Cranach - John (1498-1537), Duke of Saxony
John (1498-1537), Duke of Saxony
Lucas Cranach the Elder
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
23.05.2019 - 03:52
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Painting:
CDA ID / Inventory NumberUS_MMANY_08-19
Persistent Linkhttp://lucascranach.org/US_MMANY_08-19
FR (1978) No.FR424B
Title:
John (1498-1537), Duke of Saxony[http://www.metmuseum.org] (accessed: 08.05.2011) John, Duke of Saxony, son of George the Bearded, on the basis of an inscription on a copy of this portrait by the Monogrammist JS [IS] (Schlossmuseum, Gotha) [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932, 92, No. 341b] [Wehle, Salinger, Cat. New York 1947, 204]
Portrait of a Man"Portrait of a Man (Probably an Electoral Duke of Saxony)" [Burroughs, Cat. New York 1914, 52]
Duke of Saxony"a probable portrait of the Duke of Saxony" [Parker 1927, 17] "Portrait of a Duke of Saxony," notes that the sitter's identity has not been established, although the names of George the Bearded, Henry the Pious, and Johann of Saxony have been suggested, [Kuhn, Exhib. Cat. Cambridge, Mass., 1936, 42-43, No. 131, plate 24]
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Attribution:
Lucas Cranach the Elder [The Metropolitan Museum of Art, revised 2011]
Lucas Cranach the Younger '[...] more likely by Lucas Cranach the Younger' [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932, 92, No. 341b]
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Dating:
about 1537[The Metropolitan Museum of Art, revised 2011] [Snyder, Cat. New York 1987, 15, 111, Plate 77] [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932, 92, No. 341b]
1531[Kuhn, Exhib. Cat. Cambridge, Mass., 1936, 42-43, No. 131, plate 24] erroneously states that the painting is dated 1531 and signed with a dragon with wings erect.
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Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
RepositoryThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
LocationNew York
Dimensions:
Dimensions of support: 65.3 x 44 x 0.9 cm (including later wood strips added at top and bottom, each 3/8 × 17 5/16 in. (.95 × 44 cm))[1] Dimensions of the painted surface: 63.3 x 44 cm Depth of cradle: 1.2 cm [1][Cat. New York 2013, 69, No. 15] [The Metropolitan Museum of Art, revised 2011]
Support:
Painting on beech wood [Klein, Report 2013] [The Metropolitan Museum of Art, revised 2011]
Signature / Date:
None
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
Reverse of the panel on the cradle: - central vertical cradle member: Handwritten in a dark pencil or crayon '7665', (corresponding to the item number assigned to this painting in the 1907 Kleinberger Galleries inventory). [US_MMANY_08.19_FR424B_2008-04_ExaminationandConditionReport.doc] - in red, 08.19 [Cat. New York 2013, 69, No. 15]
Description:
In 1505 Cranach was appointed court painter to the Electors of Saxony at Wittenberg, serving successively Frederick the Wise, John the Steadfast, and John Frederick the Magnanimous. The sitter in this portrait was a member of the ducal or Albertine branch of the family as opposed to the electoral or Ernestine line. The bold design and dramatic color, and the capricious but graceful outline of the costume are typical of the style Cranach developed as a portraitist to the court. The picture dates about 1537. [http://www.metmuseum.org] (accessed 08.05.2011)
Provenance:
- Julius Alexander Baumgärtner, Leipzig
- before 1851 reportedly sold to a collector in Cologne
- after 1851 in a private collection, Cologne
- until 1907 in the collection of Graf Hans Wilczek, Kreutzenstein Castle, near Vienna
- 1907 sold to Kleinberger
- 1907-8 acquired by the MMA from Kleinberger, Paris, 1907-8

[The Metropolitan Museum of Art, revised 2011]
Exhibitions:
New York 1956, suppl. No. 197
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Cat. New York 201369-72No. 15
Löcher 200740
Cat. New York 1995Fig. p. 220
Montout 199453
Cat. New York 198715, 111Plate 77
Cat. New York 198036 (Vol. 1)Fig. p. 296 (Vol. 2)
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979156No. 424B
Exhib. Cat. Vienna 197254under No. 78
Fry, Sutton 1972294No. 2
Cat. Aschaffenburg 196443
Rosenberg 196031
Held 1949140
Cat. New York 1947204
Zimmermann E. H. 1942 A2-4
Friedländer, Rosenberg 193292341b
Cat. New York 193174
Parker 192717Fig. p. 24
Cat. New York 191452
Metropolitan Museum 1908 A234
Metropolitan Museum 1908 B62
Fry 190888Fig. p. 87
Schuchardt 1851 C88-89340
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
[Wehle, Salinger, Cat. New York 1947, 204] 'call this a portrait of John, Duke of Saxony, based on Friedländer and Rosenberg's [Ref. 1932] identification; mention another version, without hands (formerly Goudstikker Galleries, Amsterdam; now Staatsgalerie Aschaffenburg) and a replica inscribed H. Hans [Herzog Hans or Johann] (formerly collection Archduke Ferdinand of the Tyrol; now Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna); list Baumgärtner, Leipzig, in the provenance, observing that Schuchardt's description [Schuchardt 1851 A, ] is so close to our picture "that there can be little doubt it is the same one".'

[http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/collection_database/european_paintings/john_1498_1537_duke_of_saxony_lucas_cranach_the_elder/objectview.aspx?page=1&sort=6&sortdir=asc&keyword=cranach&fp=1&dd1=11&dd2=0&vw=1&collID=11&OID=110000470&vT=1&hi=0&ov=0] (accessed 08.05.2011)
[Fry 1908, 88, Fig. p. 87] 'notes that no clue has been found to identify the sitter; compares it to Cranach's portrait of Johann Frederich der Grossmuthige dated 1531 (Louvre, Paris) and assigns it to about the same period.'
[http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/collection_database/european_paintings/john_1498_1537_duke_of_saxony_lucas_cranach_the_elder/objectview.aspx?page=1&sort=6&sortdir=asc&keyword=cranach&fp=1&dd1=11&dd2=0&vw=1&collID=11&OID=110000470&vT=1&hi=0&ov=0] (accessed 08.05.2011)
'Monsieur Kleinberger. Letter. January 12, 1908, reports that Dr. Friedländer, Dr. Bode, M. Hulin de Gand, and M. Cardon de Bruxelles not only confirm that this painting is by Cranach the Elder, but consider it a masterpiece by him; notes that he bought it directly from count Hans Wilczek at his chateau in Kreutzenstein, near Vienna.'
[http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/collection_database/european_paintings/john_1498_1537_duke_of_saxony_lucas_cranach_the_elder/objectview.aspx?page=1&sort=6&sortdir=asc&keyword=cranach&fp=1&dd1=11&dd2=0&vw=1&collID=11&OID=110000470&vT=1&hi=0&ov=0] (accessed 08.05.2011)
[H. E. Zimmermann 1942, 2–4] 'identifies the sitter in a drawing at the Musée des Beaux Arts, Reims, as John of Saxony, based on comparison with the MMA painting.'
[http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/collection_database/european_paintings/john_1498_1537_duke_of_saxony_lucas_cranach_the_elder/objectview.aspx?page=1&sort=6&sortdir=asc&keyword=cranach&fp=1&dd1=11&dd2=0&vw=1&collID=11&OID=110000470&vT=1&hi=0&ov=0] (accessed 08.05.2011)
[Salm, Goldberg, Cat. Aschaffenburg 1964, 43] mention this painting in relation to a portrait of John, Duke of Saxony by Cranach the Younger (Galerie Aschaffenburg);erroneously repeat that the MMA painting is signed with a winged dragon and dated 1531 [see Kuhn, Exhib. Cat. Cambridge Mass. 1936, 42–43, No. 131, plate 24].
[http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/collection_database/european_paintings/john_1498_1537_duke_of_saxony_lucas_cranach_the_elder/objectview.aspx?page=1&sort=6&sortdir=asc&keyword=cranach&fp=1&dd1=11&dd2=0&vw=1&collID=11&OID=110000470&vT=1&hi=0&ov=0] (accessed 08.05.2011)
[Montout 1994, 53] rejects the connection [see Zimmerman 1942, 2-4] between our picture and Cranach's portrait drawing in Reims as unconvincing.
[http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/collection_database/european_paintings/john_1498_1537_duke_of_saxony_lucas_cranach_the_elder/objectview.aspx?page=1&sort=6&sortdir=asc&keyword=cranach&fp=1&dd1=11&dd2=0&vw=1&collID=11&OID=110000470&vT=1&hi=0&ov=0] (accessed 08.05.2011)
'The sitter was a member of the ducal or Albertine branch of the Saxony court at Wittenberg. There are two versions of this painting by Lucas Cranach the Younger. One, bust-length, with a light blue background (Staatsgalerie Aschaffenburg, Germany) and another, miniature version, also against a blue background (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna). A probable copy of the MMA portrait, by the Monogrammist IS (or JS), is in the Schlossmuseum, Gotha.'
[http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/collection_database/european_paintings/john_1498_1537_duke_of_saxony_lucas_cranach_the_elder/objectview.aspx?page=1&sort=6&sortdir=asc&keyword=cranach&fp=1&dd1=11&dd2=0&vw=1&collID=11&OID=110000470&vT=1&hi=0&ov=0] (accessed 08.05.2011)
Although the Metropolitan Museum’s portrait bears no inscription or coat of arms, the identification is secure, for it is based on similar likenesses that explicitly name Johann.[1] In the so-called Sächsisches Stammbuch (Sächsische Landesbibliothek, Dresden), with illustrations by the Cranach workshop of about 1540 – 46, he appears as “Hertzog Johans” next to his wife, Elisabeth of Hesse.[2] A miniature portrait of about 1578 – 80 by Lucas Cranach the Younger (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna), calls him “H[erzog]. Hans,”[3] and the Latin inscription on a likeness by Monogrammist I.S. describes him precisely as “Johann, Duke of Saxony, son of Georg” (fig. 60).[4]
The attribution of this portrait has received only cursory discussion. Upon its initial publication by Christian Schuchardt in 1851, it was included among the works of Lucas Cranach the Elder, and most references to the painting retain that attribution.[5] In their catalogue raisonné of Cranach’s paintings, however, Max J. Friedländer and Jakob Rosenberg tentatively ascribed it to Lucas Cranach the Younger, presumably because they perceived in it the “empty grandeur, . . . pallid tones and . . . feeble plasticity” described by Friedländer as characteristic of the son’s work.[6] Their dating of the painting after 1537 accords with the hypothesis, advanced provisionally by Friedländer, that the father had mostly withdrawn from managing the workshop by that time, leaving his son in charge — a notion that recent documentary evidence refutes.[7] Friedländer and Rosenberg also noted the existence of a bust-length version in private ownership (now in the Staatsgalerie Aschaffenburg).[8] Heinrich Zimmermann implicitly upheld the suggested attribution of Friedländer and Rosenberg by likening the Metropolitan’s portrait stylistically to a sketch in Rheims that he considered a work of Lucas Cranach the Younger.[9] Zimmermann dated the Museum’s portrait about 1537 and proposed that it might have been painted posthumously as a memorial image.
Those traditional stylistic assessments, which imply a certain inferiority in quality, fail to consider how the painting’s condition adversely affects its appearance. The already thin layering of paint in the flesh areas was strongly abraded in past cleanings; also, the inner modeling of the costume has faded into a largely undifferentiated field of black. Both aspects of the condition increase the work’s overall impression of flatness and stiffness, factors that surely contributed to the tentative attribution to Lucas Cranach the Younger.
In style and technique this work is consistent with other portraits by Lucas Cranach the Elder and his workshop. As a member of the studio, Lucas the Younger could well have had some involvement, but the painting does not display characteristic features, such as a dominant paleness in the flesh tones, that would justify distinguishing it as by his hand, as is possible with a few works of the1530s and with greater frequency in the 1540s.[10] The modeling of the flesh in fact appears typical of a process used by the father, in which sparing applications of pinks and whites were laid over a thin base flesh color and in which shadows were established with dilute glazes of black pigments.[11] A similar approach can be observed, for example, in the Museum’s Portrait of a Man with a Gold-Embroidered Cap of 1532 (cat. 14). Moreover, X-radiographs of both works reveal a similar buildup of paint in the faces, including the prominent stroke along the bottom edge of the lower lip (figs. 57, 61).[12] The X-radiograph of Johann’s portrait also shows that the base tone of the hands was brushed on loosely, beyond its visible contours in normal light; the final silhouette was defined only during the painting of the surrounding black costume, which overlaps the flesh tone. This time-saving technique, which occurs frequently in Cranach’s oeuvre, appears also in the hands in the Museum’s 1532 portrait.[13]
A particularly clear example of this procedure is found in the Metropolitan’s Venus and Cupid roundel, where it is used for the whole figure (fig. 46).
A specification of the portrait’s date is offered by Lucas Cranach the Elder’s strikingly similar Georg the Bearded of 1534 or 1535, now in Leipzig (fig. 62).[14] The dimensions, placement of the figure, and cast shadow are all closely comparable; only the blue background color is different.[15] As a portrait of Johann’s father, the Leipzig panel may well have provided a model for the size and design of the present portrait. It also establishes a plausible earliest execution date of 1534 for the latter. That date is consistent with the style of the painting and the mature appearance of the sitter. Furthermore, 1534 is the year when cast shadows suddenly occur in several other works by Cranach and his workshop, including the only signed portrait by Cranach’s elder son, Hans.[16] The artist’s rare use of a red background is documented among this 1534 group in the Staatsgalerie Bamberg’s Christiane von Eulenau, which has been attributed variously to Lucas the Younger and Lucas the Elder.[17]
Further evidence for dating is offered by the panel support, which is of beech wood. Dendrochronological research has shown that beech was used with greatest frequency by the Cranach workshop between 1522 and 1535, with some later occurrences.[18] Although the present panel is not currently datable with dendrochronology, the use of beech nevertheless suggests, even if tentatively, a date not considerably later than the mid-1530s.
The combined evidence thus supports a plausible date range of 1534 to about 1537, the year of Johann’s death. Whether this work was indeed painted as a posthumous memorial, as Zimmermann suggested, cannot be ruled out, but the idea is not necessarily supported by the representation itself and therefore remains highly speculative.

[1] The sitter was correctly identified when the painting was first published (Schuchardt 1851 – 71, vol. 2 [1851], p. 88, no. 340), but this was forgotten by the time the Museum acquired the picture in 1908, and only rediscovered and reaffirmed in Friedländer and J. Rosenberg 1932, p. 92, no. 341b.
[2] Dresden, Sächsische Landesbibliothek/Staats-und Universitätsbibliothek, Handschriftensammlung, Mscr. Dresd. R3, fol. 93v. On this manuscript, see Lippert 1891; Torgau 2004, vol. 1, p. 279, no. 436.
[3] Karl Schütz in Vienna 1972, p. 54, no. 78, fig. 45.
[4] The inscription reads, iohannes dux / sax [oniae].georgii f[ilius.]. In the portrait of Johann by Hans Krell (after 1551) in the Stadtgeschichtliches Museum, Altes Rathaus, Leipzig, and in the stone model for a medallion by Tobias Wolff (1575) in the Münzkabinett der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, he is shown with a more youthful countenance but with a similar sagging of the cheeks and protrusion of the lower jaw (see Löcher 2007, p. 40, figs. 10, 11). He is also depicted, albeit with very generalized features, on his tomb effigy in the ducal chapel of Meissen Cathedral (see Donath 2004, p. 403, ill).
[5] Schuchardt 1851 – 71, vol. 2 (1851), pp. 88 – 89, no. 340; “Accessions” 1908, p. 62; Fry 1908; “German Paintings” 1908, p. 234; Metropolitan Museum 1905 /1911, n.p., addenda, March – June 1908, gallery 24; Burroughs 1914, p. 52; R. A. Parker 1927, p. 17; Burroughs 1931, p. 74; Kuhn 1936, pp. 42 – 43, no. 131; Wehle and Salinger 1947, p. 204; Held 1949, p. 140; New York 1956, suppl., n.p., no. 197; Karl Schütz in Vienna 1972, p. 54, under no. 78; Baetjer 1980, vol. 1, p. 36, vol. 2, p. 296; James Snyder in Metropolitan Museum 1987, p. 15; Metropolitan Museum 1987, p. 111; Baetjer 1995, p. 220; Löcher 2007, p. 40.
[6] Friedländer and J. Rosenberg 1932, p. 92, no. 341b; Friedländer and J. Rosenberg 1978, p. 155, no. 424B. On Lucas Cranach the Younger’s style, see Friedländer, “Introduction,” in Friedländer and J. Rosenberg 1978, p. 25.
[7] Friedländer, “Introduction,” in Friedländer and J. Rosenberg 1978, pp. 23, 25. The documentary find, in which Lucas Cranach the Younger in 1550 expresses his reluctance to take a commission in the absence of his father, is presented in Erichsen 1997, pp. 49 – 50; see also Heydenreich 2007b, pp. 294 – 95.
[8] Friedländer and J. Rosenberg 1932, p. 92, no. 341c; Friedländer and J. Rosenberg 1978, p. 155, no. 424C; Martin Schawe in Munich 2011, p. 133, ill. (attributed to Lucas Cranach the Younger). The bust-length version is less accomplished in execution than the present work and appears to be based on it or on a common model.
[9] H. Zimmermann 1942, p. 4. The attribution to Lucas Cranach the Younger is repeated in Brochhagen et al. 1964, p. 43; Montout 1994, p. 53; Martin Schawe in Aschaffenburg 2007, p. 289, under no. 29.
[10] For a discussion of Lucas Cranach the Younger’s portrait style, see Schade 1974, pp. 99 – 107. On possible youthful works of the younger Cranach dating from 1533 to 1535, see Dieter Koepplin in Basel 1974, vol. 2, pp. 700 – 701, 710, nos. 624, 628.
[11] For a detailed discussion of the wide variety of techniques used by Cranach and his workshop, see Heydenreich 2007b, pp. 177 – 217.
[12] It should be noted that the cradle on the verso of the present work somewhat overemphasizes the whites down the center of the face in the X-radiograph.
[13] Heydenreich 2007b, pp. 207 – 8.
[14] Friedländer and J. Rosenberg 1978, p. 113. no. 219B; Guratzsch 1995, p. 34. Much of the date’s last digit (center right) is trimmed off, but the remnants suggest a 4 or possibly a 5.
[15] The dimensions of Georg’s portrait are 63.8 × 43.3 cm; thus, like the present work, it also falls between the standard panel formats C and D, according to the categorization by Gunnar Heydenreich (see Heydenreich 2007b, p. 43).
[16] Friedländer and J. Rosenberg 1978, pp. 136 – 39, nos. 342, 346, 347, 349, ill., no. 349A. On cast shadows in portraits of that year, which Dieter Koepplin thought might reflect an effort at innovation by Hans Cranach and Lucas Cranach the Younger, see Koepplin in Basel 1974, vol. 2, p. 705, under no. 625.
[17] Friedländer and J. Rosenberg 1978, p. 138, no. 349A; see also Koepplin in Basel 1974, vol. 2, p. 710, under no. 628; Martin Schawe in Munich 2011, pp. 56, 134, no. 3, ill.
[18] P. Klein 1994, p. 197; Heydenreich 2007a, pp. 30 – 31; Heydenreich 2007b, p. 48.

[Waterman, Cat. New York 2013, 69-72, 289, No. 15]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 08.04.2013
  • Scientific analysis
  • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology
  • Support
  • Identification of wood species: beech wood (Fagus sp.)
    • analysed by: Peter Klein
    • Date: 2010
    • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
    • Infrared reflectography
    • Lucas Cranach the Elder - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York - John (1498-1537), Duke of Saxony - Infrared ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York - John (1498-1537), Duke of Saxony - Infrared Images
    • Underdrawing
    • DESCRIPTION ( on the basis of details)

      Tools/Material:
      - dark dry drawing material, stylus

      Type/Ductus:
      - economic underdrawing; trced or copied (?)
      - delicate, fine lines
      Function:
      - relatively binding for the final painted version; the lines delineate the main contours and indicate some facial features (e. g. mouth); no representation of volume with hatching strokes

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

      INTERPRETATION

      Attribution:
      - Lucas Cranach the Elder or the Younger (?)
      [Sanders, Smith-Contini, Heydenreich, cda 2017]
      • photographed by: Charlotte Hale
      • Date: 17.04.2008
      • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
      • Light microscopy
      • Infrared reflectography
      • Lucas Cranach the Elder - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York - John (1498-1537), Duke of Saxony - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York - John (1498-1537), Duke of Saxony - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York - John (1498-1537), Duke of Saxony - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York - John (1498-1537), Duke of Saxony - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York - John (1498-1537), Duke of Saxony - AnalysisLucas Cranach the Elder - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York - John (1498-1537), Duke of Saxony - Infrared ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York - John (1498-1537), Duke of Saxony - Infrared Images
      • Support
      • The support of this portrait is a beech wood panel (identified as such by Peter Klein, visual examination, April 2006; see documentation in conservation file) comprised of two planks of wood with the grain running vertically. The left plank measure 8 7/8? (22.5 cm) wide and the right measures 8 3/8? (21.4 cm) wide. The panel was very likely thinned and strips of wood approximately 3/8? (1 cm) wide, with the grain running in the long direction of the strips and therefore perpendicular to the grain of the original panel, were attached to the top and bottom of the panel.
        The use of beech as a support, while generally unusual for the time, is consistent with Cranach’s particular workshop practices in the 1520s and 30s. The dimensions of the panel are not significantly out of keeping with the sizes typical for Cranach at this time.[1]




        [1] Heydenreich 2007 A, 43

        [US_MMANY_08-19_FR424B_2008-04_ExaminationandConditionReport.pdf]
      • Ground and Imprimatura
      • This panel appears to have a very thin preparation, typical especially for Cranach’s later works when the workshop was highly productive.[1] This thin, reflective ground is visible in losses scattered throughout the painting, most easily visible in the numerous small losses in the black clothing.




        [1] Heydenreich 2007 A, 93

        [US_MMANY_08-19_FR424B_2008-04_ExaminationandConditionReport.pdf]
      • Underdrawing
      • Infrared reflectography (IRR) using an Indigo Merlin NIR video camera aided in distinguishing a few lines of underdrawing in this painting, some of which are also visible through the paint layers with high-powered magnification. The clearest evidence of underdrawing is seen in the mouth, where lines indicating the bottom edge of the lower lip and the meeting of the upper and lower lips are quite visible, with large black chunks of pigment clearly evident under the microscope. A few vague lines noting placement for – rather than the form of – the hands can also be seen.

        Microscopic examination suggests that the underdrawing may be in charcoal or black chalk given the chunky fragments visible under high magnification.
        [US_MMANY_08-19_FR424B_2008-04_ExaminationandConditionReport.pdf]
      • Paint Layers and Gilding
      • Infra-red reflectography clearly reveals the buildup of the paint layers, affording insight into the working process involved with this portrait. Of particular note is the manner in which the beard was created. A fairly large brush loaded with a fluid dark brown paint was used to block in the beard. Under IRR the sweeping brushstrokes are clearly visible. Once this layer was dry, small brushstrokes in black, brown and ochre tones were applied to create the individual directional and curling hairs of the facial hair. Broad brushstrokes can also be seen in the background to the left of the figure, rendered visible under IR illumination due to the dark pigment added to the red to create the figure’s cast shadow. The long brushstrokes come up to the edge of the figure, following the contours of the shoulder, neck, ear and hat.

        The flesh tones of this portrait are very thinly painted, as is typical for Cranach, however strong cleaning in the past has thinned the paint layers further. The flesh appears to have been worked up from the shadows, using a mixture of chunky dark pigments to create the form of the face, neck and hands, followed by thin scumbles of lighter paints containing lead white (est.) and red pigments, working up to the more opaque highlights. The eyes present an interesting detail: from the center of each eye, a clean brush was pulled horizontally through the wet paint, in the direction of the sitter’s gaze.

        The jewelry is also painted in a somewhat schematic manner typical for Cranach and his workshop. A combination of brown, ochre and light yellow (lead-tin yellow pigment, based on appearance and x-radiography) paints have been applied in layers to serve as the dark, middle and light tones, respectively. The brown and warm ochre portions appear to have been worked wet-on-wet while the full-bodied, crisp pale yellow highlights seem to have been added after the other colors had dried. The signet ring on the Duke’s proper right forefinger has been enhanced with a large blue stone painted with a chunky light greenish-blue pigment set with white highlights.

        The folds in the clothing have been executed in a fairly formulaic and not entirely convincing manner.

        A small cleaning test in the upper left corner revealed fragments of what appears to be a red lake paint. It is difficult to come to any firm conclusions based on such fragmentary and peripheral evidence, however it is possible that an upper layer of red lake glaze originally existed on this painting and the more orange-hued red now visible was intended to be an underlayer.

        [US_MMANY_08-19_FR424B_2008-04_ExaminationandConditionReport.pdf]
        • written by: Karen E. Thomas
        • Date: 17.04.2008
        • Scientific analysis
        • Micro-sampling / cross-sections
        • Instrumental material analysis
        • Raman spectroscopy:
          'Analysis of a cross-section taken from the top edge near the left corner identified the original red pigment used as vermilion.'
          [US_MMANY_08-19_FR424B_2008-04_ExaminationandConditionReport.pdf]
          • examined by: Silvia Centeno
          • Date: 01.02.2008
          • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
          • X-radiography
          • Lucas Cranach the Elder - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York - John (1498-1537), Duke of Saxony - X-RadiographsLucas Cranach the Elder - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York - John (1498-1537), Duke of Saxony - X-RadiographsLucas Cranach the Elder - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York - John (1498-1537), Duke of Saxony - X-Radiographs
              Condition Reports:
              • Date: 17.04.2008
              • Condensed Summary The support of this portrait is a wood panel comprised of two planks of beech wood with the grain running vertically. The panel was very likely thinned and strips of wood were attached to the top and bottom of the panel. A cradle is attached to the reverse, including the new strips of wood. The entire reverse was coated with a wax-resin substance which has a cloudy and distinctly amber appearance. The paint layers of this picture are generally abraded and/or thinned. The background appears to be heavily restored. A distinctive restorer's aging technique of rubbing dark water-soluble ink into the wide-aperature drying cracks of the painting has been used on this painting. These deposits of ink are best seen in the red background although the ink has also deposited into the mechanical cracks visible in the lighter passages of the painting. The flesh tones of this portrait are very thinly painted, as is typical for Cranach, however strong cleaning at some time prior to the painting entering the Museum's collection has thinned the paint layers further. The folds in the clothing have been executed in a fairly formulaic and not entirely convincing manner. However, the dark passages of this painting are somewhat obscured by the uneven and hazy varnish coating the picture. This surface coating of this picture is brittle, with an overall small-scale crack pattern and a milky streakiness most readily apparent in the darks. [US_MMANY_08-19_FR424B_2008-04_ExaminationandConditionReport.pdf]
              • written by: Karen E. Thomas
              History of Restoration:
              • Date: 17.04.2008
              • Upon arrival in Paintings Conservation, the painting was surface-cleaned with saliva and cotton swabs, which removed some gallery dust and grime. It was hoped that an application of a mineral spirits emulsion would improve the clarity of the varnish, but test areas showed no visible improvement. [US_MMANY_08-19_FR424B_2008-04_ExaminationandConditionReport.pdf]
              • conservation treatment by: Karen E. Thomas
              • Date: 1936
              • This painting was varnished with 'restoring varnish' in 1936 (Miller) and the back of the panel and cradle were waxed a few days later (Miller). [US_MMANY_08-19_FR424B_2008-04_ExaminationandConditionReport.pdf]
              • conservation treatment by: Miller