Cranach - Altarpiece of St Heinrich [central panel]: Cruxifiction [recto]; Lamentation [verso]
Altarpiece of St Heinrich [central panel]: Cruxifiction [recto]; Lamentation [verso]
Lucas Cranach the Elder and Workshop
Domstift Merseburg
25.02.2020 - 21:46
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Painting:
CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_DSM_NONE-DSM001a
Persistent Linkhttp://lucascranach.org/DE_DSM_NONE-DSM001a
FR (1978) No.FR-none
Title:
Altarpiece of St Heinrich [central panel]: Cruxifiction [recto]; Lamentation [verso][cda 2015]
Attribution:
Lucas Cranach the Elder and Workshop[Cat. Merseburg 2006, 49-55]
Dating:
1537[Vereinigte Domstifter, revised 2014]
1535 - 1537[Cat. Merseburg 2006, 49-55]
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Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerVereinigte Domstifter zu Merseburg und Naumburg und des Kollegiatstifts Zeitz
RepositoryDomstift Merseburg
LocationMerseburg
Dimensions:
Dimensions of support: 171.5 x 143 cm [Cat. Merseburg 2006, 49-55]
Support:
Painting on wood [cda 2015]
Signature / Date:
none [cda 2015]
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
Original Inscriptions:
- on the cross: 'INRI' [cda 2015]
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
none [cda 2015]
Description:
Recto: multi-figured depiction of the crucifixion with a group of henchmen gambling for Christ's robes at the right in the foreground. Verso: Christ's corpse occupies the entire foreground of the composition. St John supports his torso, while the mourning figures of the two Marys flank Christ. Nikodemus and Joseph of Arimathea are shown standing and conversing with each other at the right edge of the painting. [Görres, cda 2015]
Provenance:
- part of the St Heinrich Altarpiece in the chapel of St Michael in Merseburg cathedral and belonging to the monument dedicated to the donor Bishop Sigismund von Lindenau
[Cat. Merseburg 2006, 49-55]
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Sandner 2015 A
Exhib. Cat. Merseburg 2015
Ramm 2015158-161Figs.18, 19
Cat. Merseburg 200649-55II.1
Deckert 193532
Flechsig 1900 A131
Schuchardt 1851 C92-93349
Interpretation / History / Discussion:

A copy of the contract for the Heinrich Altarpiece that went to ,meyster Lucas Mahlern’ has been found. In the contract the iconography of the panels as well as a lost predella are described in great detail and should be assembled in the following order: Interior: St John the Baptist – The Crucifixion – Emperor Henry II.

Exterior: Maximus – Pope Sixtus – Lawrence – Romanus

Reverse: St John the Evangelist – The Lamentation – Bartholomew

Predella: Christ Blessing

In accordance with this new documented evidence the panels have been rearranged with one exception. The arrangement in the contract was evidently changed during the execution as in the constellation described Maximus and Bartholomew would both be facing outwards. This wing panel has been turned around.

[Ramm 2015, 159-161]

The images in the cda show the winged altarpiece before the discovery of this document and the associated rearrangement.
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 01.03.2015
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Infrared reflectography
  • Lucas Cranach the Elder and Workshop - Domstift Merseburg - Altarpiece of St Heinrich [central panel]: Cruxifiction [recto]; Lamentation [verso] - Infrared ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder and Workshop - Domstift Merseburg - Altarpiece of St Heinrich [central panel]: Cruxifiction [recto]; Lamentation [verso] - Infrared Images
  • Underdrawing
  • Crucifixion [Recto]

    DESCRIPTION

    Tools/Material:
    - fluid black medium, brush

    Type/Ductus:
    - relatively detailed and freehand underdrawing with washes
    - thin to broader lines; finer more delicate lines employed for the facial features and details
    - very occasional hatching-strokes

    Function:
    - relatively binding for the final painted version; lines delineate contours and describe the essential details and facial features; very occasional representation of volume with hatching-strokes

    Deviations:
    - minor alterations made during the painting process to clearly define forms; small changes (the weapons in the background; the faces)


    INTERPRETATION

    Attribution:
    - Lucas Cranach the Elder and workshop


    The Lamentation of Christ [Verso]


    DESCRIPTION

    Tools/Material:
    - fluid black medium, brush

    Type/Ductus:
    - relatively detailed and freehand underdrawing in numerous phases (washes)
    - thin to very broad lines; finer more delicate lines employed for the facial features (often short)
    - occasional hatching-strokes

    Function:
    - relatively binding for the final painted version; lines delineate contours and define essential details and facial features; occasional representation of volume with hatching-strokes


    Deviations:
    - minor alterations made during the painting process to clearly define forms; small changes


    INTERPRETATION

    Attribution:
    - an assistant to Lucas Cranach the Elder

    Comments:
    - illegible handwritten words at the bottom left

    [Sandner, Smith-Contini, Heydenreich, cda 2015]
    • photographed by: Gunnar Heydenreich
    • photographed by: Ingo Sandner