Cranach - Old Man and Young Courtesans
Old Man and Young Courtesans
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Private Collection
06.12.2021 - 11:41
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CDA ID / Inventory NumberPRIVATE_NONE-P161
Persistent Link
FR (1978) No.FR401
Old Man and Young Courtesans[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 151, No. 401]
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017, 245, No. 146]
about 1537[Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 245, No. 146]
after 1537[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 151, No. 401]
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Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerPrivate Collection
RepositoryPrivate Collection
Dimensions of support: 81.8 x 120.9 cm
[Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017, 245, No. 146]
Painting on wood
[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 151, No. 401]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia at the top right: serpent (with dropped wings)
An old man laughing sits in the company of three young women at a table. The cards and wine glass are references to indulgence and debauchery, which include the old man's lust: while one of the women holds her hands over his eyes another unobtrusively gathers together his money and the third woman stows it away in her apron. A young gesticulating couple at the edge of the painting comment on the event. [Carrasco, Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017, 245, No. 146]
- v. Schönaich-Carolath Collection
- Munich, art market
- 1910 Collection of Freiherr von Bissing, Munich
[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 151, No. 401]
Düsseldorf 2017, No. 146
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017245No. 146
Schade, Schuttwolf 199431
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979151No. 401Fig. 401
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
The depiction is an innovative, multi-figured variation of the subject of the ‚Ill-matched Pair‘ and is similar to the figurative group compositions of Hercules and Omphale after 1530. The subject and motif as well as the date, horizontal format and dimensions link the panel with two other paintings: one shows a lusting old man being made drunk by two women and stolen from (FR291), while the other one painted by Lucas Cranach the Younger and now in Dresden shows two ill-matched pairs, respectively with an old man and an old woman as well as a young pair (FR292). The panel that is representative of Cranach’s creative diversification of established subjects could be one of the two documented ‚Buhlschaften‘ (illicit relationship) as having been in Hartenfels castle in Torgau. It is also conceivable that it was part of a ‘Weibermacht’ (Power of Women) series as has been suggested for the Dresden painting. [Carrasco, Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017, 245, No. 146]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 2017
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Infrared reflectography
  • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Private Collection - Old Man and Young Courtesans - Infrared Images
  • 8.03 Underdrawing

    - an underdrawing is not readily visible; however there is evidence that lines were drawn with a stylus and then reinforced using a fluid medium and a brush

    [Sandner, Smith-Contini, Heydenreich, cda 2019]
    • photographed by: Gunnar Heydenreich
    • photographed by: Ingo Sandner