Cranach - Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon
Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon
Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder
Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel
25.05.2020 - 16:09
Choose objects with for comparison
CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_HABW_NONE-HABW001
Persistent Link
FR (1978) No.FR-none
Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon[cda 2019]
Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder [Cat. Wolfenbüttel 2012, 75-77, No. 11]
about 1532 - 1550[Cat. Wolfenbüttel 2012, 75-77, No. 11]
1535[dated, not authentic]
Hide content...
Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerBundesrepublik Deutschland
RepositoryHerzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel
Dimensions of support: 19.6 x 14.2 cm [Cat. Wolfenbüttel 2012, 75-77, No. 11]
Painting on wood (beech wood?) [Cat. Wolfenbüttel 2012, 75-77, No. 11]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia right edge above the sitter's shoulder: serpent with dropped wings (probably not authentic) and dated '1535' (not authentic) [Cat. Wolfenbüttel 2012, 75-77, No. 11]
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
on the reverse: - damaged, printed adhesive label: 'LUCAS CRANACH. / 1472-1553 / [D]as Porträt Philipp Melanchthons. Brustbild in schwarzem Talar / [m]it gefalteten Händen. Höchst feines charakteristisches Porträt / [r]echts auf blauem Grunde 1535 und der Drache. / H.20 cm, B. 14 cm. G.-R. Siehe Reproduktion auf Tafel[l] V.' (cutting from a book), handwritten at the top right in blue '5006' [Cat. Wolfenbüttel 2012, 75-77, No. 11]
The reformer is shown here as a half-length figure, facing left against a light blue background. He is wearing a black academic gown with a high collar. The c. 35 year old has a sparse beard and brown curly hair frames his high forehead. His hands are folded in front of his chest. [see: Cat. Wolfenbüttel 2012, 75, No. 11]
- unknown
- 1944 property of the Reich
- since 1974 on loan to the Herzog August Bibliothek from the Federal Republic of Germany
[Cat. Wolfenbüttel 2012, 75-77, No. 11]
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Cat. Wolfenbüttel 201275-77No. 11Figs. 11-11.2
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
The date and presumably also the signature are considerably later additions. Both appear clumsy and are located – the date clearly, the signature less so – above the craquelé. Nevertheless the fake date and signature were applied to a product from the Cranach workshop.
[Cat. Wolfenbüttel 2012, 75-77, No. 11]
Material / Technique:
  • Date:
  • Technical Examination
  • Support
  • - the panel is chamfered at the sides and warped with numerous remnants of protective coatings
  • Framing
  • - unframed
    [Cat. Wolfenbüttel 2012, 75-77, No. 11]
      Condition Reports:
      • Date: 28.03.2019
      • - numerous long, diagonal scratches in the area of the gown - particularly pronounced vertical crack formation - spots of dirt and stains [Cat. Wolfenbüttel 2012, 75-77, No. 11]