Cranach - Portrait of Martin Luther
Portrait of Martin Luther
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Stadtmuseum Nördlingen
17.06.2019 - 02:42
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CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_SMN_25
Persistent Link
FR (1978) No.FR-none
Portrait of Martin Luther[CDA 2010]
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Exhib. Cat. Brussels, Paris 2010/2011, 223]
Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerStadtmuseum Nördlingen
RepositoryStadtmuseum Nördlingen
Dimensions of support: 10cm (diameter) [Exhib. Cat. Brussels, Paris 2010/11, 223]
Painting on wood [Exhib. Cat. Brussels, Paris 2010/11, 223]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia left: winged serpent with elevated wings, facing right and dated '1525'
The medallion portrait depicting Martin Luther against a blue background was created in the year he was married to Katharina von Bora. The pendant has presumably not survived.
Brussels, Paris 2010/2011, No. 135
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Schuchardt 2015 B38, 40No. 25Fig. 13
Exhib. Cat. Eisenach 201596-9725Fig. p. 97
Exhib. Cat. Paris 2011223No. 135
Exhib. Cat. Brussels 2010223135pp. 223, 246
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
'When Luther married Katharina von Bora on the 13th of June 1525 the defrocked monk took an unequivocal stand on the question of clerical celibacy. To document this step in which he visibly advocated a marriage in priesthood he commissioned the Cranach workshop to produce a series of medallion portraits of himself and his wife, a runaway nun. The painting in Nördling was among these first depictions of the married couple created by Cranach. It is dated to the year of their marriage, and does not yet appear to have been published and its pendant is unfortunately lost. The quality is equal to the most well known surviving examples, the pendants in the Basel Kunstmuseum (FR187-188).'

[Messling, Exhib. Cat. Brussels, Paris 2010/11, 223]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 2010
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Infrared reflectography
  • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Stadtmuseum Nördlingen - Portrait of Martin Luther - Infrared Images
  • Underdrawing
  • - an underdrawing is not visible

    [Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2012]
    • photographed by: Gunnar Heydenreich