Cranach - Lucretia
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Staatsgalerie in der Neuen Residenz Bamberg
28.09.2020 - 23:15
Choose objects with for comparison
CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_BStGS_1418
Persistent Link
FR (1978) No.FR240F
Lucretia[CDA 2011]
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, revised 2011]
1525 - 1550[Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, revised 2010]
Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerBayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen
RepositoryStaatsgalerie in der Neuen Residenz Bamberg
Dimensions of support: 87.6 x 58.3 cm [Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, revised 2011]
Painting on lime wood (Tilia sp.) [Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, revised 2011]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia bottom left: winged serpent [Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, revised 2010]
The painting depicts Lucretia as a half-length, standing nude figure with an overcoat. Lucretia is shown inclined slightly to the left and her head follows this direction, whereas her gaze is directed towards the viewer. Lucretia's right underarm is raised and in her hand she holds a dagger. The narrow dagger is positioned between her breasts. In her left, lowered hand she holds a fur-trimmed overcoat, which appears to slide from her shoulders. In addition Lucretia wears a transparent undergarment with wide sleeves. Her jewellery consists of a neckband richly decorated with pearls and a chain. Her hair is pinned up, but there are a few loose strands. The background is dark. According to the legend Lucretia lived in the 6th century BC and was the beautiful and virtuous wife of the roman Collatinus. The roman King's son - Sextus Tarquinius fell in love with her. During a stay in her house Sextus threatened to kill her and shame her honour if she did not surrender to him. After the rape Lucretia had her father and husband vow vengeance and then she stabbed herself. The event led to an uprising in which the royal family was overthrown and the Roman Empire became a Republic. Depictions of Lucretia who was seen as the epitomy of female virtue, chastity, fidelity and honour enjoyed great popularity, particularly in the 16th century. [Literature: Bierende 2002, Follak 2002, Livius 1909]
- in the collection of the painter Johann Conrad Freytag, Zürich
- 1816 acquired by King Max I. Joseph for 600 fl
- 1939 on loan in the appartment of the Reichsaußenminister Ribbentrop (Foreign Minister)
- returned to the BStGS via the CCP (Munich No. 46431) after being reported stolen
- Staatsgalerie Bamberg
[Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, revised 2010]

-1930 in the catalogue of the Alte Pinakothek, Munich
[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 118, No. 240F]
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Exhib. Cat. Munich 2011147No. 1418
Bierende 2002
Follak 2002
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979118No. 240F
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
In the inventory of the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlung this painting (No. 1418) is annotated with FR240F. However the specifications of FR240F are more closely related to another painting of Lucretia in the BStGS (No. 13258). The facts have yet to be clarified.
[Herrschaft, CDA 2011]
There is another depiction of Lucretia in the BStGS (Inv. No. 13256) painted by a pupil of Cranach, which with regards to the clothing and the pose appears to rely on the same prototype. The present painting of Lucretia, which is attributed to Lucas Cranach the Elder, may have been created before that of his pupil.
This Lucretia type, where she holds the dagger in her right hand raised to her shoulder and a coat or overcoat in her left hand, was frequently repeated by Cranach as is documented by at least five other similar versions.
[Herrschaft, CDA 2011]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 01.06.2010
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Infrared reflectography
  • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Staatsgalerie in der Neuen Residenz Bamberg - Lucretia - Infrared Images
  • Underdrawing

    - dry drawing material (possibly for the initial design); in combination with a fluid, black medium and brush

    - freehand underdrawing
    - delicate, fine to thin lines

    - relatively binding for the final painted version; lines delineate contours and describe essential details and the facial features; no representation of volume

    - minor alterations made during the painting process to clearly define form; changes (e.g. shift in the direction of Lucretia's gaze)


    - Lucas Cranach the Younger? or workshop

    [Smith, Sandner, Heydeneich, cda 2013]
    • photographed by: BStGS Doerner Institut