Cranach - Dido the Queen of Carthage
Dido the Queen of Carthage
Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder
Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg, Coburg
25.05.2020 - 15:48
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CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_KSVC_M039
Persistent Link
FR (1978) No.FR-none
Dido the Queen of Carthage[see inscription]
Lucretia[cda 2011]
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Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder [Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg, revised 2010]
Circle of Lucas Cranach the Elder[Cat. Coburg 2018, 104]
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Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerKunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg, Coburg
RepositoryKunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg, Coburg
Dimensions of support: 27 x 17 (plus c. 0.5 cm, because the panel is fitted in a grooved frame) x 1 cm [Cat. Coburg 2018, 104]
Painting on lime wood [Cat. Coburg 2018, 104] [Klein report 03.03.2016] Copper beech wood [Maedebach, Exhib. Cat. Coburg 1972, No. 13]
Signature / Date:
Dated, top left edge: 'M.D.XLVII' [cda 2010]
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
Original Inscriptions:
- on the right side of the top edge in light yellow paint: 'DIDO REGINA'
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
Reverse: - adhesive label with a stamp HKA - adhesive label Gr. Kat.: 'Nr. 16, Unbekannte Meister' - inscription and adhesive label KVC [Cat. Coburg 2018, 104]
The painting depicts Queen Dido as a three-quarter length seated figure in contemporary dress against a black background. Her head is inclined and she looks at the viewer. In her right hand she holds a dagger, which she has already plunged into her chest, while her left hand rests on her lap. She wears a contemporary robe with parallel steps on the sleeves and a white undergarment with bunched material at the elbows, which has slid off her shoulders to reveal her breasts. A fur-trimmed golden overcoat covers her left shoulder, and is wrapped around her so that it covers her lap. Her blond locks are pinned up under a bonnet decorated with pearls. She has a thin choker with a pendant around her neck, as well as a chain and a narrow leather band with a pendant. She wears a simple ring on her finger. [Herrschaft, CDA 2010] According to the legend Dido was the founder of Carthage, who fell in love with the Trojan prince Aeneas. When Aeneas left Carthage at the request of the Gods to found a new city in Italy Dido stabbed herself. She became the tragic heroine in a story where duty prevailed over love. [Poeschel 2007]
- Gotha, Art Cabinet (Kunstkammer), Friedenstein castle, Picture Gallery
- 1856 Ducal Art and Antiquities Collection, Coburg (Herzogliche Kunst- und Altertümersammlung der Veste Coburg (HKA))
- 1919 Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg (KVC)
[Cat. Coburg 2018, 104]
Erfurt 1903, no. 90
Coburg 1972, no. 13
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Cat. Coburg 2018104, 105, 10818Pl. p. 105
Weschenfelder 2018 A14, 18
Weschenfelder 2018 B28, 29Figs. 3, 6
Follak 2002
Cat. Coburg 1972No. M39 (?)
Exhib. Cat. Coburg 1972No. 13
Voss, Lehfeldt 1907560No. 15
Exhib. Cat. Erfurt 190316No. 90
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
Koepplin has annotated the illustration in his archive with the comment: 'zu FR 198e'(1932).
[Herrschaft, cda 2010]
If the painting did not have the inscription 'Dido', it could also be a depiction of Lucretia. Both figures stabbed themselves and this dramatic moment is usually the one illustrated in paintings. Neither Friedländer, Rosenberg 1978, nor Koepplin, Falk [Exhib. Cat. Basel1974/1976] list paintings depicting Dido from the Cranach workshop. It cannot be excluded that the inscription is of a later date, but should it be original the question must be posed as to how many of the paintings illustrating Lucretia from Cranach's workshop actually depict Dido.
[Herrschaft, cda 2010]
This Dido type – with the dagger held in her right hand that hangs down in front of her body, while her left hand rests on her lap – can be identified in many of the Lucretia depictions, as is confirmed by at least 5 paintings of this sort.
[Herrschaft, cda 2011]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 2018
  • Technical Examination
  • Support
  • - lime wood
    - two vertically aligned planks. Plank I: 8.4 cm; plank II: 8.6 cm
    - the reverse has been stained with a reddish-brown tone
    - the panel is fixed in a grooved frame
  • Ground and Imprimatura
  • - chalk ground
    [Cat. Coburg 2018, 104]
      • Date: 03.03.2016
      • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
      • Dendrochronology / identification of wood species
      • Support
      • Identification of wood species (Tilia sp.)

        [Klein report, 03.03.2016]
        • analysed by: Peter Klein
        Condition Reports:
        • Date: 2018
        • Paint layers: - fine craquelé, various small retouches along the join and in the flesh paint. Some minor flaking along the join. Varnish: - repeatedly revarnished with a glossy resin varnish [Cat. Coburg 2018, 104]
          History of Restoration:
          • Date: 1850
            • conservation treatment by: Heinrich Krüppel