Cranach - Ecce Homo
Ecce Homo
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Grunewald hunting lodge
24.04.2019 - 18:05
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CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_SPSG_GKI1193
Persistent Link
FR (1978) No.FR374B
Ecce Homo[Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten, Berlin - Brandenburg, revised 2011]
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten, Berlin - Brandenburg, revised 2011]
Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerStiftung Preussische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg
RepositoryGrunewald hunting lodge
Dimensions of support: 152 x 116.4 cm [Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten, Berlin - Brandenburg, revised 2011]
Painting on lime wood (Tilia sp.) [Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 216, No. IV.18]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia at the centre of the lower edge: winged serpent (with dropped wings) and date '1537'
After Christ is crowned with thorns he is presented by Pilate to the high priests and the soldiers with the words: 'Look! Here is the man!' (John 19, 4-15). In the painting Christ - as is described in the bible - holds a palm branch as a sceptre and is wearing the crown of thorns and the red coat with which he was mocked as king of the Jews. He was exhibited by Pilate on a gallery. Beneath the gallery two prisoners are lead out of the cellar by a henchman. These are probably the thieves, who were executed with Christ. [see Elke A. Werner, Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 216, No. IV.18]
- probably removed from the Domkirche (Cathedral) in the 17th century and relocated to the Erasmuskapelle (Erasmus Chapel) in the Berliner Schloss (Berlin Palace); the Berliner Schloss inventory from 1700 lists eight paintings depicting scenes from the Passion of Christ.
[Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 213, Nos. IV.14-22]
Berlin 2009/10, No. IV.18
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009 A216No. IV.18Fig. IV.18
Most, Wolf et al. 200988, 93
Tacke 2007 C81, 82, 84
Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005342under No. 23
Erichsen 1994 A157, 158
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979145No. 374B
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932294b
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
‚The painting is one of nine Passion panels, that were originally parts of an unknown number of winged altarpieces. Commissioned by Joachim II Lucas Cranach the Elder and his workshop created them for the collegial church in Berlin (Berliner Stiftskirche) between 1537 and 1538. This is one of the central panels, which was probably flanked by full-length depictions of saints on the wings and complemented by scenes from the old testament on the predella. […] The Berlin Passion cycle was based on the 16 Passion altarpieces, which were commissioned by Cardinal Albrecht from Lucas Cranach the Elder and his workshop for the collegial church in Halle (Hallenser Stiftskirche) (about 1520-1525) and it was the second large painted Passion series created in the Cranach workshop. Not only are numerous central panels now missing from the Berlin Passion altarpieces, like for example ‚The Arrest of Christ‘ or ‚The Crucifixion‘, but in addition the whereabouts of all the wing panels and a large number of the predella panels is unknown. They were probably lost in 1613 when Elector Johann Sigismund converted to Calvinism. […]‘
[Elke A. Werner, Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 213, No. IV.14-22]
‚Although a division of the composition into two zones has a long tradition for this subject, compared with earlier depictions by Cranach, and indeed Dürer or Schongauer, here Christ appears to be further away from the soldiers and the high priests, because of his elevated position.’
[Elke A. Werner, Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 216, No. IV.18]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 01.01.2010
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Infrared reflectography
  • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Grunewald hunting lodge - Ecce Homo - Infrared Images
  • Underdrawing

    - fluid, black medium and brush

    - detailed and freehand underdrawing
    - short, thin lines (predominantly in the faces and hands) in combination with longer lines

    - binding for the final painted version; lines delineate contours and describe the essential details and the facial features; scant representation of volume

    - minor alterations made during the painting process to clearly define form

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