Cranach - Portrait of a Lady and her Son
Portrait of a Lady and her Son
Lucas Cranach the Elder (and Workshop)
The Royal Collection, London
13.08.2020 - 00:58
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Painting:
CDA ID / Inventory NumberUK_RCL_403373
Persistent Linkhttp://lucascranach.org/UK_RCL_403373
FR (1978) No.FR-none
Title:
Portrait of a Lady and her Son[cda 2017]
Attribution:
Lucas Cranach the Elder (and Workshop)[Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017, 292, No. 186]
Franz Wolfgang Rohrich [Cust 1904/05B, 354]
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Dating:
about 1515 - 1525[Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017, 292, No. 186]
Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerHer Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, London
RepositoryThe Royal Collection, London
LocationLondon
Dimensions:
Dimensions of support: 52.7 x 38.8 cm [Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017]
Support:
Painting on wood [Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017, 292, No. 186]
Signature / Date:
None
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
on the hat: 'MERNNU 14[...] W[...] IL NIMOS'
Description:
With a growing interest in Early German Art about 1800 attention was also focused on Cranach's paintings. Numerous surviving versions of these portraits of a sumptuously dressed duchess and her son are attributed to Franz Wolfgang Rohrich (1787-1834). As early as 1840 Graf von Raczynski reported in `Geschichte der neueren deutschen Kunst` on the existence of more that forty reproductions by the Nuremberg artist. Today numerous, almost identical, versions have survived in Wörlitz, Weimar, Munich, Paris, St Petersburg as well as in many private collections. As a result of the different dating of the paintings various suggestions have been proposed for the sitters: Duchess Katharina of Saxony with her son Moritz, Duchess Sophie of Saxony with her son Johann Friedrich I and Electress Sibylle with her son Johann Friedrich II the Middle. Whereas 19th century sources discuss the copies by Rohrich and the search for the original painting, more recent study in art history recognizes Rohrich's double portrait as an independent invention. The intimate depiction of the mother and son was viewed as contrary to the artistic conventions at Cranach's time. However recent technical examinations seem to suggest that the painting in the Royal collection, London is in fact the original painting from the Cranach workshop. [Heydenreich, Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017, 292, No. 186]
Exhibitions:
Düsseldorf 2017, No. 186
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017292No. 186
Heydenreich 2017 A
Wiemers 2015
Kretschmann 200169-76
Zupancic 1992110
Holst 1934
Cust 1904/1905 B354
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
The extreme flatness, the incorrect proportions and the oil gilded dress are as unlikely to be found on an original work by Cranach as the composition of the figures represented here.
[Zupancic 1992, 110]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 2016
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Infrared reflectography
  • Lucas Cranach the Elder (and Workshop) - The Royal Collection, London - Portrait of a Lady and her Son - Infrared Images
  • Underdrawing
  • DESCRIPTION
    Tools/Material:
    - fluid, black medium, brush

    Type/Ductus:
    - freehand underdrawing, only occasionally visible
    - thin to somewhat broader lines

    Function:
    - only roughly binding for the final painted version; (where visible) the lines define the main contours and describe some essential details (hands); no representation of volume

    Deviations:
    - minor corrections were made to forms during the painting process

    INTERPRETATION
    Attribution:
    Lucas Cranach the Elder or workshop
    [Sandner, Heydenreich, Smith-Contini, cda 2017]
    • photographed by: Ingo Sandner
    • photographed by: Gunnar Heydenreich
    • Date: 2016
    • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
    • X-radiography
    • Lucas Cranach the Elder (and Workshop) - The Royal Collection, London - Portrait of a Lady and her Son - X-Radiographs
      • created by: The Royal Collection, London