Cranach - The Judgment of Kambyses
(Elector Joachim II's exemplum panels)
The Judgment of Kambyses (Elector Joachim II's exemplum panels)
Lucas Cranach the Elder (workshop)
Jagdschloss Grunewald (Grunewald hunting lodge)
22.11.2018 - 12:04
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Painting:
CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_SPSG_GKI1188
Persistent Linkhttp://lucascranach.org/DE_SPSG_GKI1188
FR (1978) No.FR-none
Title:
The Judgment of Kambyses (Elector Joachim II's exemplum panels)[CDA 2012]
Attribution:
Lucas Cranach the Elder (workshop)[Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten, Berlin - Brandenburg, revised 2011] [Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 203, No. III.23]
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: 209.4 x 107.1 cm [Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten, Berlin - Brandenburg, revised 2011]
Support:
Painting on Lime wood (Tilia sp.) [Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten, Berlin - Brandenburg, revised 2011] [Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 203, No. III.23]
Signature / Date:
none
Description:
The greek historiographer Herodotus (Histories V, 25) passed down the story of the judgement of the Persian King Kambyses to us. He convicted the judge Sisamnes of corruption and had him flayed alive as punishment. He then stretched the skin over the judge's chair and ordered Sisamnes' son Otanes to take his place on the chair as the new judge. By employing simultaneous depiction in this painting Cranach linked the flaying of Sisamnes, which is illustrated in the background, with a scene in the foreground showing the judge Otanes sitting on his throne covered by a baldachin made of his father's hide. The judge alone wears a turban, distinguishing him as an historical figure, whereas the other men and women present in the courtroom are in contemporary dress. A man gestures angrily and attempts to justify himself in front of the judge who points a critical finger. Two bearded elderly men each explain the judgement of the court to a group of women. [see Elke A. Werner, Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 203, No. III.23]
Provenance:
- between 1811 and 1816 transferred by the municipal court (Kammergericht) to the Berliner Schloss (Berlin Palace)
[Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 200-201, Nos. III.20-23]
Exhibitions:
Berlin 2009/10, Cat.-No. III.23
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Wohlberedt 2015194, 203
Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009 A203No. III.23Fig. III.23
Most, Wolf et al. 200988-89, 93, 97Fig. 2
Erichsen 1997
Michaelis 198925
Moos 1988
Schade 1974439No. 324
Friedländer 1906/190767-70
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 late 15th century this exemplum justitiae was often found in German and Netherlandish town halls and served as a warning against corruption.’
[Elke A. Werner, Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 203, No. III.23]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 01.01.2010
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Infrared reflectography
  • Lucas Cranach the Elder (workshop) - Jagdschloss Grunewald (Grunewald hunting lodge) - The Judgment of Kambyses
(Elector Joachim II's exemplum panels) - Infrared Images
  • Underdrawing
  • - an underdrawing is not readily visible; possibly initially executed with fine chalk lines, followed by a fluid, black medium applied with a brush?

    Attribution:
    - Lucas Cranach the Younger?

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