reverse: - cradled before 1936 - splits in the areas between the cradle have been reinforced with wooden blocks Painted surface: - the madder lake glaze on the scholar's overcoat has been repainted - the grey rectangle on the text block may be dirty fill material employed to level the uneven surface along the split - the black boarders are a later addition - the right side of the face of the adulteress has been cleaned to a greater degree than the left side - there are fills and extensive retouching along the numerous splits, the joins and above all in the dark men's faces, which were overcleaned - old retouching with hand ground paint, which probably dates from between 1851 and 1900 [Bartl, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 152]
            History of Restoration:
            • Date: 1949
            • as yet no information [Bartl, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 152]