Cranach - Self-portrait
Self-portrait
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Schloss Stolzenfels, Koblenz
23.05.2019 - 02:58
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Painting:
CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_GKER_GK-I-2553
Persistent Linkhttp://lucascranach.org/DE_GKER_GK-I-2553
FR (1978) No.FR214A
Title:
Self-portrait[Exhib. Cat. Brussels 2010, No. 2]
Attribution:
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Exhib. Cat. Brussels 2010, No. 2] [Heydenreich 2007 A, 44, 47]
Dating:
1531dated (under overpaint)
Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerGeneraldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland-Pfalz - Direktion Burgen, Schlösser, Altertümer
RepositorySchloss Stolzenfels, Koblenz
LocationStolzenfels
Dimensions:
Dimensions of support: 45.4 x 35.6 cm (trimmed along the bottom edge) [Heydenreich 2007 A, 44, 47]
Support:
Painting on beech wood [Exhib. Cat. Brussels 2010, No. 2]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia centre left: winged serpent with elevated wings, facing right and the date '1531' (both are overpainted). [Exhib. Cat. Brussels 2010, No. 2] [Heydenreich 2007 A, 44, 47]
Description:
The bust portrait of Cranach the Elder can only just be distinguished from the dark brown of the background. It is difficult to establish the transition from the background to the fur-trimming on the artist's robe, only the flesh paint of the face is clearly visible. Framed by brown hair and a greying beard the artist looks directly at the viewer. Whereas his body is inclined to the right, his head is tilted to the viewer and is shown in three-quarter profile. [Görres, cda 2013]
Provenance:
- probably the property of the Preussen Royal House since the first half of the eighteenth century
- transferred in the mid-19th century from Potsdam town palace (Stadtschloss) to Berlin Castle
- after 1883 transferred to Burg Stolzenfels

[Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel 2015, 92, No. 1]
Exhibitions:
Basel 1974, No. 25
Berlin 2009/10, No. III.15
Brüssel 2010/11, No. 2
Gotha, Kassel 2015, No. 1
Düsseldorf 2017, No. 1
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 201798No. 1
Exhib. Cat. Weimar 201525
Poppe 2014p. 8
Exhib. Cat. Brussels 2010992
Exhib. Cat. Rome 201065-66
Borggrefe 201065Fig. 1, p. 64
Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009 AIII.15
Heydenreich 2007 A44, 47
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979214A
Exhib. Cat. Basel 197476-78No. 25Fig. 25
Schade 197457
Schade 1972 C373-374
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
An x-radiograph of the panel shows both the signature and date from the year '1531'. In addition a technical examination revealed that the panel had been trimmed by c. 6 cm at the bottom, but that it had not been cut out of a larger image and was conceived of as an autonomous portrait from the beginning.
[Sebastian Dohe, Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel 2015, 92, No. 1]
The colour black together with white, red and yellow make up the four colours that according to Pliny were employed by artists such as Apelles to create their best works (Plin. Nat. hist., 35, 50) - with its reduced palette of black, grey, brown and flesh tones Cranach's portrait is also executed employing admixtures of these four colours. An interpretation of the self-portrait based on sources would suggest that it is a testimony of his professional identity rather than a self-questioning snap-shot.
[Sebastian Dohe, Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel 2015, 92, No. 1]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 05.06.2013
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Infrared reflectography
  • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Schloss Stolzenfels, Koblenz - Self-portrait - Infrared Images
  • Underdrawing
  • - an underdrawing is not readily visible
    [Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2013]
    • photographed by: Gunnar Heydenreich
    • photographed by: Ingo Sandner
    • Date: 1974
    • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
    • X-radiography
    • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Schloss Stolzenfels, Koblenz - Self-portrait - X-RadiographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Schloss Stolzenfels, Koblenz - Self-portrait - X-RadiographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Schloss Stolzenfels, Koblenz - Self-portrait - X-Radiographs
      • created by: n. a.