Cranach - Portrait of Moritz Buchner
Portrait of Moritz Buchner
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
28.09.2020 - 23:24
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CDA ID / Inventory NumberUS_MIA_57-11
Persistent Link
FR (1978) No.FR127
Portrait of Moritz Buchner[Minneapolis Institute of Arts, revised 2012]
Lucas Cranach the Elder
about 1520[Minneapolis Institute of Arts, revised 2012]
1518[dated] [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, No. 127]
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Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerMinneapolis Institute of Arts
RepositoryMinneapolis Institute of Arts
Dimensions of support: 40.6 x 27.3 x 0.5 cm (16 x 10 3/4 x 3/16 in.) [Minneapolis Institute of Arts, revised 2012] Dimensions of support: 40 x 27 cm [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, No. 127]
Painting on wood [Minneapolis Institute of Arts, revised 2012]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia above the sitter's proper right shoulder: winged serpent with elevated wings facing right and dated '1518'; in yellow paint
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
- on the ring on the index finger of the sitter's proper left hand: 'M[B]' [ (accessed 21.05.2012)] [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, No. 127]
These companion portraits have been identified as Moritz Büchner and his wife, Anna Lindacker Büchner. As a successful merchant and city alderman, Moritz Büchner was representative of the newly affluent middle class that resulted from the growth of capitalism in 16th-century Germany. Lucas Cranach, the court artist to Frederick III of Saxony, was commissioned by the Büchners to paint their likenesses for posterity. Here, Cranach captures the confidence, pride, and ambition that often accompany newly acquired wealth and improved social status. Cranach's signature, a winged serpent, and the date of the painting appear on the extreme left of Moritz's portrait. [ (accessed 21.05.2012)] Reverse of the panel: - the coats-of-arms of the families Büchner and Lindacker (?) [Minneapolis Institute of Arts, revised 2012]
- Prince Karl Anton von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen [d. 1885]; His son, Prince Leopold von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen [d. 1905]. His son, Prince Wilhelm August Karl von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen [d. 1927], Sigmaringen, Germany.[1]
- Oscar Franklin Oppenheimer, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany
- Richard H. Zinser, Forest Hills, New York
- purchased by MIA in 1957 (The William Hood Dunwoody Fund)

[1] Located at the Getty Research Institute, Volume II of "Ehemalige sammlung des fürsten von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen" contains mounted photographs of both portraits. The royal collection of Sigmaringen was dispersed circa 1928. The works do not appear in the Hohenzollern auction of 1933.

[Minneapolis Institute of Arts, revised 2012]
Frankfurt-am-Main 1928, No. 27
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
LaWall Lipschultz 198873Fig.
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979No. 127
Cat. Minneapolis 1970343-346No. 183aFig. p. 344
Cat. Minneapolis 1963Fig.
Joachim 195743-51illus. cover, Figs. 2, 6
Lüdecke 1953 B123, 211Pl. 47
Posse 194334, 57No. 47Pl. 47
Posse 194234, 57No. 47Pl. 47
Kuhn 1933/1934
Friedländer, Rosenberg 193250108Pl. 108
Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt 1928 ANo. 27
Flechsig 1900 A103
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
'Of the portraits done before 1520, those of Moritz Buchner and his wife Anna, born Lindacker, now acquired by The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, have been acclaimed as particularly distinguished and well-preserved examples ever since they were introduced to a wider public in the exhibition of the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen collection at the Frankfurt museum in 1928 [1]. After the dispersal of that collection they were acquired by Oscar F. Oppenheimer in Frankfurt and later they went to Switzerland whence they were brought to this country.Moritz Buchner was a merchant and alderman of Leipzig, member of a family which came from Eisleben (Luther's birthplace) and had gained wealth in the Thuringian mining industry [2]. A dignified and well-groomed man of the world, he gazes at the spectator with shrewd, appraising but not unkind eyes. Of the three rings on his left hand, one shows his coat of arms and the initials MB. The date 1518 and the artist's device of the winged serpent, adopted in 1508, appear on the left. In contrast to her husband, the dour-faced Anna Buchner, elaborately dressed and covered with jewelry, does not seek contact with the spectator. On the back of the man's portrait the combined arms of both families are painted.'

[1] The paintings were first mentioned in Eduard Flechig, Cranaschstudien, Leipzig 1900, p. 103 (wrong identification of the subjects). They are mentioned and reproduced in the following important monographs: Friedländer and Rosenberg, Die Gemälde von Lucas Cranach, Berlin 1932, p. 50, pl, 108-109; H. Posse, Lucas Cranach d. "A"., Vienna 1942, pl. 47-48; Lucas Cranach der Ältere: Der Küstler und seine Zeit. Veröffentlichung der Deutschen Akademie der Küste, Berlin 1953, p. 52, pl. 56-57.
[2] For this information we are indebted to the Municipal Library in Leipzig.

[] (accessed 21.05.2012)
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 2012
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Infrared reflectography
  • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Minneapolis Institute of Arts - Portrait of Moritz Buchner - Infrared ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Minneapolis Institute of Arts - Portrait of Moritz Buchner - Infrared ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Minneapolis Institute of Arts - Portrait of Moritz Buchner - Infrared Images
  • Underdrawing

    - fluid, black medium and brush; in combination with a dry drawing material, dark chalk; possible traced lines in the face?

    - freehand underdrawing (hands); the lines in the face may have been traced (not clearly visible)
    - thin to slightly broader lines

    - binding for the final painted version; lines delineate contours and describe essential details; no representation of volume

    - minor alterations made during the painting process to clearly define form


    - Lucas Cranach the Elder?

    - the hands appear to have been drawn freehand with dark chalk and then the lines reinforced with a fluid medium

    [Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2013]
    • photographed by: Minneapolis Institute of Arts