Cranach - The Converted Centurion under the Cross
The Converted Centurion under the Cross
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Staatsgalerie im Schloss Johannisburg, Aschaffenburg
16.07.2019 - 14:17
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Painting:
CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_BStGS_13255
Persistent Linkhttp://lucascranach.org/DE_BStGS_13255
FR (1978) No.FR378
Title:
The Converted Centurion under the Cross[CDA 2011]
Attribution:
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, revised 2011]
Lucas Cranach the Younger [Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, revised 2011]
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Dating:
1539[dated]
Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerBayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen
RepositoryStaatsgalerie im Schloss Johannisburg, Aschaffenburg
LocationAschaffenburg
Dimensions:
Dimensions of support: 51.5 x 34 cm [Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, revised 2011]
Support:
Painting on beech wood (probably), transferred to an oak panel (therefore dendrochronology not possible) [Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, revised 2011]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia bottom right: Monogramme 'LC' (linked) and dated '1539' [Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, revised 2010]
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
- at the top edge: 'VATER IN DEIN HENT BEFIL ICH MEIN GAIST' - under Christ's cross: 'WARLICH DISER MENSCH IST GOTES SON GEWEST'
Description:
Christ is depicted frontally on the cross. The centurion sits on a white horse beneath the cross and looks up. The thieves are shown on the left and right edges of the panel. All the other biblical characters have been omitted from this composition.
Provenance:
- in the collection of Fürst Lippe, Bückeburg (private collection, Germany)[1]
- 1929, Rosenbaum, Frankfurt (private collection, Germany)[1]
- Theodor Fischer, Lucerne (part of an exchange for confiscated painting from the ERR), 03.07.1941 (art market, Switzerland)[1]
- whereabouts after 1945: Bavaria, Bay. Staatsgemäldesammlungen: 13255 [1]
- 1961 transferred from State property

[1]Göring Collection: DHM database:
http://www.dhm.de/datenbank/goering/dhm_goering.php?seite=5&fld_0=RMG00494

[Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, revised 2011]
Exhibitions:
Rome 2010, No. 44
Munich 2011, No. 20
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Sitt, Monsees 2015316
Exhib. Cat. Munich 2011102-103, 144Nos. 20, 13255Fig. p. 103
Exhib. Cat. Rome 2010266 - 268No. 44Pl. p. 267
Ermischer 200732Fig. 22
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979146No. 378Fig. 378
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
The depiction of 'The Converted Centurion under the Cross' is a motif from Reformation iconography. Two unbaptised figures are blessed by their faith alone: the centurion under the cross and the thief who is turned towards Christ. The didactic purpose of the image is emphasized by the omission of of all other figures mentioned in association with this scene in the Bible and by the inscription.
[Exhib. Cat. Munich 2011, 102, No. 20]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 01.06.2012
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Infrared reflectography
  • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Staatsgalerie im Schloss Johannisburg, Aschaffenburg - The Converted Centurion under the Cross - Infrared Images
  • Underdrawing
  • DESCRIPTION
    - An underdrawing is not readily visible; occasionally (particularly in the region of the horse) isolated lines are visible that may belong to an economic underdrawing
    INTERPRETATION
    Attribution:
    - not possible
    [Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2016]
    • photographed by: Gunnar Heydenreich
    • photographed by: Ingo Sandner
    • Date:
    • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
    • X-radiography
    • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Staatsgalerie im Schloss Johannisburg, Aschaffenburg - The Converted Centurion under the Cross - X-Radiographs