Cranach - Portrait of a Man
Portrait of a Man
Lucas Cranach the Elder
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C.
06.12.2021 - 12:20
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Painting:
CDA ID / Inventory NumberUS_NGA_1959-9-1
Persistent Linkhttps://lucascranach.org/US_NGA_1959-9-1
FR (1978) No.FR145
Title:
Portrait of a Man[http://www.nga.gov/fcgi-bin/tinfo_f?object=45886] (accessed 08.02.2013)
Portrait of Andreas Bodenstein, called Karlstadt[Zorzin 2013, 9-15]
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Attribution:
Lucas Cranach the Elder [http://www.nga.gov/fcgi-bin/tinfo_f?object=45886] (accessed 08.02.2013)
Dating:
1522[dated]
Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerNational Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C.
RepositoryNational Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C.
LocationWashington
Dimensions:
Dimensions of support: 58.7 x 41 cm (23 1/8 x 16 1/8 in.)
Dimensions of painted surface: 57.6 x 39.9 cm (22 11/16 x 15 11/16 in.)

[http://www.nga.gov/fcgi-bin/tinfo_f?object=45886] (accessed 08.02.2013)
Support:
Painting on beech wood
[Klein, Report 1994]
[Hand, Cat. Washington 1993, 40]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia at the top left: winged serpent with elevated wings, facing right and dated above '1522'

[http://www.nga.gov/fcgi-bin/tinfo_f?object=45886&detail=ins] (accessed 08.02.2013)
Description:
'Set against bright green backgrounds, this unidentified young couple is dressed in clothing of understated elegance and severity. The man wears a soft black cap with black aiglets and a dark brown robe. The only decorative elements are the white slashings of the black sleeves and the finely embroidered knot pattern in his shirt. There is a clear physical disparity between the two figures, which has the effect of affirming the dominance of the man. His body occupies a greater area of the picture and his shoulders extend beyond the edges of the panel. By eliminating the hands and reducing the details of the costumes, the artist has focused the viewer's attention on the sitters' faces, which are sensitively delineated and thinly but subtly modeled.'

[Hand, Cat. Washington 1993, 41]

The opposing turn of their heads indicates that he occupied the place of honor on the left side. It is likely that the portraits were intended to flank a window: notice how the shadows are cast in opposite directions and how the reflections of window panes can be seen in their eyes.

[http://www.nga.gov/fcgi-bin/tinfo_f?object=45887] (accessed 08.02.2013)
Provenance:
- Dr. Friedrich Campe [1777-1846], Nuremberg, by 1844 [1]
- Bernhard von Lindenau, Altenburg; by inheritance to his niece, Mrs. von Watzdorf-Bachoff, Altenburg [2]
- (Paul Cassirer, Berlin, by 1921) [3]
- Private collection, possibly von der Heydt.[4] August and Serena Lederer, Vienna, possibly by 1923, but certainly before 1932 [5]
- Lederer family; sold by 1954 to (Rosenberg & Stiebel, Inc., New York)
- purchased January 1954 by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York [6]
- gift 1959 to NGA

[1] The 1995 NGA systematic catalogue entry on the painting stated that it was only possibly owned by Dr. Campe. Although Joseph Heller, Das Leben und die Werke Lucas Cranach's (Bamberg, 1844), 89, lists 'Ein männliches und ein weibliches Brustbild, bezeichnet mit 1522 und der Schlange' as belonging to the art and book dealer Dr. Friedrich Campe of Nuremberg, the painting is not mentioned in other descriptions of the collection, such as Ritter C. Heideloff, Verzeichniss der Friedrich Campe'schen Sammlung von Oelgemälden und geschmeltzen Glasmalereien, (Nuremberg, 1847). However, correspondence from Dr. Dieter Gleisberg (letters of 27 July and 1 November 1999, in NGA curatorial files) does confirm Campe's ownership and provides his life dates.
[2] H.-C. v.d. Gabelentz, Director, Staatliche Lindenau Museum, Altenburg, letter of 19 July 1968 to Dr. Ilse Franke, Munich, in curatorial files. As Gabelentz notes in his letter, Bernhard von Lindenau ordered all his papers destroyed after his death, so it is not possible to determine, for example, when he acquired the painting.
[3] Karl Scheffler. "Kunstausstellungen." Kunst und Künstler 19 (1921), 298, cites the painting as being with Cassirer. Gabelentz, letter of 19 July 1968 cited above, says that Mrs. von Watzdorf-Bachoff sold the portrait to Cassirer.
[4] Not verified. Gabelentz, letter of 19 July 1968, cited in note 2, states that the portrait was in the von der Heydt collection, but it has not been possible to locate it in any catalogues associated with the name von der Heydt.
[5] Curt Glaser. Lukas Cranach. (Leipzig, 1923), 179, reproduces the portrait as being in a private collection, Vienna; this is not included in the 1921 edition. Scheffler 1921, 298, reports only that the portrait went from Cassirer into a private collection and so it is possible, although not verified, that Lederer owned it as early as 1921. [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932, 53-54, Nos. 123-124] ([Friedländer, Rosenberg 1978, 99, Nos. 145-146]), are the first to mention Lederer as owner.
This painting was confiscated by the Nazis in 1938 with others in the Lederer collection. It was discovered in 1945 by US forces at the abbey in Kremsmünster and transferred to the salt mine at Alt Aussee. By August 1947 it was transferred to the control of the Bundesdenkmalamt, Vienna. [Receipt for objects of Austrian origin, dated 14 July 1947, item no. 841, National Archives RG 260/USACA/Box 1, copy in NGA curatorial files.] According to a letter dated 10 April 1987 from Gerald G. Stiebel to John Hand, in NGA curatorial files, this and 1959.9.2 were acquired from the Lederer family by the firm of Rosenberg & Stiebel, who sold the paintings to the Kress Foundation in 1954.
[6] Invoice of 29 January 1954 and letter of 30 January 1954 from Saemy Rosenberg to John Walker, in NGA curatorial files.

[http://www.nga.gov/fcgi-bin/tinfo_f?object=45886&detail=prov] (accessed 008.02.2012)
Exhibitions:
1921 Berlin
1994 Kronach/Leipzig, No. 157
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Price 201716
Müller 2015268, Fn. 11
Zorzin 20138-154
Müller 201066
Proske 200730Fig. 19
Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt 2007261-26270p. 262
Marx 2005109
Hand 2004134-135No. 101Fig.
Löcher 1995 A15
Exhib. Cat. Kronach 1994335-338, 371157Fig. 157
Grimm 199424, 26-28, 31
Cat. Washington 199340-44Fig. p. 42
Cat. Washington 1985105Fig.
Cat. Washington 1984165No. 178Fig.
Cat. Washington 198157-62
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979No. 145
Eisler 197723-24Fig. 24
CDA.Cat. Washington 1975 A165No. 184Fig. p. 164
CDA.Cat. Washington 1975 B86Fig.
CDA.Cat. Washingtion 196827No. 1371Fig.
Cat. Washington 196533
Cat. Washington 1963305Fig.
Broadley 19607, 30-31Fig.
Richardson 1959275, 277Fig.
Cat. Washington 1959310Fig.
Suida, Shapley 195656, 58No. 18Fig. p. 57
Winckler 1944Fig. 151
Mayer 1933Fig.
Friedländer, Rosenberg 193253-54123
Glaser 1923179, 238Fig. 101
Scheffler 1921298Fig. p. 270
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
'Although not often discussed, these portraits have been recognized since first published in 1921 as excellent examples of Cranach’s portraiture in the 1520s. Talbot compared their sober mood with that found in the depictions of Martin Luther and his wife, first produced around 1525 but existing in nearly countless replicas [1].
The same format is used: dark figures set against a featureless monochrome background that emphasizes the silhouettes and the differences in figure size. As in the Washington portraits, Martin Luther’s figure extends beyond the frame while Katharina von Bora's is contained within its boundaries. Only Koepplin, in a verbal opinion recorded by Eisler, raised the possibility that the pictures were by one of Cranach’s sons or by another artist not necessarily in the studio, finding the somewhat grainy paint and unusually flat surfaces not characteristic of Cranach at this time [2]. More importantly, Koepplin noted the influence of Netherlandish portraiture, such as that of Joos van Cleve. There are some points of comparison, for instance, with van Cleve's portraits of Joris Vezeleer and Margaretha Boghe in the National Gallery (1962.9.1-2), probably painted in 1518, in which the figures are set against a green background with cast shadows [3].'


[1] Talbot, draft catalogue entry, 1966, in NGA curatorial files. For portraits of Luther and his wife see [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1978, Nos. 189, 190]. The panel depicting Luther is dated 1526, and numerous other versions of the pair are dated 1525 or 1526 and were done on the occasion of Luther's marriage.
[2] [Eisler 1977, 24]; the verbal communication took place in spring 1968.
[3] [Cat. Washington 1986, 57-62]

[Cat, Washington 1993, 41, 44]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 21.01.1994
  • Scientific analysis
  • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology
  • 8.01 Support
  • The painting is composed of two boards with grain running horizontally. Dendrochronological examination by Peter Klein provided dates of 1356-1516 and 1398-1514 for the boards.[1]

    [1] The wood was identified by Peter Klein, examination report, 10 April 1987, in NGA curatorial files, and by the National Gallery's scientific research department. A report from 21.01.1994 records the results from 1987 (see pdf)

    [http://www.nga.gov/fcgi-bin/tinfo_f?object=45886&detail=tech] (accessed 08.02.2013)
    • analysed by: Peter Klein
    • Date: 1993
    • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
    • Infrared reflectography
    • Stereomicroscopy
    • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology
    • 8.01 Support
    • The painting is composed of two boards with grain running horizontally. Dendrochronological examination by Peter Klein provided dates of 1356-1516 and 1398-1514 for the boards.[1]

      [1] The wood was identified by Peter Klein, examination report, 10 April 1987, in NGA curatorial files, and by the National Gallery's scientific research department.
    • 8.02 Ground and Imprimatura
    • A barbe is present along all four edges, suggesting that the panel was painted in an engaged frame.
    • 8.03 Underdrawing
    • Examination with infrared reflectography did not disclose underdrawing.
    • 8.04 Paint Layers and Gilding
    • The background is built up in layers and consequently is thicker than other areas of the painting. It appears that a brown layer was applied over the ground throughout, visible in the upper left under the artist's serpent device. The background consists of additional green-yellow and green-blue layers as well as a glaze layer to create areas of shadow.


      [http://www.nga.gov/fcgi-bin/tinfo_f?object=45886&detail=tech] (accessed 08.02.2013)
        Condition Reports:
        • Date: 1993
        • The panel has been thinned and an auxiliary support, estimated to be mahogany, was added prior to the addition of the cradle.[...]

          The painting is in very good condition, with only small areas of retouching scattered throughout.

          [http://www.nga.gov/fcgi-bin/tinfo_f?object=45886&detail=tech] (accessed 08.02.2013)