Cranach - Lukretia
Lukretia
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Museo de Bellas Artes Bilbao
23.05.2019 - 02:57
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Painting:
CDA ID / Inventory NumberES_MBAB_12-79
Persistent Linkhttp://lucascranach.org/ES_MBAB_12-79
FR (1978) No.FR-none
Title:
Lukretia[Exhib. Cat. Basel 1974, 666, No. 583]
Lucretia[Herrschaft, CDA 2010]
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Attribution:
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Koepplin, Exhib. Cat. Basel 1974, 666, No. 583]
Dating:
1534[dated]
about 1531[Koepplin, Exhib. Cat. Basel 1974, 666, No. 583]
about 1537[Zervos 1950, Fig. p. 63]
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Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerMuseo de Bellas Artes Bilbao
RepositoryMuseo de Bellas Artes Bilbao
LocationBilbao
Dimensions:
Dimensions of support: 50.5 x 36.2 cm [Written correspondence from the former owner with D. Koepplin in the Archive D. Koepplin, 1982 / 2009]
Support:
Painting on wood [mail correspondence of the former owner with D. Koepplin in the Archive D. Koepplin, 1983 / 2009]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia at the bottom left: winged serpent (with elevated wings) and date '1534' in red paint [mail correspondence of the owner with D. Koepplin in the Archive D. Koepplin, 2005 / 2009]
Description:
The painting depicts Lucretia as a half-length standing nude figure. Her face is inclined to the right with an expression of suffering and she stares into the far distance. In her right hand she holds a long dagger pointed against her breast. In her left hand she holds a transparent veil in front of her body, which is wrapped around both arms. In addition she wears an overcoat around her waist, which hides her vulva. She also wears a neckband and a delicate chain, which hang over her right breast. Her hairstyle indicates that she had a bonnet. The background is dark. According to the legend Lucretia lived in the 6th century BC and was the beautiful and virtuous wife of the roman Collatinus. The roman King' son - Sextus Tarquinius fell in love with her. During a stay in her house Sextus threatened to kill her and shame her honour if she did not surrender to him. After the rape Lucretia had her father and husband vow vengeance and then she stabbed herself. The event led to an uprising in which the royal family was overthrown and the Roman Empire became a Republic. Depictions of Lucretia who was seen as the epitomy of female virtue, chastity, fidelity and honour enjoyed great popularity, particularly in the 16th century. [Literature: Bierende 2002, Follak 2002, Livius 1909]
Provenance:
- formerly in a collection in Madrid
[Exhib. Cat. Basel 1974, 666, No. 583]

- The painting has been owned for generations by the Marquis of Rafal family and probably came to Spain from Vienna when by the peace of Vienna the marquis, partidary of the Archduke of Austria in the Spanish War of Succession in the 18th century, was amnestied and could return from the exile in Vienna to Spain.
The countess of Via-Manuel (1850 - 1929), she was also Marquise of Rafal, sent the painting from her palace in Orihuela to her house in Madrid.
During the Spanish Civil War (1936 - 39) the picture was kept by the republicain 'Junta de Recuperación del Tesoro Artistico' and was sent to the Prado Museum. This painting was included in the expeditions organised by the Prado Museum durch the Civil War to send the paintings out of Madrid that ended near the border with France, first in the Figueras castle and then in the Perelada castle. (Once there was a label on the reverse of the painting giving information about that journey.)
It was perhaps at the Prado Museum that Christian Zervos , friend of Picasso - at the time director of the Prado - had the opportunity to see the picture and take a photo later employed in his book.
After the war, the picture went back to the owner, the Count of La Granja.
[mail correspondence of the former owner with D. Koepplin in the Archive D. Koepplin, 2005 and emailcorrespondence of the former owner with J. Herrschaft, 2012]
- 2009: the painting was not as intended auctioned at Christie's London
[Auct. Cat. Christie's in the Archive D. Koepplin]
[email correspondence of the former owner with J. Herrschaft, 2011]

- since 2012 in the Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao
[email correspondence of the former owner with J. Herrschaft, 2012]
Exhibitions:
Düsseldorf 2017, No. 174
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017281No. 174
Heydenreich, Herrschaft 201485-1091, 11-17
Bierende 2002
Follak 2002
Exhib. Cat. Basel 1974664, 666under No. 583Fig. 323
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
D. Koepplin describes the painting as more polished than the later version in Basel (FR235).
[Koepplin, Exhib. Cat. Basel 1974, 666, No. 583]
In addition he also points out the similarities with the version in the Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum (FR240C), however considers this painting to be of higher quality.
[mail correspondence of the owner with D. Koepplin in the Archive D. Koepplin, 2009]
The painting is one of a series of half- or three-quarter-length nude depictions of Lucretia, which was executed between 1526 and 1538, e. g.: FR 236, 397. However, despite this it is not a serial production, but rather it represents a transitional phase between the two comparative paintings mentioned by Koepplin.
[Herrschaft, cda 2011]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 2012
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • UV-light photography
  • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Museo de Bellas Artes Bilbao - Lukretia - UV Images
    • photographed by: Museo de Bellas Artes Bilbao
    • Date: 2011
    • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
    • X-radiography
    • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Museo de Bellas Artes Bilbao - Lukretia - X-Radiographs
      • created by: Museo de Bellas Artes Bilbao
      • Date: 2011
      • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
      • Infrared reflectography
      • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Museo de Bellas Artes Bilbao - Lukretia - Infrared Images
      • Underdrawing
      • DESCRIPTION

        Tools/Materials:
        - fluid black drawing medium; brush (barely visible)

        Type/Ductus:
        - freehand schematic underdrawing (where visible)
        - thin lines

        Function:
        - relatively binding for the final painted version; the lines delineate the contours (occasionally visible in the area of the hands) and indicate facial features (only visible on the lower lip); no representation of volume

        Deviations:
        - almost no adjustments were made during the painting process; changes (e. g. the direction in which the saints and the infant Christ are looking; Christ’s feet).


        INTERPRETATION

        Attribution:
        - not possible

        Comments:
        - possibly with reference to a pre-existing design
        - the outlines of the dagger appear to be incised

        [Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich cda 2014]
        • photographed by: Gunnar Heydenreich