Cranach - The Adoration of the Magi
The Adoration of the Magi
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein, Gotha
23.05.2019 - 02:58
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CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_SMG_SG677
Persistent Link
FR (1978) No.FR048
The Adoration of the Magi[CDA 2010]
Die Mutter Gottes mit dem Kindlein Jesu, welchem die Heil. Drey Könige oder Weysen aus MorgenLand Geschenke bringen."Die Mutter Gottes mit dem Kindlein Jesu, welchem die Heil. Drey Könige oder Weysen aus MorgenLand Geschenke bringen. Lucas Cranachs Arbeit", [Inventar 1721, fol. 483, No. 9][1] [1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 16]
Die drei weißen aus Morgen land[Nachlass-Inventar 1681, No. 4][1], 'In the picture chamber under the roof'[1] [1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 16]
Wie die Weyßen auß Morgenlandt zum Hern Christo kommen[Inventar 1644, fol. 31][1] [1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 16]
Eine Gemahlte Tafel [...] daran die Histori abconterfeit, wie die heilge drey Könige daß Kindlein Jhesu angebetet vndt dasselbe beschenkt haben[Thüringisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Weimar, A 551, Inventar über die Hinterlassenschaft des Herzogs Friedrich Wilhelm][1] [1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 16]
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Lucas Cranach the Elder [Exhib. Cat. Hamburg 2003, 168, No. 7] [Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 16] 'Cranach Lucas Sunders' [Inventar 1764, fol. 237, No. 9][1] [Verzeichnis 1826, fol. 69, No. 134][1] [1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 16]
about 1513 - 1516[Schade, Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 16] [Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 261]
about 1505'A lovely, fresh picture from the artist's youth', [Schneidler 1868, Abt. V, No. 32][1]; [ Aldenhoven 1890, No. 331][1] [1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 16]
about 1512'about 1512' [Koepplin, Exhib. Cat. 1974, 526, No. 373]
about 1515'Scheibler: about 1515, like the 'Marriage of Catharine' in Wörlitz, supported also by the rough shape of the serpent. It is a major work by Cranach from this period.' [Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 16]
about 1514[Exhib. Cat. Hamburg 2003, 168, No. 7]
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Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerStiftung Schloss Friedenstein, Gotha
RepositoryStiftung Schloss Friedenstein, Gotha
Dimensions of support: 122 x 73 cm [Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 16] Dimensions including frame: 145.5 x 97 cm [Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein, revised 2011]
Painting on fir wood [Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 16, 214] [Klein, Report 1994]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia bottom, centre: winged serpent with elevated wings, facing left; in orange/yellow paint
The Adoration of the Magi. The Virgin is wearing a red dress with a violet hem and a blue cloak with green lining and is seated beneath a thatched roof in front of an old wall behind which a tower is visible. She holds the infant who is standing on her knee. He takes a gold coin from the dish offered to him by the bearded old man kneeling before him who casts a reverential glance at the Virgin. He is wearing a damask gown with green sleeves and an ermine collar. Beside him kneels a man with blond curly hair wearing a purple coat with a fur collar and a gold chain, and holding an embossed cup. His fur hat and gold chain are on the ground in front of him. A Moor stands behind him in a red robe and a green coat with damask elements. He is holding a gold vessel. He has pearl earrings and his turban sits on the nape of his neck. In the background there is a rocky landscape with a castle and a town. Signed with the dragon (yellow, large) [; accessed 20 Oct 2015] [Translation, cda 2015]
- recorded in Gotha Castle since 1681
[Inventar 1681, No. 4][1]

[1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 2001, 1.2]
Dresden 1899, No. 78
Dresden 1971, No. 107, Plate
Weimar 1972, No. 8
Basel 1974, No. 373, Fig. 282
Gotha 1994
Hamburg 2003, No. 7
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005261under No. 10.1Fig. 121
Exhib. Cat. Hamburg 200345, 1687Pl. 7
Schade 2003187Fig. 15
Exhib. Cat. Gotha 20011.2
Exhib. Cat. Gotha 199416
Klein 1994 B210, 214
Schade, Schuttwolf 199416-18, 331.1Figs. p. 16, 17, Pl. p. 33
Klein 1994 A194
Friedländer, Rosenberg 197979No. 48Fig. 48
Schade 197467Fig. 92
Exhib. Cat. Basel 1974526-527No. 373Fig. 282
Exhib. Cat. Dresden 1971No. 107
Lilienfein 1942Fig. 36
Bockelberg 1941119
Friedländer, Rosenberg 19323843
Flechsig 1900 A95-97Figs. 18, 101, 278, 297
Exhib. Cat. Dresden 1899No. 78
Parthey 1863-1864681 (Bd. 1)No. 45 (?)
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 17.03.1994
  • Scientific analysis
  • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology
  • Support
  • 'The panel consists of six fir wood (Abies alba) planks. Planks I and VI and II and V are respectively from the same tree. (20.7 x 14.3 cm). The 58 (Plank I) and 57 (Plank VI) annual rings measured match the fir wood chronology of southern Germany between the years 1488 and 1431 and 1487 and 1431 respectively. The most recent annual ring dated is from the year 1488. Usually with fir wood the entire transverse section was used and only the bark was removed, therefore the earliest felling date is 1488. Considering a two year seasoning period the painting could have been created no earlier than 1490.'

    [Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 16, 214]
    • analysed by: Peter Klein
    • Date: 1966
    • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
    • X-radiography
    • 'The detail is clearly visible. The flesh paint contains a considerable amount of lead white, but does not dfferentiate in the modelling. The hair is painted with a very fine brush. The craquellee varies and is partially dictated by the grain of the wood. There is a large loss on the child's left temple which is partially punctuated with tiny islands of lead white. The vertical grain of the wood (fir) is clearly visible. The panel consists of more than one plank and has a cradle on the reverse, with vertical load bearing battens and horizontal removable ones.'

      Martin Meier-Siem, Hamburg 1966
      [Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 16]
      • examined by: Martin Meier-Siems