Cranach - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel]
Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel]
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
23.11.2017 - 00:55
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Painting:
CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_SKD_GG1906A
Persistent Linkhttp://lucascranach.org/DE_SKD_GG1906A
FR (1978) No.FR014
Title:
Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel][CDA 2011]
Attribution:
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, 2011] [Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 378] [Woermann, Cat. Dresden 1905, 614, 615][1] [1][Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, 2011]
Unknown'unbekannter Meister L.C.' [Woermann, Cat. Dresden 1892, 200, 201][1] [Mattäi, Cat. Dresden 1837, Bd. 1, No. 69, 70][2] 'unbekannt' (associates artist with Martin Schongauer) [Mattäi, Cat. Dresden 1835, Bd. 1, No. 69, 70][2] [1][Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, 2011] [2][Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 380, 387]
Daniel Fritsch [Woermann, Cat. Dresden 1887, No. 1960][1] [1][Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 380, 387]
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Dating:
1506[dated]
Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerStaatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
RepositoryStaatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
LocationDresden
Dimensions:
Dimensions of support: 127 x 139.5 cm [Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 378]
Support:
Painting on Lime wood [Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 378]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia on the central panel at the bottom edge: 'L 1506 C'
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
Reverse of the panel: Gal.-Nr. (repeatedly); Sammlungsnachweis Pillnitz (repeatedly): 'Inv. 26' Sammlungsnachweis Dresden; Exhibition label Berlin 1937; in roter Kreide: '33' [Schlegel 2003, 2][1] [1][Schlegel, Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 378]
Description:
According to the Legend of Aurea St Catherine the beautiful and equally wise daughter of a king from Alexandria who converted fifty pagan philosophers to the Christian faith was condemned to death on a spiked wheel by Emperor Maxentius. Her prayers however caused the wheel to shatter and also resulted in the death of four thousand of Maxentius' pagan followers, who were killed by the Lord's angels. Maxentius then had her beheaded. Cranach depicts the saint kneeling with her hands in an attitude of prayer, wearing the sumptuous robe of a Saxon court lady and waiting patiently for the executioner's final blow. He stands behind the saint and is about to remove his weapon from its sheath. Dark clouds - from which fire appears to rain down - have gathered in the sky over the expansive landscape. The rain causes the pagans to fall to the ground in a wild confusion of heads, rumps and arms and shatters the wheel at the right edge of the painting. The central group maintains dramatic composure despite the moment of motion offered by the unsheathing of the sword. Cranach underlines this by embedding the scene in that of the tangled bodies. Catharine gazes stoically to the right, while at the left edge of the painting a young lance-bearer and two men on horseback witness the scene. Behind them rises a hill with a fortress on the summit. Following the line of the hill to the foot and across to the centre of the painting a settlement can be made out on the banks of a river. [Görres, in Bonnet, Kopp-Schmitt, Görres 2010, 142]
Provenance:
- one of the first paintings, that Elector Friedrich III. the Wise commissioned from Lucas Cranach for the Wittenberg Schlosskirche
- before 1586 the altarpiece was taken to Torgau, Schloss Hartenfels
- 1738 the altarpiece was taken to Dresden by the court painter Bonaventura Rossi (Vorrat der Gemäldegalerie)
- 1835 first recorded (as 'unbekannt') in a catalogue of the Dresden Gemäldegalerie
[Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 380]
Exhibitions:
Dresden 1899, No. 2, 3
Berlin, 1937, No. 10
Dresden 1937, 11
Eisenach 1994,106-113
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Bonnet, Görres 201526-297p. 26, 27
Schuchardt 2015 A10
Maaz 201018-21
Exhib. Cat. Brussels 201011878
Brinkmann 200719, 23
Heydenreich 2007 A27, 57, 60, 61, 66, 67, 75, 88, 89, 100, 102, 108, 109, 112, 113, 120, 134, 150, 174, 182, 185, 187, 190, 199, 205, 210, 215,219, 253, 256, 292, 303, 306, 307, 308-311, 326
Heydenreich 2007 B46
Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005378-387No. 29.2
Schölzel 2005182-185
Schlegel 20032
Exhib. Cat. London 2002144-147
Sandner 1998 B87, 89, 91, 92, 103, 106-11213.1Figs.13.1, 13.1.1a-e, 13.1.2a und b
Grimm 199871-75, 77Figs. 9.6, 9.7, 9.11
Exhib. Cat. Eisenach 1998103, 106-11213.1Figs. 13.1, 13.1a-d, 13.2a-b
Schuchardt 1998 B13
Heydenreich 1998 A186, 188, 189, 192, 194, 198
Marx 1996 A
Giebe, Schölzel 199663-88
Sandner 199552-57
Erichsen 1994 B181, 182Fig. A120
Thümmel 1994170, 171
Sandner 1994197-200
Grimm 199431, 35, 38Figs. A18, A24, A25, A26
Sandner, Ritschel 1994187-189, 191Fig. A133
Hambrecht 199453, 55
Stievermann 199472
Schade 1994 B13
Schuchardt 199476-78
Cat. Dresden 1992155, 156
Riemann 1980116, 117, 151, 152
Friedländer, Rosenberg 197968, 69No. 14Fig. 14
Exhib. Cat. Basel 197448-49, 51, 167, 168, 255, 268-269, 552, 683, 755under No. 414Figs. 12, 84, 131
Schade 197424, 25
Mahn 1972
Gronau 1972
Lüdecke 197220, 21
Behrend 196726
Alpatow 196624
Menz 1962152, 153
Maedebach 1961No. 2
Aragon, Cocteau 195727, 141
Balzer 195618
Rudloff-Hille 1953 A17
Rudloff-Hille 1953 B14, 15
Lüdecke 1953 B34
Posse 194313, 14, 52, 53
Posse 194213, 14, 52, 53
Lilienfein 194221-23
Exhib. Cat. Dresden 193711
Exhib. Cat. Berlin 1937No. 10
Cat. Dresden 1937Nos. 69, 70 (Bd. 1)
Posse 1936
Friedländer, Rosenberg 19321612-14
Kaemmerer 1931/32
Heyck 192775, 76
Glaser 192342-46
Loßnitzer 1912
Heyck 190864
Cat. Dresden 1905614, 615
Flechsig 1900 A82, 83, 85, 252
Exhib. Cat. Dresden 1899Nos. 2, 3
Cat. Dresden 1892200, 201
Cat. Dresden 1887No. 1960
Lindau 188345
Schäfer 1860862-866
Waagen 185839, 40
Hübner 1856No. 1659
Schuchardt 1851 C45
Cat. Leipzig 1837No. 196
Cat. Dresden 1835Nos. 69, 70 (Bd. 1)
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 13.10.2010
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Infrared reflectography
  • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - Infrared ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - Infrared ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - Infrared ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - Infrared ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - Infrared ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - Infrared ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - Infrared Images
  • Underdrawing
      • Date: 2007
      • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
      • Support
      • [Heydenreich 2007 A, 57, 60, 61, 66]
      • Ground and Imprimatura
      • [Heydenreich 2007 A, 88, 89, 100, 102]
      • Underdrawing
      • [Heydenreich 2007 A, 108, 109]
      • Paint Layers and Gilding
      • [Heydenreich 2007 A, 112ff]
          • Date: 2005
          • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
          • Infrared reflectography
          • Underdrawing
          • The underdrawing , which was executed with a brush reveals the artist’s struggles to finalize the composition and forms; linear contours were combined with a detailed drawing of the forms with frequent use of arched strokes and hooks; deviations are visible in the hand of the man gesticulating on the right edge of the painting

            [Schölzel, Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 378]

            Further literature:
            [Gronau 1972]
            [Riemann 1980, 116, 117, 151, 152]
            [Sandner, Ritschel 1994]
            [Sandner 1994]
            [Sandner 1995]
            [Giebe, Schölzel 1996, 67-71]
            [Sandner 1998, 106-113]
            [Bomford, Exhib. Cat. London 2002, 144-147]
            [Schölzel 2005, 182-185]
            [Heydenreich 2007 A, 108, 109]
              • Date: 2005
              • Technical Examination
              • Framing
              • - new frame: bare oak wood frame, mid 20th century
                [Schölzel, Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 378]
                  • Date: 2003
                  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
                  • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - ReverseLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - Reverse
                  • Support
                  • - lime wood
                    - 0.6-0.8 cm thick (thinned)
                    - 13 vertical planks
                    - the joins have been reinforced with thirty dovetails aligned in two rows, five of these are large
                    - square exposed area on the left edge
                    - thinned with a toothed plane

                    [Schlegel 2003, 2][1]
                    [1][Schlegel, Schölzel, Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 378]
                      • Date: 2001
                      • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
                      • Infrared reflectography
                      • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - Infrared Images
                      • Underdrawing
                          • Date: 1996
                          • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
                          • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - Analysis
                          • Ground and Imprimatura
                          • [Giebe, Schölzel 1996, 65-66]
                          • Underdrawing
                          • [Giebe, Schölzel 1996, 67-71]
                          • Paint Layers and Gilding
                          • [Giebe, Schölzel 1996, 71-84]
                          • Support
                          • [Giebe, Schölzel 1996, 63-65]
                              • Date: 1995
                              • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
                              • Infrared reflectography
                              • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - Infrared ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - Infrared ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - Infrared ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - Infrared ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - Infrared ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - Infrared Images
                              • Underdrawing
                                • photographed by: Ingo Sandner
                                • Date: 1995
                                • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
                                • X-radiography
                                • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - X-Radiographs
                                    • Date: 27.10.1993
                                    • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
                                    • X-radiography
                                    • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - X-RadiographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Altarpiece with the Martyrdom of St Catharine [central panel] - X-Radiographs
                                        Condition Reports:
                                        • Date: 2003
                                        • Support: - cradle consisting of twenty vertical and ten cross-battens - reddish glaze on the reverse and the cradle - minimum woodworm damage (open channels) Painted surface: - retouches, particularly along the joins, also where there is paint loss in the areas of prominent craquelée - old, glossy varnish [Schlegel 2003, 2][1] [1][Schlegel, Schölzel, Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 378]
                                          • Date: 27.11.1967
                                          • see pdf
                                            History of Restoration:
                                            • Date: 12.04.1966
                                            • see pdf
                                              • Date: 1964
                                              • [GGAM, Abt. Restaurierung, Restaurierungsprotokoll][1] [1][Schölzel, Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 378] see also pdf
                                                • Date: 13.01.1935
                                                • see pdf
                                                  • Date: 1931
                                                  • [Sächs, HStADD, 13458 SKD, GG Nr. 8, Bd. 6, Bl. 138, 200, 202, 208, 209, 213, 221, 223, 224, 229][1] [1][Schölzel, Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 378]
                                                    • Date: 1898
                                                    • [Sächs, HStADD, 13458 SKD, GG Nr. 8, Bd. 6, Bl. 138, 140, 155][1] [1][Schölzel, Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 378]
                                                      • Date: 1877
                                                      • [Sächs, HStADD, 13458 SKD, GG Nr. 8, Bd. 8 a, Bl. 167, Bd. 8 b, Bl. 83][1] [1][Schölzel, Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 378]
                                                        • Date: 1872
                                                        • [Sächs, HStADD, 13458 SKD, GG Nr. 8, Bd. 4 Bl. 17][1] [1][Schölzel, Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 378]