Cranach - Altarpiece of St Heinrich [left moveable wing]: St Lawrence [recto]; St Heinrich [verso]
Altarpiece of St Heinrich [left moveable wing]: St Lawrence [recto]; St Heinrich [verso]
Lucas Cranach the Elder and Workshop
Domstift Merseburg
28.09.2020 - 23:45
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Painting:
CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_DSM_NONE-DSM001c
Persistent Linkhttp://lucascranach.org/DE_DSM_NONE-DSM001c
FR (1978) No.FR-none
Title:
Altarpiece of St Heinrich [left moveable wing]: St Lawrence [recto]; St Heinrich [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: 167.5 x 67 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 halo: 'S: LAVRENTIVS' [recto] - on the halo: 'S: KAISER HEINRICH' [verso] [cda 2015]
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
none [cda 2015]
Description:
Recto: full-length depiction of St Lawrence facing left against a dark background. He holds the metal grid of his martyrdom in his right hand and peruses the open book held in his left hand. Verso: full-length depiction of the canonised Emperor Henry II against a dark background. Henry stands frontally facing the viewer, wearing the attire of an emperor and holding a model of a church in his left hand. [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
Exhib. Cat. Merseburg 2015
Sandner 2015 A
Ramm 2015159-163Figs.21, 26
Cat. Merseburg 200649-55II.1
Schade 200313, 14Fig. 4
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 [left moveable wing]: St Lawrence [recto]; St Heinrich [verso] - Infrared ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder and Workshop - Domstift Merseburg - Altarpiece of St Heinrich [left moveable wing]: St Lawrence [recto]; St Heinrich [verso] - Infrared Images
  • Underdrawing
  • St Lawrence [recto]

    DESCRIPTION

    Tools/Material:
    - fluid black medium, brush

    Type/Ductus:
    - relatively economic and freehand underdrawing
    - thin to somewhat broader lines

    Function:
    - relatively binding for the final painted version; lines delineate the main contours and define the facial features; no representation of volume with hatching-strokes

    Deviations:
    - minor alterations made during the painting process to clearly define forms; almost no changes; handwritten text at the bottom left and right


    St Henry [verso]

    DESCRIPTION

    Tools/Material:
    - fluid black medium, brush

    Type/Ductus:
    - relatively economic and freehand underdrawing
    - thin to broader lines

    Function:
    - relatively binding for the final painted version; lines delineate the main contours and define facial features; no representation of volume with hatching-strokes

    Deviations:
    - minor alterations made during the painting process to clearly define forms; almost no changes


    INTERPRETATION

    Attribution:
    - assistant working for Lucas Cranach the Elder


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