Cranach - St Mary Magdalene
St Mary Magdalene
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum - Fondation Corboud, Köln
28.09.2020 - 22:59
Choose objects with for comparison
CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_WRMK_WRM390
Persistent Link
FR (1978) No.FR168
St Mary Magdalene[Cat. Cologne 1969, 43-44]
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Cat. Cologne 1969, 43-44]
Hans Cranach [Flechsig 1900 A, 253]
Hide content...
Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerWallraf-Richartz-Museum - Fondation Corboud, Köln
RepositoryWallraf-Richartz-Museum - Fondation Corboud, Köln
Dimension of support: 48.7 x 31 cm Dimension of painted surface: 47.8 x 30 cm [Cat. Cologne 1969, 43-44]
Painting on beech wood [Cat. Cologne 1969, 43-44]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia and date bottom left: winged serpent with elevated wings, facing right, and dated '1525' [cda 2013]
The painting depicts Mary Magdalene as a full-length figure stepping forwards, wearing courtly clothing and holding the ointment jar in her hands. The pretty young woman's reddish blond hair hangs loose and is covered by an almost invisible veil. She wears a choker set with precious stones and two chains around her neck. A hedge separates her elegant figure from the expansive landscape with deer in the background. In the distance the ascension of the saint into heaven is shown. [Görres, cda 2016]
- unknown private collection
- auction about 1800
- collection of Johann Abraham Anton Schaaffhausen (1756-1824), Cologne
- 1867 purchased, donated by Mrs. Therese Schaaffhausen, Cologne

[Cat. Cologne 1969, 43-44]
- Berlin 1937, No. 49
- Cologne 2003
- Frankfurt 2007, No. 56
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Heydenreich 2007 A294234
Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt 2007230-23156p. 231
Exhib. Cat. Prague 200572, 73 (English version 31)under no. 10Fig. p. 73
Krischel 20036-7
Schaefer, Saint-George 200326-27
Budde, Krischel 200096-97
Zehnder, Kier 199851
Haskins 1998298
Stepanov 1997
Exhib. Cat. Cologne 1995591
Klein 1994 A195
Hinz 199390-91
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979168
Cat. Cologne 196943-44
Signon 196571-72
Thöne 19656
Emminghaus 196464, 67-68
Brückner 196332
Lobeck 195925-28
Posse 19425961
Exhib. Cat. Berlin 193749pl. 51
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932143
Gronau 1918/19192917
Friedländer 1913 B16
Flechsig 1900 A253-254
Schuchardt 1871142-14329
Merlo 186725-26
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 01.02.2014
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Infrared reflectography
  • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Wallraf-Richartz-Museum - Fondation Corboud, Köln - St Mary Magdalene - Infrared Images
  • Underdrawing

    - initial design executed with a dry drawing material, dark chalk (?); continued employing a fluid, black medium; brush

    - freehand schematic underdrawing (where visible)
    - fine, thin lines (initial design), combined with thin to broader brushstrokes employing a fluid medium

    - relatively binding for the final painted version; the lines define the contours of the figures and indicate facial features and details; the broad lines are more sketchy; no representation of volume

    - almost no adjustments made during the painting process; changes (e. g. the animals in the background, the pattern on the dress has been shifted slightly in the chest region


    - Lucas Cranach the Elder or workshop

    [Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich cda 2014]
      • Date: 2003
      • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
      • Underdrawing
      • - clearly visible underdrawing in the outer garments, slightly shifted in the painted version
        - the dark lively lines are applied in different widths
        - the ductus suggests the use of a pen with which lines were often repeated
        - thin lines are also visible in the area of the oinment jar and the outer contours of the right sleeve
        - short, arched pen lines also visible in the background
        - the comparatively sparse underdrawing could be explained by the fact that the painted version deviates only minimally from the underdrawing
        - nevertheless there is a freehand underdrawing of two animal scenes in the background
        [Schaefer, Saint-George 2003, 27]
        • examined by: Iris Schaefer
        • examined by: Caroline von Saint-George
        • Date: 1993
        • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
        • X-radiography
        • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Wallraf-Richartz-Museum - Fondation Corboud, Köln - St Mary Magdalene - X-RadiographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Wallraf-Richartz-Museum - Fondation Corboud, Köln - St Mary Magdalene - X-Radiographs
          • created by: Wallraf-Richartz-Museum - Fondation Corboud, Köln
          Condition Reports:
          • Date: 1969
          • - large discoloured retouching in the sky on the join at the left - at the bottom of the join there are small retouches - at the bottom right edge there is a large reconstruction - the paint of the sailing ship in the background on the right is abraded [Cat. Cologne 1969, 43-44]