Cranach - Agony in the Garden
Agony in the Garden
Lucas Cranach the Elder (and workshop)
Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf
17.06.2019 - 02:42
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Painting:
CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_SMKP_M206
Persistent Linkhttp://lucascranach.org/DE_SMKP_M206
FR (1978) No.FR376C
Title:
Agony in the Garden[CDA 2011]
Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane[Hydenreich, CDA 2011]
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Attribution:
Lucas Cranach the Elder (and workshop)[Heydenreich, CDA 2011] [Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017, 187, No.92]
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Friedländer 1937]
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Dating:
about 1540 Letter from M.J. Friedländer. Berlin, 24.VI.37 [Documentation file, Museum Kunstpalast 2011] [Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017, 187, No.92]
Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerThe City of Düsseldorf
RepositoryMuseum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf
LocationDüsseldorf
Dimensions:
Dimensions of support: 86.5 x 58.5 x 0.5 cm (trimmed along the sides, thinned on the reverse) Dimensions including frame: 15.5 x 78.3 x 8 cm [Heydenreich, cda 2011]
Support:
Painting on beech wood [Heydenreich, cda 2011]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia bottom right: winged serpent with dropped wings, facing left; in black paint
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
Reverse of the panel on the cradle: in paint '206', '19'; label: 'Lucas Cranach, 19, Christus am Ölberg' - 4 seals that were presumably originally on the reverse of the panel before it was thinned. They are now mounted on wooden disks, which have been attached to the reverse of the panel (see photograph) Reverse of the frame: label: 'F. G. Conzen, No. 1724, Rahmenfabrik Düsseldorf'; written in pen: '1724', '2407'; in paint: '(19)'; label with inscription: 'Von diesem Bild 'Ölberg' von Lucas Cranach ist mir bekannt, dass es im Jahre 1937 durch einen rheinischen Sammler von der Kunsthandlung ABELS in Köln erworben wurde. Gez. Stuckert , 10.03.49' - a further label with an illegible inscription and two further imprints from other labels [Heydenreich, CDA 2011]
Description:
Enveloped in a blue robe Christ kneels on a circular rocky plateau in the garden of Gethsemane awaiting the agony of the Passion. Full of fear he looks up to the left from where an angel descends with the very chalice, that Jesus refers to in Matthew 26, 42 when he asks his father if it could pass him by. The sleeping apostles occupy the foreground of the composition and are separated by a hedge. In addition to the youthful figure of St John dressed in red the grey haired figure of St Peter can be identified. In the background the subsequent scene of Christ¿s arrest is shown. Judas dressed in yellow betrays Christ to his pursuers with a kiss; while Peter cuts one of their ears off with his sword. The coats of arms of two donors are shown in the top right corner: Left coat of arms: party per [horizontal] white and black, bear's head on white field Right coat of arms: yellow field with red horizontal band, three green leaves [Görres, cda 2016]
Provenance:
- Karlshorst, evangelist church [Expertise, Friedländer, 24.6.1937; Kaeber 1935, 178]
- 1937 acquired by a collector in the Rheinland from Kunsthaus Abels, Cologne [Notiz: Stuckert 10.3.1949, see label on the reverse of the frame]
- 1948 acquired from Frau Ursula Stuckert, Wangen am Untersee

[Heydenreich, CDA 2011]
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017187No. 92
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979376C
Cat. Düsseldorf 19621734
Kaeber 1935178
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932301C
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
'The painting illustrated overleaf is in my opinion a well preserved original, signed work by Lucas Cranach the Elder, created about 1540. It is listed in the book on Cr. complied by Rosenberg and myself under No. 301c.'
Signed M.J. Friedländer. Berlin, 24.VI.37

[Documentation file, Museum Kunstpalast, 2011]
'A combined coat-of-arms of a patrician married couple for Lüneburg […] the couple referred to is Dietrich II. Schomaker (died 1540) and Margarete v. Dassel, who were married in 1536.'

[Letter from Dr. Gerhard Körner on 4.1.1973 to the director of the Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf, Documentation file, Museum Kunstpalast, 2011]
Cranach was probably commissioned in 1540 by Margarethe von Dassel to execute the painting shortly after the death of her husband.

[Heydeneich, cda 2011]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 01.09.2011
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Infrared reflectography
  • Lucas Cranach the Elder (and workshop) - Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf - Agony in the Garden - Infrared Images
  • Underdrawing
  • DESCRIPTION

    Tools/Materials:
    - fluid, black medium and brush ; preliminary design with dark chalk?

    Type/Ductus:
    - detailed and freehand underdrawing, barely visible
    - thin 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; small changes (e.g. in the background: lances, houses on the far bank)

    INTERPRETATION

    Attribution:
    - workshop?

    [Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2012]
    • photographed by: Gunnar Heydenreich
    • Date: 2011
    • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
    • Lucas Cranach the Elder (and workshop) - Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf - Agony in the Garden - Detail ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder (and workshop) - Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf - Agony in the Garden - Detail ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder (and workshop) - Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf - Agony in the Garden - Detail ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder (and workshop) - Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf - Agony in the Garden - Detail ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder (and workshop) - Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf - Agony in the Garden - Detail ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder (and workshop) - Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf - Agony in the Garden - Detail ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder (and workshop) - Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf - Agony in the Garden - Detail ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder (and workshop) - Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf - Agony in the Garden - Detail Images
    • Support
    • - wooden panel consisting of three vertical planks, appears to be beech wood
      - top from the left: 23.1/21.5/14 cm, bottom from the left: 23/22/13.5 cm
      - the joins are covered with an application of fibrous material from the front
      - on the reverse the remains of a rebate has been preserved along the top and bottom edges
    • Ground and Imprimatura
    • - white ground
      - there is a barbe along the top and the bottom c. 5-7 mm from the edge, barely visible
      - the ground extends to the edge of the panel on the left and right sides (trimmed slightly)
    • Underdrawing
    • - precise underdrawing with a pen (?)
    • Paint Layers and Gilding
    • - extensive fluid, grey underpaint, particularly visible under the flesh paint and in the sky
      - Pentiment in the landscape in the background (a second town is visible in the infrared photograph, which was covered during the painting process and replaced by another town further away)
      - the bluish grey paint of Christ’s robe was applied employing both strokes and a stippling technique
      - the hair is skillfully drawn
      - the halo around Christ’s head was executed in shell gold
      - the barbe at the top and the bottom of the painting was covered with a black band of paint c. 5-7 mm in width
    • Framing
    • - rebate frame with a profile, 20th century
      - reverse of the frame:
      label: 'F. G. Conzen, No. 1724, Rahmenfabrik Düsseldorf'; written in pen: '1724', '2407'; in paint: '(19)“' label with inscription: 'Von diesem Bild 'Ölberg' von Lucas Cranach ist mir bekannt, dass es im Jahre 1937 durch einen rheinischen Sammler von der Kunsthandlung ABELS in Köln erworben wurde. Gez. Stuckert , 10.03.49'
      - a further label with an illegible inscription and two further imprints from other labels
      • written by: Gunnar Heydenreich
      Condition Reports:
      • Date: 05.09.2011
      • - the panel has been thinned and a cradle was attached to the reverse (14 x 14 battens) - the right and left edges have been slightly trimmed - isolated old woodworm channels are visible on the reverse of the panel - the remains of a rebate is visible on the reverse along the top and bottom edges, which indicates that the panel was thinned to the level of the rebate - the panel exhibits a slight convex warp (max. c. 5 mm) - splits run from the top edge(23 cm from the left, 3 cm long, a loss in the paint layer; 13 cm from the right, 8 cm long, cracks in the paint layer; 10.5 cm from the right, c. 13 cm clearly visible) and the bottom edge (12 cm from the right., 2.5 cm long, with a small loss; 22 cm from the right, 2 cm long; in the bottom right corner, 5cm from the bottom) - the surface has been partially abraded at some stage in the past, some old small losses, old discoloured retouches - the frame exhibits slight knocks and inconspicuous scratches on all four sides
      • written by: Gunnar Heydenreich
      • Date: 31.01.2006
      • 2006 (Restaurierungszentrum Düsseldorf) - the support, the ground and the painted surface are in good and stable condition - the support exhibits a slight convex warp (max. c. 5mm) - there are splits running from the top edge (23 cm from the left, 3 cm long, a loss in the paint layer; 13 cm from the right, 8 cm long, cracks in the paint layer; 10.5 cm from the right, c. 13 cm clearly visible) and the bottom edge (12 cm from the right., 2.5 cm long, with a small loss; 22 cm from the right, 2 cm long; in the bottom right corner, 5cm from the bottom) - the surface has been partially abraded at some stage in the past, some old small losses, old discoloured retouches - the frame exhibits slight knocks and inconspicuous scratches on all four sides - there is an obvious new loss on the right edge of the frame (7 cm from the bottom) (loss in the wood c. 16 x 4 mm). There is no information about how this damage occurred
      • written by: Gunnar Heydenreich
      History of Restoration:
      • Date: 09.12.1998
      • 1998 (Restaurierungszentrum Düsseldorf) Condition: - flaking in the paint layers - numerous areas covered with a facing of japanese paper - the paper has been torn off in one area (here the is a small paint loss)
      • Treatment: - the japanese paper was removed and the paint layers were consolidated with sturgeon glue (5%) - partial application of a dammar varnish (6% in Shellsol K30) to compensate an uneven appearance of the varnish - loss filled and retouched (chalk/sturgeon glue admixture, watercolours).
      • conservation treatment by: Helen Smith