Cranach - Venus with Cupid Stealing Honey
Venus with Cupid Stealing Honey
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen
21.08.2019 - 14:14
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Painting:
CDA ID / Inventory NumberDK_SMK_KMSsp719
Persistent Linkhttp://lucascranach.org/DK_SMK_KMSsp719
FR (1978) No.FR244
Title:
Venus with Cupid Stealing Honey[Statens Museum for Kunst, revised 2013]
Attribution:
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Exhib. Cat. Gotha 2015, No. 60] [Statens Museum for Kunst, revised 2013] [Exhib. Cat. Hamburg 2003, No. 63]
Dating:
1530[dated]
Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerStatens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen
RepositoryStatens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen
LocationCopenhagen
Dimensions:
Dimensions of support: 58.0 x 38.0 cm Dimensions including frame: 68.5 x 49.5 cm [Statens Museum for Kunst, revised 2013]
Support:
Painting on beech wood [Klein, Report 2013]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia at the bottom right: winged serpent with elevated wings facing left and dated '1530'; in black paint [Statens Museum for Kunst, revised 2013]
Description:
A naked lady stands in the middle (Venus) and at her right side stands a little boy with wings (Cupido). In his right hand he holds some honey. The background of the painting consists of trees, a village and some mountains. [Statens Museum for Kunst, revised 2013]
Provenance:
- 1710: listed in the Gottorf inventory
- 1759: transferred from Gottorf castle to the Royal Art Chamber in Copenhagen
[Statens Museum for Kunst, revised 2013]
Exhibitions:
Stockholm 1988
Copenhagen 2002
Hamburg 2003, No. 63
Gotha/Kassel 2015, No. 60
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Dohe 201548
Bonnet, Görres 201562-6320p. 63
Bonde 2007Fig. p. 160
Bach-Nielsen 2006279Fig. p. 278
SMK 200523Fig.
Exhib. Cat. Hamburg 200368, 17963Pl. 63
Robert 2003109, 11062Fig. 6
Koepplin 2003 C160, 161Fig. 95
Kolind Poulsen 2003130-132, 136, 14163Fig. 10
Exhib. Cat. Copenhagen 200253, 56, 69No. 33Fig. p. 53
Auct. Cat. London 200160
Jongh 1998Fig. p. 21
Exhib. Cat. Schleswig 1997364 (Vol. 2)No. 428 (Vol. 2)Fig. p. 77
Exhib. Cat. Stockholm 198866No. 51Plate p. 67
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979No. 244
Norn 196159, Fn. 728
Eriksen 195346-49Fig. p. 49
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932202
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
Image and text interrelate in a relationship of tension so that the viewer - drawn in by the Goddess' direct gaze - must resolve the reception of the image on his own. The complexity of the visual and intellectual levels of discourse - image and text, sensuality and moderation, aesthetic indulgence and scholarly reflection - mark the artistic quality of the depiction, that adresses an educated, art appreciating clientel. [1] The interaction between the image and the inscription, which although only present in a modified form nevertheless characterises the Venus panel from 1509, was associated with the lutheran theology and the constant choice faced by mankind and is updated with each encounter. [2]
[1] Exemplarily: Werner 2007.
[2] Exhib. Cat. Copenhagen 2002; Poulsen 2003, 137-139; Pérez D'Ors 2007

[Exhib. Cat. Gotha/Kassel 2015, 210]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 29.11.2013
  • Scientific analysis
  • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology
  • Support
    • analysed by: Peter Klein
    • Date: 2013
    • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
    • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen - Venus with Cupid Stealing Honey - ReverseLucas Cranach the Elder - Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen - Venus with Cupid Stealing Honey - Reverse
    • Support
    • The wooden panel is approx. 11 mm thick and consists of two planks which are glued together and enhanced with vegetable fibres. The left wooden plank is measuring 57.5 x 22 cm and has some inactive woodworm holes. The right wooden plank is measuring 57.5 x 16 cm. The panel is slightly warped backwards.
      The wooden support has one joint vertical and no cracks.
      The back of the panel has originally been painted black in an area 5-10 mm from the edges. This black paint has been partly removed in 1944 where the back of the painting then was impregnated with a mixture of wax and resin.
      The panel is bevelled on all four sides and there are traces of planning of the panel with a gouge in the horizontal direction.
    • Ground and Imprimatura
    • The ground has a yellowish/white colour and is not that thick (maybe based on chalk?) so you can see the structure of the wooden support through the ground and paint layer on the surface of the painting.
    • Paint Layers and Gilding
    • The painting is painted with oil paint.
      The paint layer has a pattern of natural ageing cracks.
      The paint layer are slightly faded (especially the green colour in the right side of the painting) which are visible because the outer part of the painting (about 7 mm) has been covered by the frame.
      The paint layer is stable and well preserved but has small losses and scratches in the paint layer.

      The varnish is glossy.
    • Framing
    • Frame of black painted wood and partly gilded.
      Unknown whether the frame is the original.
      [Statens Museum for Kunst, revised 2013]
        • Date: 15.04.2009
        • Scientific analysis
        • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology
        • Support
        • - the wooden support is made of two beech wood boards and can be dated respectively 1527-1416 and 1525-1402.
          • analysed by: Peter Klein
          • Date: 09.01.2009
          • Scientific analysis
          • Micro-sampling / cross-sections
              • Date: 09.04.2008
              • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
              • Infrared reflectography
              • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen - Venus with Cupid Stealing Honey - Infrared Images
                • photographed by: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen
                • Date: 18.07.2006
                • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
                • Infrared reflectography
                  • examined by: Rachael Billinge
                  • Date:
                  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
                  • UV-light photography
                  • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen - Venus with Cupid Stealing Honey - UV ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen - Venus with Cupid Stealing Honey - UV Images
                      • Date:
                      • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
                      • X-radiography
                      • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen - Venus with Cupid Stealing Honey - X-RadiographsLucas Cranach the Elder - Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen - Venus with Cupid Stealing Honey - X-Radiographs
                          Condition Reports:
                          • Date: 23.03.2003
                            • examined by: Henrik Bjerre
                            • Date: 1966
                              • examined by: Ole Alkærsig
                              • Date:
                                  History of Restoration:
                                  • Date: 01.11.2001
                                    • conservation treatment by: Lone Bøgh
                                    • Date:
                                        • Date:
                                        • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen - Venus with Cupid Stealing Honey - ConservationLucas Cranach the Elder - Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen - Venus with Cupid Stealing Honey - ConservationLucas Cranach the Elder - Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen - Venus with Cupid Stealing Honey - ConservationLucas Cranach the Elder - Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen - Venus with Cupid Stealing Honey - ConservationLucas Cranach the Elder - Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen - Venus with Cupid Stealing Honey - ConservationLucas Cranach the Elder - Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen - Venus with Cupid Stealing Honey - Conservation