Cranach - Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon
Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon
Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder
Historisches Museum der Stadt Regensburg
25.05.2020 - 16:42
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CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_BStGS-HMR_713B
Persistent Link
FR (1978) No.FR314-315B
Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon[CDA 2011]
Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder [Historisches Museum der Stadt Regensburg, revised 2011]
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, revised 2011] [Germann-Bauer, Exhib. Cat. Regensburg 1992, 249]
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Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerBayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen
RepositoryHistorisches Museum der Stadt Regensburg
Dimensions of support: 19.1 x 15.3 cm [Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, revised 2011]
Painting on beech wood [Klein, Report 2013] [Historisches Museum der Stadt Regensburg, revised 2011] [Exhib. Cat. Munich 2011, 132, No. 713B]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia above the left shoulder: winged serpent with elevated wings, dated above '1532' [Historisches Museum der Stadt Regensburg, revised 2011]
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
Reverse of the panel: - top, centre: Small label: '2434-a' - bottom, centre: Old inventory label, written on this in black ink: '1215' - centre, right: New inventory label: '713' and 'neu 1135b/ L. Cranach d. Ä./ Melanchthon'. [Historisches Museum der Stadt Regensburg, revised 2011]
A half-length portrait of Philipp Melanchthon, one of a pair, signed and dated. The sitter, like Luther in the pendant portrait, is depicted wearing an academic gown against a blue background, but unlike his counterpart he faces left. It complies with the Melanchthon portrait type from the early 1530s. [Karin Geiger, Historisches Museum der Stadt Regensburg, 2011]
Loan from the Bayerischen Staatsgemäldesammlungen

- donated to the Neupfarrkirche in Regensburg in 1706 by von Steininger, councillor and director of the Almry.
- in 1810 given as a gift to the King by the city council together with the portrait of Luther

[Germann-Bauer, Exhib. Cat. Regensburg 1992, 249]
Regensburg 1992, No. 29
Munich 2011, No. 7
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Exhib. Cat. Munich 201160-61, 132Nos. 7, 713BFig. p. 61
Schuchardt 2004
Exhib. Cat. Regensburg 1992249No. 29
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979131No. 315B
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 24.11.2013
  • Scientific analysis
  • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology
  • Support
  • Identification of wood species: beech wood
    Youngest annual ring: 1522
    • analysed by: Peter Klein
    • Date: 2011
    • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
    • Infrared reflectography
    • Stereomicroscopy
    • Support
    • - Hardwood, beech wood (rays)
      - 3mm thick

      - brownish black coating (rebate held in reserve)
    • Ground and Imprimatura

    • Ground:
      - thin, light, almost white chalk ground, very smooth and fine.
      - applied to the panel and extending partially over the edges
      - areas held in reserve with circular indentations in the centre at the edge of the panel and on the corners (brackets).

      Incised lines:
      - deep incised lines in the ground running c. 5-7 mm parallel to edge mark the size of the panel
    • Framing
    • - new (BStGS)
      [Annette Kurella, Historisches Museum der Stadt Regensburg, revised 2011]
    • Underdrawing
    • The following types of underdrawing can be discerned:
      a) black pounced dots in the face
      b) soft, black lines (pen?), link the ponced dots
      c) black lines applied with a brush: contours

      - Hands (thumb) and shoulder
    • Paint Layers and Gilding
    • Paint layers:
      - mixed media
      - the paint application commenced with a monochrome pink undermodelling in the face, an ochre base tone for the hair and blue paint dabbed on for the background. Subsequently the grey base tone of the academic gown , the shadows, the contours and the modulating glazes on the lips, hair etc. were applied. The blue and black base tones extend beyond the incised lines. The paint application is thin, the brushwork is barely perceptible. The grey/black paint exhibits single rather coarse pigment particles otherwise the paint application is smooth and homogenous.

      - thin, glossy and slightly yellowed
      - under the rebate of the frame the varnish lies directly over the ground and is extremely yellow.
      • written by: Annette Kurella