Cranach - David and Bathseba
(Elector Joachim II's exemplum panels)
David and Bathseba (Elector Joachim II's exemplum panels)
Lucas Cranach the Elder (workshop)
Jagdschloss Grunewald (Grunewald hunting lodge)
12.12.2018 - 01:49
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Painting:
CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_SPSG_GKI1186
Persistent Linkhttp://lucascranach.org/DE_SPSG_GKI1186
FR (1978) No.FR357F
Title:
David and Bathseba (Elector Joachim II's exemplum panels)[CDA 2012]
Attribution:
Lucas Cranach the Elder (workshop)[Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten, Berlin - Brandenburg, revised 2011]
Lucas Cranach the Younger 'seems more like Lucas Cranach the Younger' [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 141, No. 357F]
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Dating:
about 1540 - 1545[Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten, Berlin - Brandenburg, revised 2011]
Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerStiftung Preussische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg
RepositoryJagdschloss Grunewald (Grunewald hunting lodge)
LocationGrunewald
Dimensions:
Dimensions of support: 209.5 x 107 cm [Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten, Berlin - Brandenburg, revised 2011]
Support:
Painting on Lime wood (Tilia sp.) [Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 201-202, No. III.20]
Signature / Date:
none
Description:
The story of King David is told in the Old Testament (2. Samuel, II). He falls in love with Bathsheba, the wife of his general Uria. She first becomes his lover and then after he had sent her husband to his death she became his second wife. In the painting Bathsheba is depicted sitting on the banks of a river. She wears a contemporary dark red robe and numerous pieces of jewellery in accordance with court attire of the time. One of her entourage washes her feet. Four more elegantly dressed ladies are gathered around her. However, she only pays attention to King David who stands in the tower and plays the harp. [see Elke A. Werner, Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 201-202, No. III.20]
Provenance:
- since 1793 in the Berlin palace
[Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 201-202, No. III.20]
Exhibitions:
Berlin 2009/10, No. III.20
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Wohlberedt 2015194, 203
Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009 A201-202No. III.20Fig. III.20
Most, Wolf et al. 200988-89
Erichsen 1997
Michaelis 198925
Moos 1988
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979141No. 357F
Exhib. Cat. Basel 1974562-565, 577-578
Schade 1974439No. 324
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932288f
Friedländer 1906/190767-70
Rumpf 1794131
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
‘The four large exemplum panels, which belonged to Elector Joachim II depict stories from classical antiquity and the old testament, that were popular during the renaissance as exempla of virtue. They were distributed in books for the education of princes (>>Fürstenspiegel<<) as well as being used to decorate representative rooms in castles and town halls. Associated with the depiction of these narratives was the idea that the virtues and vices of illustrious figures could provide standards and role models for political action. The exempla of virtue could on the one hand have a moralizing-didactic character by illustrating correct behavior to the princes or councillors; they could also serve the legitimization of political power and interests by justifying the ruler’s virtuous behavior. The panels in Berlin illustrate the monarchical virtues of moderation, wisdom, justice and courage. […]
It may be assumed, that the complex content and composition of the four paintings were based on a design by the father. These were then executed rapidly – probably under the supervision of Lucas Cranach the Younger - by workshop members. This would explain slight inconsistencies in the proportions and other formal details. Friedländer, Rosenberg and Schade on the other hand suggest that the painting is an autographed work by the son.‘
[Elke A. Werner, Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 200-201, Nos. III.20-23]
‚Since the 1520s Cranach depicted this subject in various formats, employing different techniques and adapting the composition to fit the requirements. […] A pen and ink drawing in Leipzig (Cat. No. III. 24) probably served as a preparatory drawing for this painting. In the painting the modestly dressed Bathsheba hardly has the appearance of a seductress and the adultery seems to have been initiated by the king. As such the painting is less a warning against female lust and more a reminder of the sin of adultery and in association with that a plea for moderation.’
[Elke A. Werner, Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 201-202, No. III.20]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 01.01.2010
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Infrared reflectography
  • Lucas Cranach the Elder (workshop) - Jagdschloss Grunewald (Grunewald hunting lodge) - David and Bathseba
(Elector Joachim II's exemplum panels) - Infrared Images
  • Underdrawing
  • - an underdrawing is not readily visible

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