Cranach - Friedrich III the Wise, Elector of Saxony
Friedrich III the Wise, Elector of Saxony
Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder
Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg, Coburg
27.05.2020 - 04:35
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CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_KSVC_M164
Persistent Link
FR (1978) No.FR338C
Friedrich III the Wise, Elector of Saxony[CDA 2010]
Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder [Exhib. Cat. Coburg 2010, 152]
Lucas Cranach the Elder and workshop[Cat. Coburg 2018, 148]
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Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerKunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg, Coburg
RepositoryKunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg, Coburg
Dimensions of support: 61.7 x 38.2 x 0.6 cm (original panel)/ 1.9 cm (including auxiliary support) [Cat. Coburg 2018, 148] Dimensions of support: 61.3 x 38.3 cm [Maedebach, Exhib. Cat. Coburg 1972, No. 20]
Painting on lime wood [Exhib. Cat. Coburg 2010, 152] [Klein report 03.03.2016]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia on the left edge above the sitter's shoulder: winged serpent and dated '1532' [Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg, revised 2010]
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
Original Inscriptions:
an eight line text printed on paper: 'Friderich der drit /Churfurst Und Herzog zu Sachssen Fridrich bin ich billig genant / Schönen fried ich erhielt im land. / Durch gros vernunfft / gedult vnd glück / Widder manchen erzbösen tück. Das land ich zieret mit gebew / Und stifft ein hohe Schul auffs new Zu wittemberg im Sachssen land Inn der welt die waard bekand / Denn aus der selb kam Gottes wort Und tehr gros ding an manchem ort. Das Bepstlich Reich schlagt es nider / Und bracht rechten glauben widder. Zum Kaisar ward erkorn ich / Des mein alter beschweret sich. Dafür ich Kaisar Carl ernant Von dem mich nicht wandt' Probably 18th century [Cat. Coburg 2018, 148]
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
Reverse: - adhesive label KVC [Cat. Coburg 2018, 148]
The pendant piece of this portrait is the Coburg Portrait of Johann the Steadfast (Inv. No. M165). The half-length portait depicts the elector of Saxony Friedrich the Wise, facing right. In this posthumous portrait the elector is shown in three-quarters profile against a blue background in simple dress. He wears a white shirt buttoned up to the neck, a black doublet with a round neckline, an overcoat with a fur collar and a black beret. The elector's signet ring on his index finger is the only symbol of dignity. His hands are in the lower part of the image, which is black. There is a piece of paper attached to the bottom with an eight line rhyming text block that records the sitter's name, position and life. [Exhib. Cat. Coburg 2010, 152]
- Gotha, Art Cabinet, 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)
- 1921 displayed in the Ducal Palace (Fürstenbau), Coburg
- April 1945 until August 1947 transferred to the monastery Banz
[Cat. Coburg 2018, 148]
Coburg 1972, 2f., no. 20
Coburg 2010, no. 166
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Cat. Coburg 2018122, 148, 150, 152, 15327Pl. p. 150
Weschenfelder 2018 A14, 15, 18, 20
Exhib. Cat. Coburg 2010152-153No. 1.1.19Fig. 1.1.19
Braunfels, Eissenhauer 199642Fig. p. 43
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979137No. 338C
Exhib. Cat. Coburg 1972No. 20
Friedländer, Rosenberg 193279272 (Appendix)
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 2018
  • Technical Examination
  • Support
  • - lime wood
    - four horizontally aligned and butt-joined planks. Plank I: 16 cm; plank II: 18cm; plank III: 11 cm; plank: IV (probably added later): 16.7 cm
  • Ground and Imprimatura
  • - chalk ground
    [Cat. Coburg 2018, 148]
      • Date: 03.03.2016
      • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
      • Dendrochronology / identification of wood species
      • Support
      • Identification of wood species: lime wood (Tilia sp.)

        [Klein report, 03.03.2016]
        • analysed by: Peter Klein
        Condition Reports:
        • Date: 2018
        • Support: - laminated to an oak panel; two horizontal beech wood batten inserts. A strip of paper runs around the edge of the panel. The bottom plank (IV) was probably added to the portrait later. Paint layers: - numerous old fills are visible. These are probably open woodworm channels just below the painted surface, that have been filled and retouched. The fur-trimming on the coat ends rather abruptly at the joint between the III and IV planks. The added plank has been painted and a sheet of paper from the 18th century with a printed inscription has been glued to it. Varnish: - the painting has a glossy resin varnish, which was probably applied repeatedly with a brush. The strong fluorescence of this layer restricts the identification of retouches under UV light to a few relatively recent ones. [Cat. Coburg 2018, 148]