Cranach - Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Kunstsammlungen Boettcherstraße, Bremen
17.06.2019 - 02:42
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CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_KBSB_B59
Persistent Link
FR (1978) No.FR312-313C
Martin Luther[Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009, No. 6/7]
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009, No. 6/7] [Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt 2007, No. 60]
1529[Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009, No. 6/7]
after 1525[Dr. Peter Klein 1992, report of dendrochronology, museums records]
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Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerFreie Hansestadt Bremen, Stadtgemeinde
RepositoryKunstsammlungen Boettcherstraße, Bremen
Dimensions of support: 37.5 x 24 x 0.4 cm Dimensions with frame: 56.2 x 42.6 x 5 cm [Petra Klier, Hamburg, inventory list from 27.09.1992, documentation file] [Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009, No. 6/7]
Painting on beech wood [Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009, No. 6/7] [Klein, Report 1992]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia centre left: winged serpent with elevated wings and the date '1529'. [Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009, No. 6/7]
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
Original Inscriptions:
- top edge: 'M.L IN SILENCIO ET SPE ERIT FORTITVDO VESTRA' [Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009, No. 6/7]
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
'On the reverse of the Luther panel there is an incomplete sheet of parchment with a seal, showing a coat-of-arms with a crest and the monogramm 'MB' - as well as the inscription: 'Gleich wie zu Zeiten deß Königs JOSIAE das Gesetzbuch [wi]derfunden Also [ist auch?] zu Zeiten HERTZOG JOHANN [FRI]DERICHEN durch Herrn D. MARTINUM LUTHE = REM die HEILIGE B[IBEL?] wiederumb an Tag kommen. ANNO MDCXIIII.' [Museum im Roselius-Haus, revised 2013]
Bust portrait of Martin Luther, facing right, against a blue-grey background. Luther wears a black overcoat with a high collar and a black beret. [Görres, cda 2013]
The same as the double portrait in the collection of Professor D. Dr. Nik. Müller in Berlin
[Exhib. Cat. Dresden 1899, 41-42, Nr. 43]

- acquired by Ludwig Roselius in September 1928 at Arthur Hauth, Düsseldorf, through the art dealer Johannes Hinrichsen, Berlin (invoice from 19.9.1928)
- 1988 acquired by the borough (Stadtgemeinde) of Bremen

[Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009, No. 6/7]
- Dresden 1899, No. 43
- Bremen 2009, No. 6/7
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Cat. Coburg 201836, 142under no. 2
Exhib. Cat. Bremen 20096
Cat. Bremen 200369-7515
Klein 1994 A199, 200Tabs. 8, 10
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979312-313C
Müller Hofstede 1969
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932251B
Winkler, Plambeck 193023
Flechsig 1900 A261-262, 306
Exhib. Cat. Dresden 189941-4243
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
'In the documentation file there is an evaluation by Max J. Friedländers from 30 September 1925: 'This Cranach portrait of Luther together with the pendant, the portrait of Mrs Luther bear original signatures, are dated 1529 and are characteristic works by the master.

[Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009, No. 6/7]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 14.05.1992
  • Scientific analysis
  • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology
  • Support
  • Identification of wood species: beech wood
    Youngest annual ring: 1521
    [Klein Report, 114.05.1992]
    • analysed by: Peter Klein
    • Date: 1992
    • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
    • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology
    • Framing
    • old red tortoise-shell frame, glazed
      [Museum im Roselius-Haus, revised 2013]
    • Support
    • - a single beech wood panel
      175 annual rings. After comparison with the standard chronology the annual ring curve could be dated between the years 1521 and 1547. The panel came from the same tree as the panel used for Cranach's Portrait of Katharina von Bora (Kunstsammlungen Böttcherstraße, Inv. B60), from which the earliest annual ring (from 128) is dated 1524.
      Taking a minimal seasoning period of two years into consideration the painting could not have been created before 1526. Furthermore the panels used for the paintings 'Cardinal Albrecht as St Jerome', Gemäldegalerie Berlin, DE_smbGG_589_FR184; 'Apollo and Diana', Gemäldegalerie Berlin, DE_smbGG_564_FR271 and 'The Judgement of Paris', Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, DE_SKK_0109_FR255; are all from the same tree

      [Dr. Peter Klein 1981, Report, 3.11.1981; Dr. Peter Klein 1992, Report, Documentation file]
        Condition Reports:
        • Date: 2013
        • - the panel is slightly warped [Museum im Roselius-Haus, revised 2013]
          History of Restoration:
          • Date: 2006
          • - 2006: Atelier Hoffmann, Bremen: conservation treatment on the frame [Museum im Roselius-Haus, revised 2013]
          • conservation treatment by: Atelier Hoffmann
          • Date: 1980
          • - 1980: Renate Kant, Hamburg: conservation treatment [Museum im Roselius-Haus, revised 2013]
          • conservation treatment by: Renate Kant