Cranach - Portrait of Friedrich III. the Wise, Elector of Saxony
Portrait of Friedrich III. the Wise, Elector of Saxony
Copy after Lucas Cranach the Elder
Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg
21.08.2019 - 05:29
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Painting:
CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_GNMN_Gm223
Persistent Linkhttp://lucascranach.org/DE_GNMN_Gm223
FR (1978) No.FR064A
Title:
Portrait of Friedrich III. the Wise, Elector of Saxony[Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 126]
Attribution:
Copy after Lucas Cranach the Elder[Heydenreich 2007 A, 67, 133-134] 'Nach Lucas Cranach der Ältere' [Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 126] [Koepplin 1974, No. 32][1] [Lutze, Wiegand, Cat. Nuremberg 1936/1937, 45][1] [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932, No. 57][1] [1][Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 128]
Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder (?) [Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017, 116, No. 14]
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Weiland 2007, 43- 74] [Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 128]
Wolf Traut [Loßnitzer 1912, 8][1] [1][Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 128]
Lucas Cranach the Elder (or workshop)[Braune, Cat. Nuremberg 1909][1] [Flechsig 1900 A][1] [Reber, Bayersdorfer, Cat. Nuremberg 1882][1] [1][Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 128]
Hans Burgkmair [Waagen 1843, 161][1] [1][Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 128]
Hans von Kulmbach [Heller, handwritten inventory 1817 and 1819][1] [1][Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 128]
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Dating:
1507 - 1508 or about 1550 - 1599" 2. Hälfte d. 16. Jahrhundert" [Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 126]
about 1510-1513[Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017, 116, No. 14]
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Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerThe City of Nuremberg
RepositoryGermanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg
LocationNuremberg
Dimensions:
Dimensions of support: 111.5 x 88.3 cm [Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 126]
Support:
Painting on lime wood (Tilia sp.) [Klein, Report 2013] [Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 126]
Signature / Date:
None
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
Original Inscriptions:
- bottom: Four lines in gothic script: 'Von gnaden gots Fridrich hertzog zu Sa=/ chssen des heiligen Reichs Ertzmarschalh un(d) Cur / furst Landgrave in doringe(n) und Marggrave zu / Meyssen Romischer k M un(d) des R Stathalter general' 'The text block is evidently from a later date. It has a greenish black background and is separated from the area of the portrait by a horizontal boarder which is 3.5 to 4 cm wide and has a matte gold finish. This boarder was later overpainted in blackish green. The text was executed using guidelines with a scribe's brush in paint containing lead yellow. The paint was applied to the wet background paint, which resulted in the formation of paint drips. The inscription may have been carried out in situ.' [Bartl, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 127]
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
Reverse of the panel: in white paint 'G 223' paper label: 'Nr. 259' stencilled 'Stadt Nürnberg, No. 72' Reverse of the frame: paper label: Cranach-Ausst. Basel 1974, Nr. 32 [Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 126]
Description:
The portrait depicts the III. Elector of Saxony and imperial governor after he was awarded the title of an imperial arch-marschall. Cranach painted the portrait for the Dominican church in Nuremberg. The elector is shown as a half-length figure kneeling on a prayer stool, holding rosary beads and facing right. His eyes, hair and beard are brown. He wears a gold brocade overcoat with a broad collar, which extends over his shoulders and a golden cap. The dual coloured sleeves are decorated with knotted gold cord. The rosary beads are golden and he has seven rings on his fingers. The prayer stool upon which a book rests is covered with the same material as that of his overcoat. The background, which was originally green is now brown. [http://forschung.gnm.de/apps/dmsweb2/index.php?mode=detail&invnr=Gm223 (06.09.2010)] [Display label, GNM 2010]
Provenance:
Loan from the City of Nuremberg, Inv. No. 7

- from the Dominican monastery in Nuremberg, where it was recorded until 1807
- from 1811 in the castle. Inventory 1819, No. 486
- 1882 GNM
[Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 126]
Exhibitions:
Nuremberg 1959, No. 42
Basel 1974, No. 32, Fig. 31
Nuremberg 1983, No. 247 with Fig.
Düsseldorf 2017, No. 14
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017116No. 14
Trümper 201518, 19Fig. 2
Exhib. Cat. Brussels 2010127
Hansmann 201051Fig. 3
Heydenreich 2007 A67, 133-134
Weilandt 200743-74
Koepplin 2007 A309
Burmester, Krekel 199886
Burmester, Krekel 1998 B102
Cat. Nuremberg 1997126-129
Exhib. Cat. Nuremberg 1983No. 247
Friedländer, Rosenberg 197982No. 64A
Exhib. Cat. Basel 197482, 87, 488No. 32Fig. 31
Cat. Nuremberg 1936/193745Fig. 374
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932No. 57 (mentioned)
Gümbel 192647, 49
Bock 1924199
Reinach 1905-1923637Fig. 2
Glaser 1923226
Loßnitzer 19128Fig. 3
Cat. Nuremberg 1909No. 223
Michaelson 190226
Flechsig 1900 A26
Cat. Nuremberg 1893No. 269
Cat. Nuremberg 1885No. 238
Cat. Nuremberg 1882No. 233
Waagen 1862257
Heller 185489
Rettberg 1846163
Waagen 1843161
Heller 1821215
Murr 180177
Schwarz 173714
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 08.04.2013
  • Scientific analysis
  • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology
  • Support
  • Identification of wood species: Lime wood (Tilia sp.)
    • analysed by: Peter Klein
    • Date: 01.09.2010
    • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
    • Infrared reflectography
    • Copy after Lucas Cranach the Elder - Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg - Portrait of Friedrich III. the Wise, Elector of Saxony - Infrared Images
    • Underdrawing
    • - an underdrawing is not readily visible

      [Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2012]
      • photographed by: Gunnar Heydenreich
      • photographed by: Ingo Sandner
      • Date: 2007
      • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
      • 'The use of orpiment in the Wittenberg workshop is by no means certain. As yet the only analytical evidence of yellow arsenic sulphide is established on the portrait of Elector Friedrich III the Wise (FR 64A),[32] but unfortunately its authenticity as a Cranach is justifiably disputed. The result of the analysis as well as the fact that the support is unusual for Cranach (see p. 67) tends to substantiate the hypothesis that this painting is a later copy.[33]'

        [Heydenreich 2007 A, 133-34]
          • Date: 2007
          • Technical Examination
          • Support
          • 'Dovetailed cross-battens inserted on the reverse of the support were not an option for the thin panels of the early Wittenberg years. From that period, only the Martyrdom of St Catherine (c.1508), already discussed, and the portrait of Elector Friedrich III the Wise (FR 64A) are stabilised in this way. There is controversy as to whether this portrait of the elector is, in fact, a work of Lucas Cranach the Elder. It has been referred to repeatedly as a copy made in the late sixteenth century.[130] Since the panel differs considerably in the widths of the boards, in their thickness and the treatment of the back,[131] and considering secure attributions and well-documented works, this support was most probably not produced in the workshop of the carpenter who supplied Cranach with panels up to 1510/11 (see pp. 133-134).'

            [Heydenreich 2007 A, 67]
              • Date: 1998
              • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
              • Micro-sampling / cross-sections
              • Instrumental material analysis
              • Burmester and Krekel identified orpiment:

                Only Lucas Cranach employed Auripigment[216]

                [216] Lucas Cranach the Elder, Portrait of Friedrich the Wise, about 1507 (Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg, Inv.No. Gm223 [DE_GNMN_Gm223_FR064A])
                [Burmester, Krekel 1998 A, 86]
                  • Date: 1997
                  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
                  • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology
                  • Infrared reflectography
                  • Stereomicroscopy
                  • Copy after Lucas Cranach the Elder - Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg - Portrait of Friedrich III. the Wise, Elector of Saxony - Detail ImagesCopy after Lucas Cranach the Elder - Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg - Portrait of Friedrich III. the Wise, Elector of Saxony - Detail ImagesCopy after Lucas Cranach the Elder - Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg - Portrait of Friedrich III. the Wise, Elector of Saxony - Detail ImagesCopy after Lucas Cranach the Elder - Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg - Portrait of Friedrich III. the Wise, Elector of Saxony - Detail ImagesCopy after Lucas Cranach the Elder - Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg - Portrait of Friedrich III. the Wise, Elector of Saxony - Detail Images
                  • Paint Layers and Gilding
                  • - the paint in the face was applied wet-in-wet, dabbed on and modelled with the finger
                    - the left contours of the face were altered during the painting process
                    - the top glazes of green background have become brown, probably at a later stage
                    - the original corrections along the edge between the beard and the fur as well as in the background have darkened
                    - the oil gilding on the cap, overcoat, rings, rosary beads and the cloth on the prayerstool was applied over a transparent brownish adhesive

                    [Bartl, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 127]
                  • Ground and Imprimatura
                  • - the ground was applied and the panel was painted before it was framed
                    - light red imprimatura
                  • Underdrawing
                  • - executed with a brush
                    - in the face and the right hand there are scant contours visible
                  • Support
                  • - lime wood (Tilia sp.)
                    - 3 planks
                    - widths from the left: top 31.9, 29.9, 26.2 cm, bottom 28.2, 29.7, 30.4 cm
                    - 2.3 – 2.8 cm thick
                    - the knots have been left in the wood
                    - original size
                    - all four front edges of the panel were probably finished with a scraper

                    Reverse:
                    - scraped in a horizontal direction
                    - there is a rebate around the edge
                      • Date: 1997
                      • Scientific analysis
                      • Micro-sampling / cross-sections
                      • Instrumental material analysis
                      • Inscription:
                        - analysis was carried out by Achim Unger, Rathgen Forschungslabor, Berlin, employing optical emission-spectral-analysis
                        - x-ray diffraction analysis carried out in the Doerner Institut Munich enabled the identification of lead tin yellow (Pb2SnO4) and tin oxide

                        [Bartl, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 127]
                          • Date: 1994
                          • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
                          • X-radiography
                          • Copy after Lucas Cranach the Elder - Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg - Portrait of Friedrich III. the Wise, Elector of Saxony - X-Radiographs
                              Condition Reports:
                              • Date: 1997
                              • Support: - the edge of the panel extending to the bottom right corner is damaged - old wood worm damage - two pine wood profiled battens are fixed in dovetail grooves on the reverse to stabilize the panel, at the top and bottom respectively Painted surface: - there is both damage caused by impact and scraping 36 cm above the bottom edge - there is an old cleaning test at the top right - broad scratch on the forehead as well as numerous small losses in the face and neck, which have been retouched - there is overpaint along the right edge, the decorative elements have been reconstructed in dark green and brown glazes - the infrared refectogram and the x-radiograph show later additions in the ground and black paint, especially in the area of the gold boarder. This was later overpainted with a matt black paint. The lettering has been partially reconstructed and the rebate has been reinforced. [Bartl, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 127]
                                History of Restoration:
                                • Date: 1959
                                • as yet no further information [Bartl, Cat. Nuremberg 1997, 127]