Cranach - Portrait of Georg Spalatin
Portrait of Georg Spalatin
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig
06.12.2021 - 13:21
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CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_MdbKL_3046
Persistent Link
FR (1978) No.FR024
Portrait of Georg Spalatin[CDA 2011]
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Guratzsch, Cat. Leipzig 1995, 35]
Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerMuseum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig
RepositoryMuseum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig
Dimensions of support: 33 x 28.5 cm
[Guratzsch, Cat. Leipzig 1995, 35]

Dimensions of support: 36.4 x 31 x 2.2 cm
dimensions including frame: 47 x 42 x 3.7 cm

[Museum der bildenden Künste, revised 31.03.2014]
Painting transferred from wood to canvas
[Guratzsch, Cat. Leipzig 1995, 35]
Signature / Date:
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
- top left:

- top right:
Half-length portrait of the theologist and humanist Georg Burckhardt from Spalt near Nuremberg, called Spalatin (1484-1545). He was one of the most influential personalities of the Saxon court.
- Baronin von Lipperheide Collection, Berlin
- Munich, auction (Helbig), 25. Feb. 1933
[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1978, 73, No. 24]

- 1994 Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig, acquired at an auction in the auction house Hugo Ruef, Munich
[Guratzsch, Cat. Leipzig 1995, 35]
Kronach 1994, No. 202
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Hopf 201256Fig. p. 56
Hofbauer 20087Fig. p. 7
Busch, Kruse 1997
Höß 1996
Bott 1995347
Exhib. Cat. Bonn 199435
Sander 1994
Exhib. Cat. Kronach 1994372, 373202Fig. 202
Friedländer, Rosenberg 197973No. 24Fig. 24
Sander 1950
Friedländer, Rosenberg 193223
Friedländer 1916131
Friedländer 191126
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 11.06.2014
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Infrared reflectography
  • Stereomicroscopy
  • 8.01 Support
  • - the wood species can no longer be established
    - original size of the wooden panel: c. 33 x 28 cm
  • 8.02 Ground and Imprimatura
  • - white, probably chalk/glue, not tested
    - compact, relatively thick ground
    - the original edges of the panel have not been preserved
    - an imprimatura could not be detected
  • 8.03 Underdrawing
  • - faint underdrawing lines visible only in the eyes (not visible to the naked eye)
    - no alterations; the painted contours follow the underdrawing
  • 8.04 Paint Layers and Gilding
  • - black underpaint in the background, cool brown beneath the collar, the hair was laid in with a brown wash (visible under the stereomicrope)
    - the economic underdrawing was followed by a brown wash (hair, background and dark sections of the clothing). The flesh paint and the grey robe were left in reserve. The deep shadows of the flesh paint were also laid in with a brown wash (e.g. neck)
    - brushstrokes, glazes
    - the brush type is difficult to establish; the hair was executed with the typical fine pointed brush
  • 8.05 Framing
  • - not original, plate frame (copy, 1995)
    - dimensions: 47 x 42 x 3 cm
    - oak
    - narrow plate frame. Joins:mitred at the front, overlapping on the reverse, Colour: natural oak, patina, bare wood, waxed
    [Museum der bildenden Künste, 11.06.2014]
    • examined by: Rüdiger Beck
    • Date: 09. 2012
    • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
    • UV-light photography
    • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig - Portrait of Georg Spalatin - UV Images
    • 8.07
      • photographed by: Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig
      • Date: 06. 2010
      • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
      • Infrared reflectography
      • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig - Portrait of Georg Spalatin - Infrared Images
      • 8.03 Underdrawing
      • - an undedrawing is not visible

        [Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2012]
        • photographed by: Gunnar Heydenreich
        • photographed by: Ingo Sandner
        Condition Reports:
        • Date: 11.06.2014
        • - the painting is in rather bad condition: only 50% of the original material is preserved

          - transferred from wood to canvas, the format was enlarged by c. 1 to 2 cm. The original painted surface measures c. 33 x 28 cm. A considerable number of the losses probably occurred when the painting was transferred. Marks from the lining canvas are clearly visible in raking light.
          - wavy deformation along the left and right edges of the painting parallel to the nails in the stretcher, running horizontally c. 3.5 cm into the picture plane

          Ground/Paint Layers:
          - The remains of the original paint layers exhibit the grid-like cracquelée typical of wooden panels. Under the stereomicroscope abrasion down to the ground is visible along the edges of the cracquelée. There are numerous very small to larger paint losses scattered over the entire painted surface, these have been repeatedly filled and retouched. The original paint layers exhibit deformations and are generally very abraded, particularly in the glazes and the brown tones. The entire surface is extensively retouched and the background was probably glazed over.
          - recent retouches are beneath the last varnish layer, see UV
          - four large, retouched losses: at the left in the background, at the height of the face, in the neck, at the bottom centre in the grey robe and at the left beneath the left shoulder

          - the varnish dates back to 1994/95

          - limited amount of inactive woodworm in the frame

          [Museum der bildenden Künste, 11.06.2014]
        • examined by: Rüdiger Beck
        • Date: 1995
        • - transferred from wood to canvas
          - the paint layers are very damaged and retouched

          [Guratzsch, Cat. Leipzig 1995, 35]
          History of Restoration:
          • Date: 30.06.1995
          • - treatment report in the painting file, MdbK

            [Museum der bildenden Künste, 11.06.2014]
          • conservation treatment by: Heinrich Jakob
          • Date: 1993 - 1994

          • [Guratzsch, Cat. Leipzig 1995, 35]