Cranach - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing]
The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing]
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M.
23.11.2017 - 00:58
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Painting:
CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_SMF_1398B
Persistent Linkhttp://lucascranach.org/DE_SMF_1398B
FR (1978) No.FR018
Title:
The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing][Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, No. 18]
The so-called "Torgauer Altar" [left wing][CDA 2011]
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Attribution:
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt 2008, 154, No. 19] [Cat. Frankfurt 2005, 204-225] [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 70-71, No. 18]
Dating:
1509 [central panel dated]
Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerStädel Museum Frankfurt a.M.
RepositoryStädel Museum Frankfurt a.M.
LocationFrankfurt am Main
Dimensions:
Dimensions of support: 120.5 x 45.2 x 0.9 cm [Cat. Frankfurt 2005, 204-225] Dimensions of painted surface, recto: 120.3 x 44.4 cm [Cat. Frankfurt 2005, 204-225] Dimensions of painted surface, verso: 120.4 x 44 cm [Cat. Frankfurt 2005, 204-225]
Support:
Painting on lime wood [Klein, Report 2013] [Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt 2008, 154, No. 19] [Cat. Frankfurt 2005, 204-225]
Description:
Recto: St Mary Cleophas and Alphaeus (with the features of Friedrich the Wise) and his two sons are depicted on the front of the panel. The interior shown on the central panel opens out onto a terrace on the left wing. At the back a wall with pillars and a section of a defensive wall separate the terrace from the landscape beyond. St Mary Cleophas sits on the ground with her head bowed and nurses a child (James the Less). Her legs are stretched out to the right, whereas her upper body is shown from the front. She wears a black robe under her red coat and a black bonnet with a gold border on her head. Alphaeus stands behind her in contemporary dress. He wears a white shirt and green leggings under a gold brocade coat and a beret on his head. A small boy (Barnabas) sits on his honkers in the foreground and leafs through a book. Verso: The Virgin and Child are depicted in grisaille on the reverse of the panel. They are shown frontally in an arched niche. She holds the naked Christ Child in both hands symmetrically in front of her chest. He sits on the palms of her hands and is turned in profile to the right with his arms around the Virgin's neck. She wears a coat with wide sleeves, which falls in broad tubular folds and billows out on the ground at the left. The folds of the skirt of her robe are only visible at the bottom right. Both have a halo in the form of a disk, which emphasizes the impression that they are sculptural elements. [see Cat. Frankfurt 2005, 204-225]
Provenance:
- 21. - 28.06.1906 auction of the Molinier Collection at Brame in Paris (No. 136), acquired by the Städel with financial assistance from the City of Frankfurt, private patrons and friends, the Städelschen Museums-Vereins and the Carl Schaub'schen Stiftung
[Cat. Frankfurt 2005, 204-225]
Exhibitions:
Frankfurt a. M. 2008, No. 19
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Bonnet, Görres 201530-338p. 30, 33
Borchert 201028, 2921
Martin 201052
Brinkmann 200719
Schade 200791, 92, 941
Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt 2007154- 15819pp. 154, 155, 156
Cat. Frankfurt 2005204-225
Sandner 1998 B88, 90, 91Figs. 16.7, 16.7a-c
Exhib. Cat. Eisenach 1998147No. 16.7a-c
Grimm 199873, 77
Wittmann 1998169
Heydenreich 1998 A187Fig. 21.4b
Cat. Kassel 199756, 62
Ritschel 19967-26
Ritschel 199538-62
Thümmel 1994170
Hinz 199332-34
Lübbeke 1991199-200
Löcher 1985 B35
Andersson 198143-79
Friedländer, Rosenberg 197970, 71No. 18Fig. 18
Wirth 197793
Koepplin 1974 A25-34
Ullmann 19747
Exhib. Cat. Basel 197420, 76, 77, 683, 753Fig. 24
Schade 197428-30, 40, 55-56, 66
Hütt 1973346
Hintzenstern 197253-55
Strieder 19668
Mitgau 1963551
Ruhmer 19636, 13, 83
Lüdecke 1953 B40
Posse 194315-16, 53-54
Posse 194215-16, 53-54
Lilienfein 194230-31
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932018
Mielsch 192320-23
Heyck 190817, 59-60, 64
Swarzenski 190749-65
Rieffel 1906269-273
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 08.04.2013
  • Scientific analysis
  • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology
  • Support
  • Identification of wood species: lime wood
    • analysed by: Peter Klein
    • Date: 01.07.2011
    • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
    • Infrared reflectography
    • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - Infrared ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - Infrared Images
    • Underdrawing
    • DESCRIPTION (recto)

      Tools/Materials:
      - fluid, black medium and brush

      Type/Ductus:
      - freehand underdrawing
      - thin lines; occasional hatching-strokes

      Function:
      - relatively binding for the final painted version; lines delineate contours and describe the essential details and the facial features; some representation of volume (hatching-strokes)

      Deviations:
      - minor alterations made during the painting process to clearly define form

      INTERPRETATION

      Attribution:
      - Lucas Cranach the Elder


      DESCRIPTION (verso)

      Tools/Materials:
      - fluid, black medium and brush

      Type/Ductus:
      - freehand underdrawing
      - broader lines

      Function:
      - relatively binding for the final painted version; lines delineate contours and describe the essential details; no representation of volume

      Deviations:
      - minor alterations made during the painting process to clearly define form (e.g. halo, the Virgin’s face)

      INTERPRETATION

      Attribution:
      - Lucas Cranach the Elder?

      [Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2012]
      • photographed by: Gunnar Heydenreich
      • photographed by: Ingo Sandner
      • Date: 2005
      • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
      • Infrared reflectography
      • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - Detail ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - Detail ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - Detail ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - Detail Images
      • Support
      • - seven planks, aligned horizontally
        - height from top to bottom: plank I – left 16.5 cm, right 17.2 cm; plank II – left 24.0 cm, right 24.9 cm; plank III – left 13.1 cm, right 11.1 cm; plank IV – left 15.1 cm, right 14.5 cm; plank V – left 14.5 cm, right 16.3 cm; plank VI – left 18.4 cm, right 16.6 cm; plank VII – left 18.7 cm, right 18.9 cm
      • Underdrawing
      • A freehand underdrawing executed employing a brush is visible in the infrared reflectogram:
        - on the recto this is visible in both children as well as the hand and sleeve of St Mary Cleophas; deviations from the underdrawing are apparent in the left hand of Alpheaus and in his face
        - the brushstrokes are broader and more summary on the verso and they are barely distinguishable from the painted version in the infrared reflectogram. Here there are also some deviations: the Virgin’s right hand finger has been moved and the second tubular fold originally came from the left
      • Paint Layers and Gilding
      • - on both the recto and the verso the edge of the painted surface has been covered with a black strip
        - the haloes were executed in gold leaf
      • Framing
      • Modern
        [Cat. Frankfurt 2005, 204-225]
          • Date: 2000
          • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
          • Micro-sampling / cross-sections
          • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - Analysis
          • CDA ID/Inventory Number: DE_SMF_1398B
            Cross-section number: EP 129
            Paint description: green tree
            Sample location: left wing, top edge, green tree
            Sample number: 128
            Examination method: microscopy

            Observations:
            8. thick glassy layer > recent varnish, pigmented
            7. thin brown glassy layer (yellow in UV-light) > glaze or old varnish
            6. thin brownish glassy layer (yellow in UV-light) > glaze or old varnish, layer containing dark dirt particles(?)
            5. lush green layer with green pigments
            4. paler green layer with green pigments (and white or yellow)
            3. green layer, semi-transparent with green pigments, contours barely discernable (verdigris?), some brownish inclusions
            2. pale grey layer with white and black pigments > underpaint
            1. white layer > ground
            0. wood

            Comments: multilayered green paint with an old varnish
            • examined by: Gunnar Heydenreich
            • Date: 2000
            • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
            • Micro-sampling / cross-sections
            • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - Analysis
            • CDA ID/Inventory Number: DE_SMF_1398B
              Cross-section number: EP 130
              Paint description: grey floor tile
              Sample location: left wing, grey tile
              Sample number: 129
              Examination method: microscopy

              Observations:
              4. extremely thin red layer containing vermilion pigments > reddish glaze?
              3. thicker whitish grey layer with some black pigments and glassy inclusions
              2. thin white layer with single black pigments > underpaint or imprimatura
              1. yellowish white layer > ground very thin here!
              0. wood

              Comments: very thin reddish glaze(?) over a whitish grey underpaint
              • examined by: Gunnar Heydenreich
              • Date: 2000
              • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
              • Micro-sampling / cross-sections
              • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - Analysis
              • CDA ID/Inventory Number: DE_SMF_1398B
                Cross-section number: EP 131
                Paint description: grey architecture (light grey pillar)
                Sample location: left wing, pillar at top right
                Sample number: 130
                Examination methods: microscopy, SEM-EDX

                Observations:
                3. grey layer containing white, black and some blue pigments (EDX: Pb, Si, Cu), azurite, carbon black, lead white, silicon, a lot of organic material)
                2. thin white layer with single black pigments > underpaint or imprimatura
                1. white layer > ground
                0. wood

                Comments: grey layer over an almost white underpaint or imprimatura
                • examined by: Gunnar Heydenreich
                • Date: 2000
                • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
                • Micro-sampling / cross-sections
                • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - Analysis
                • CDA ID/Inventory Number: DE_SMF_1398B
                  Cross-section number: EP 128
                  Paint description: blue sky
                  Sample location: left wing, sky, top edge
                  Sample number:127
                  Examination methods: microscopy, SEM-EDX

                  Observations:
                  4. glassy layer with red inclusions > recent varnish
                  3. blue layer with white (lead white) and blue (EDX: Al, Si, S, K, Ca, Pb ultramarine) and glassy pigments> sky
                  2. grey layer with white and black splintery pigments (EDX: lead white and carbon black) > underpaint
                  1. white layer > ground, no coccoliths
                  0. wood

                  Comments: blue sky (natural ultramarine) over grey underpaint
                  • examined by: Gunnar Heydenreich
                  • Date: 2000
                  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
                  • Micro-sampling / cross-sections
                  • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - Analysis
                  • CDA ID/Inventory Number: DE_SMF_1398B
                    Cross-section number: EP 133
                    Paint description: grey pedestal (grisaille)
                    Sample location: left wing, reverse, pedestal at the bottom centre
                    Sample number: 132
                    Examination methods: microscopy, SEM-EDX

                    Observations:
                    5. varnish
                    4. grey layer, warm tone with coarser black pigments (overpaint?) (EDX: Pb, Ca, Si, Hg, Fe, lead white, in an admixture with vermilion and iron oxide )
                    3. transparent brownish layer > glaze or varnish
                    2. transparent brownish layer > original glaze or varnish
                    1. grey layer containing white and fine black pigments (soot black) an application in one or two layers? (EDX: Pb, Ca, lead white, chalk, no copper blue)
                    0. white layer > ground, no imprimatura visible, fibrous inclusions (protein fibre?)
                    • examined by: Gunnar Heydenreich
                    • Date: 2000
                    • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
                    • Micro-sampling / cross-sections
                    • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - Analysis
                    • CDA ID/Inventory Number: DE_SMF_1398B
                      Cross-section number: EP 132
                      Paint description: grey (dark grey) wall
                      Sample location: left wing, dark grey wall, top right
                      Sample number: 131
                      Examination method: microscopy

                      Observations:
                      6. recent varnish
                      5. transparent brownish layer > varnish
                      4. transparent brownish layer > old varnish with dirt on the surface
                      3. dark grey layer with black and some white pigments, applied in two layers, in UV-light the maxtix exhibits a partiall fluorescene
                      2. thin white layer, single black pigments > underpaint or imprimatura
                      1. white layer > ground, two layers?
                      0. wood

                      Comments: multilayered varnish over a grey paint layer; white underpaint/imprimatura over a white ground
                      • examined by: Gunnar Heydenreich
                      • Date: 1994
                      • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
                      • Other imaging techniques
                      • False-colour-infrared-imaging
                        • photographed by: Gunnar Heydenreich
                        • Date: 1994
                        • Scientific analysis
                        • Micro-sampling / cross-sections
                        • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Städel Museum Frankfurt a.M. - The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship [left wing] - Analysis
                          • analysed by: Gunnar Heydenreich
                          Condition Reports:
                          • Date: 2005
                          • - a wooden batten was attached to the bottom edge of the panel. It is 0.4 cm thick and is now slightly damaged on the right - recto: in UV light the following irregular cleaning tests are visible: more varnish was removed from the flesh paint of St Mary Cleophas and the white sleeve of the figure in the foreground, the face and chest of Alpheaus, the castle and the rocky outcrop in the background - verso: numerous retouchings over an old varnish (from a past restoration), which was unevenly thinned; there are patchy cleaning tests here too: more varnish was removed from the child, the head, the hair, the hands and the right sleeve of the Virgin as well as her stomach and her robe; under the varnish there are large retouchings in the bottom third of the figure, on the folds of the coat below her left arm and on her lower arm as well as on the left of the niche [Cat. Frankfurt 2005, 204-225]