Cranach - Samson and Delila
Samson and Delila
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Staatsgalerie Augsburg, Katharinenkirche
23.10.2019 - 17:19
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CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_KMSA-BStGS_3608
Persistent Link
FR (1978) No.FR212
Samson and Delila[Exhib. Cat. Munich 2011, 144]
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, No. 212]
Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerKunstsammlungen und Museen der Stadt Augsburg
RepositoryStaatsgalerie Augsburg, Katharinenkirche
Dimensions of support: 116.6 (left) 117.2 (right) x 82 (top) 81.5 (bottom) x 0.6-0.8 cm [Klaus Büchel, conservation report, 20 July 2013]
Painting probably on hardwood [Klaus Büchel, restoration report, 20 July 2013] Lime wood [Exhib. Cat. Munich 2011, 144]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia at the bottom left: winged serpent with elevated wings and date '1529' [cda 2017]
The panel depicts Delila, the wife of the Old Testament hero Samson, cutting off his hair, while he sleeps in her lap. His hair had made him invincible in his fight against the Philistines. In his right hand he holds the ass's jawbone, used by him in battle. The Philistines can be seen approaching once again in the background (Judges 13-16). [Sarah Klein, Augsburg, 21. November 2016]
- Augsburg town hall, E. v. Knorre assumes that it may have been acquired for the old town hall directly from the artist through either Fugger or Rem
[Sarah Klein, Augsburg, 21. November 2016]
- on loan to the Staatsgalerie Augsburg, Katharinenkirche from the Städtischen Kunstsammlungen Augsburg
[Exhib. Cat. Munich 2011, 144]
Dresden 1899, No. 45
Kronach 1953, No. 3
Basel 1974, No. 471
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Exhib. Cat. Munich 2011144
Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005221, 222under No. 4Fig. 107
Koepplin 2003 C147-149Fig. 27
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979212
Mayer 197535-36
Exhib. Cat. Basel 1974573-574471
Kahr 1972288, fn. 23
Cat. Augsburg 196737-38
Knorre 196760-61, 157p. 61
Thöne 19656, 72
Lieb 195844
Réau 1956246
Lieb 195320
Lüdecke 1953 B71-72
Exhib. Cat. Kronach 1953123
Posse 194229, 6070, 71
Friedländer, Rosenberg 193262175
Glaser 1921 A201-202, 234
Dirr 191649
Heinse 1909278
Tietze-Conrat 19076
Friedländer 190515
Rathaus 190330
Michaelson 190258, 60, 62, 134
Flechsig 1900 A27245
Exhib. Cat. Dresden 18994345
Rathaus 189828
Parthey 186368027
Heller 185449
Schuchardt 1851 C11-12
Kugler 1836131
Seida 1830128
Briefe 182942
Wegweiser 1828125
Kotzebue 180576
Stetten 1788183
Meusel 178728
Stetten 177236
Sendel 16575
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
This painting has a morallizing content: according to the Old Testament Scripture (Judges 16) one should be silent in order not to be diisarmed by love.
[Sarah Klein, Augsburg, 21. November 2016]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 20.07.2013
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Support
  • - probably hardwood
    - 3 planks alligned vertically; width of the planks: left plank: 42 cm; central plank 17 cm; right plank 23 cm
    - the panel is chamfered along the top, left and right edges.
    - the reverse of the panel exhibits a thick wax coating
    - the painted edge is preserved along the top edge the other edges have been trimmed
    - the reverse of the panel was planed and thinned
  • Ground and Imprimatura
  • Material: glue/chalk (?), Colour: pale, Barbe: top edge
  • Underdrawing
  • - an underdrawing is only partially visible in the figures
  • Rahmung
  • W: 96 cm; H:131 cm; T: 6 cm, wood, profile: bare wood with a brown glaze; gilded inner profile
    - the backboard has been customized to accomodate the warp (total depth: 10.5 cm)
    • examined by: Klaus Büchel
    Condition Reports:
    • Date: 20.07.2013
    • - the panel is slightly warped; there are an extensive number of blocks attached to the reverse, cradled - flaking along the central joint between the left and central plank and along the right edge. - small losses along the central joint - extensive blooming in the red robes of the main figures - extensive overpaint in the sky - discoloured retouches over the entire surface - the damage from 1930 has compromised the surface texture in the upper section of the painting (small deformations) - yellowed, surface dirt
    • examined by: Klaus Büchel
    History of Restoration:
    • Date: 30.06.2013
    • Ground/Paint Layers consolidated with: sturgeon's glue Regeneration attempts with ethanol were not successful Retouching/Overpaint partially removed (in the sky) with ethanol Filled with a glue/chalk mixture retouched with lean Mussini resin-oil paint (Schmincke), diluent: oil of terpentine Varnish Surface cleaning with distilled water 50% + 50% boiled water The reverse ogf the panel was cleaned dry (only vacuumed due to the thickness of the wax layer) The waxy and thick varnish was removed in the area of the sky and thinned in other areas with a solution of Isooctan - Ethanol - Shellsol A (Ratio: 3 + 1 + 1) Isolating varnish, brush application, Dammar in oil of terpentine (1:6) Final varnish: Dammar in oil of terpentine (1:6) The thick wax patches were removed mechanically Materials used: water, sturgeon's glue, glue/chalk admixture, ethanol, isooctan, Shellsol A, Mussini resin/oil paints (Schmincke); diluent: oil of terpentine. Dammer varnish Summary The conservation treatment had to be carried out within a very short period of time (1 month) it was therefore necessary to strike a compromise regarding the extent to which old discoloured retouches were removed. They were removed from the sky and reworked in other areas. Thus an aesthetically homogenous image was achieved for the exhibition.
    • conservation treatment by: Klaus Büchel
    • Date: 1932
    • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Staatsgalerie Augsburg, Katharinenkirche - Samson and Delila - ConservationLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatsgalerie Augsburg, Katharinenkirche - Samson and Delila - ConservationLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatsgalerie Augsburg, Katharinenkirche - Samson and Delila - ConservationLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatsgalerie Augsburg, Katharinenkirche - Samson and Delila - ConservationLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatsgalerie Augsburg, Katharinenkirche - Samson and Delila - Conservation
    • 1930 damage caused by an exploding fire-extinguisher in the Augsburg Gallery 1930-32 Conservation treatment: The painting was taken to the Alte Pinakothek. The following participated in the difficult process of deciding on an adequate treatment: Dörnhöffer, H. Kinkelin and another restorer from the Alte Pinakothek, as well as Hans Aulmann, A. L. Mayer and Walter Gräff. It was decided to take a - then completely new - minimalist approach. Instead of commissioning the Augsburg artist Niedoba to completely overpaint the loss their justified fear of later alterations lead them to recommend a conservation treatment of the surface before retouching. During this decission making stage a chemical neutralization of the paint surface was successfully tested on dummies by the enigineer Heinz Hetterich. Ultimately it was decided not to neutralize the painting, but rather to treat it with numerous applications of linseed oil. (Text from: Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Jahresbericht 1998, 12-24, here p. 19)