Cranach - Portrait of Luther as Junker Jörg
Portrait of Luther as Junker Jörg
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig
25.11.2020 - 20:40
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Painting:
CDA ID / Inventory NumberDE_MdbKL_946
Persistent Linkhttps://lucascranach.org/DE_MdbKL_946
FR (1978) No.FR148
Title:
Portrait of Luther as Junker Jörg[CDA 2011]
Attribution:
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Stuhr, Exhib. Cat. Leipzig, Bonn, Stuttgart 1994, 63]
Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder [Schade 1974, 384, Fn. 362]
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Dating:
1521[Stuhr, Exhib. Cat. Leipzig, Bonn, Stuttgart 1994, 63]
about 1521[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1978, 99, No. 148]
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Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerMuseum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig
RepositoryMuseum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig
LocationLeipzig
Dimensions:
Dimensions of support: 33.5 x 25.3 cm [Stuhr, Exhib. Cat. Leipzig, Bonn, Stuttgart 1994, 63] c. 35 x 27 cm Dimensions of the painted surface: 33.6/33.2 x 25.3/25.2 cm Dimensions including frame: 40.4/39.9 x 32.3/32.1 x 2.8 cm [Rüdiger Beck, Museum der bildenden Künste, revised 11.06.2014]
Support:
Painting on beech wood [Klein, Report 2013] Wood [Stuhr, Exhib. Cat. Leipzig, Bonn, Stuttgart 1994, 63]
Signature / Date:
None
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
Reverse of the panel: '[Heiland] identifiziert einen Siegelabdruck als Ringsiegel der schwäbischen Freiherren von Neuhausen und vermutet, die Verbindung nach Schwaben könnte über den jüngsten Sohn des Reformators, Dr. Paul Luther, erfolgt sein[...]' [Stuhr, Exhib. Cat. Leipzig, Bonn, Stuttgart 1994, 63]
Description:
Bust portrait of Martin Luther as Junker Jörg against a green background. Luther wears a black robe, the collar is hidden by his bushy brown beard. His left hand rests on the hilt of his sword. [Görres, cda 2015]
Provenance:
- Leipzig Municipal library (Stadtbibliothek); recorded there as early as 1761 by C. E. Reimes
- in 1851 Christian Schuchard presumed it still to be there
- 1852 already lost
- 1883 rediscovered, possibly by Freiherr von Neuhausen, Schwaben
- 1912 Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig

[Stuhr, Exhib. Cat. Leipzig, Bonn, Stuttgart 1994, 63]
Exhibitions:
Dresden 1899, No. 114
Leipzig 1817, 1
Berlin 1937, No. 44
Berlin 1953, 135
Berlin 1983, 135, No. B 75.2, Fig. p. 321
Yokohama, Sapporo, Hiroshima 1985/86, No. 19
Vienna 1989/90, No. V/2/6, Fig. 184
Paris 1993
Leipzig, Bonn, Stuttgart 1994, 62-63
Bonn, Vienna 2000, 243, Fig. p. 244
Frankfurt, London 2008, 190-192, No. 39
Düsseldorf 2017, No. 96
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017193No. 96
Görres 2017 B4696
Heydenreich 2007 A75, Fn. 7, 335, 336
Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt 2007190-19139p. 191
Zocher 200615
Schuchardt 2004
Bierende 19949
Exhib. Cat. Bonn 199462-63
Exhib. Cat. Paris 1993
Cat. Weimar 199025Fig. p. 26
Exhib. Cat. Vienna 1989/1990No. V/2/6Fig. 184
Warnke 1984617
Heiland 19832-4
Exhib. Cat. Berlin 1983135No. B 75.2Fig. p. 321
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979100No. 148Fig. 148
Schade 197452, Fn. 362
Schade 1972 A
Flaschendräger 1967Fig. p. 42
Cat. Leipzig 196140
Exhib. Cat. Warsaw 1961No. 16
Exhib. Cat. Berlin 1953135
Lüdecke 1953 A21ff., 68f., 110f.
Giesecke 193921ff.
Exhib. Cat. Berlin 1937No. 44
Ficker 192043-50
Vogel 191857-64
Kroker 1907205f.
Flechsig 1900 A63, 108f., 255, 257, 282
Exhib. Cat. Dresden 1899No. 114
Gurlitt 1896351
Exhib. Cat. Leipzig 18171
Reimer 1761Title page
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
'This picture, or more probably the portrait study on which it was based and which has not survived, must have been done between Dec 4 and 10, 1521, for at that time Luther paid a visit to Wittenberg from the Wartburg.'

[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1978, 99]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 11.06.2014
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology
  • Infrared reflectography
  • Stereomicroscopy
  • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig - Portrait of Luther as Junker Jörg - ReverseLucas Cranach the Elder - Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig - Portrait of Luther as Junker Jörg - ReverseLucas Cranach the Elder - Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig - Portrait of Luther as Junker Jörg - Detail ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig - Portrait of Luther as Junker Jörg - Detail ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig - Portrait of Luther as Junker Jörg - Detail ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig - Portrait of Luther as Junker Jörg - Detail ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig - Portrait of Luther as Junker Jörg - Detail ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig - Portrait of Luther as Junker Jörg - Detail Images
  • Support
  • - beech wood (Fagus sp.). Identification of wood species, from 26.10.2013, the report in in the painting file MdbK, analysis carried out by Prof.Dr. Peter Klein.
    - no knots, transverse cut
    - single plank, vertical grain
    - rebate on all four sides, up to 1.5 cm in width
    - plank width: at the top not visible/ 27 cm bottom
    - marks from a simple plane, in part nicked
    - the joins are not reinforced
  • Ground and Imprimatura
  • - white ground, probably chalk/glue (not tested)
    - thick
    - the panel was fitted in an engaged frame when the ground was applied. wood shrinkage caused the barb to split off, this is visible along the top, and the left and right edges, it has shiffed c. 1-2 mm into the picture plane. along the bottom edge the barb is only minimally split
    - incised lines are in part visible along the inner edge of the frame
  • Framing
  • - presumably original
    - hardwood
    - gilded engaged frame witha sill
    [Museum der bildenden Künste, 11.06.2014]
  • Underdrawing
  • - somewhat stiff, simple and economic drawing with ink and a quill
    - visible to the naked eye through the flesh paint, e. g. in the hand
    - almost no alterations in the painted version
  • Paint Layers and Gilding
  • - dark grey underpaint beneath the black paint layer (the garments), initial brown layer beneath the blackish-brown glazes (hair and beard)
    - classic 'painting process'. The large areas like the background, the garments and the hair were painted with an initial opaque layer ( in the background this layer is relatively thick). The shapes and the transitions were clipped. the ductus is visible in raking light. The shadows in the flesh paint were blended employing a grey to greyish-brown wash. After drying the semi-transparent flesh tone was applied and lighter admixtures were blended wet-in-wet into this. A similar approach was assumed for some contours. fine line and contours were subsequently added.
    - brush application, glazed in the areas of flesh paint
    - ick applicationof paint in the background (the ductus is faintly visible in raking light), paint ridges are visible along the contours of the figure
    - later a broad black band was painted along the inner edge of the frame over the split barb and it covers the disturbing light split and small losses
    • examined by: Rüdiger Beck
    • Date: 01.06.2014
    • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
    • UV-light photography
    • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig - Portrait of Luther as Junker Jörg - UV ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig - Portrait of Luther as Junker Jörg - UV ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig - Portrait of Luther as Junker Jörg - Reverse
      • photographed by: Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig
      • Date: 26.10.2013
      • Scientific analysis
      • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology
      • Support
      • Identification of wood species: beech wood (Fagus sp.). A measurement was not possible.
        • analysed by: Peter Klein
        • Date: 01.06.2010
        • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
        • Infrared reflectography
        • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig - Portrait of Luther as Junker Jörg - Infrared Images
        • Underdrawing
        • DESCRIPTION

          Tools/Materials:
          - fluid black pigmented medium, pointed brush

          Type/Ductus:
          - relatively freehand underdrawing
          - thin, unbroken lines

          Function:
          - binding for the final painted version; lines delineate the contours and describe the main facial features; no representation of volume

          Deviations:
          - minor alterations were made during the painting process to clearly define forms

          INTERPRETATION

          Attribution:
          - Lucas Cranach the Elder

          Comments:
          - presumably with reference to a preparatory drawing

          [Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2012]
          • photographed by: Gunnar Heydenreich
          • photographed by: Ingo Sandner
          • Date: 2007
          • Technical Examination
          • Lucas Cranach the Elder - Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig - Portrait of Luther as Junker Jörg - Detail ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig - Portrait of Luther as Junker Jörg - Detail ImagesLucas Cranach the Elder - Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig - Portrait of Luther as Junker Jörg - ReverseLucas Cranach the Elder - Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig - Portrait of Luther as Junker Jörg - Reverse
          • Framing
          • Original engaged frame: deep coved profile, sill, gold coloured metal-leaf gilding (reworked), exterior black.

            [Heydenreich 2007 A, 75, Fn. 7, 335, 336]
              Condition Reports:
              • Date: 11.06.2014
              • - the panel is in a stable condition - no deformation, but a degree of shrinkage in the verical direction - extensive craquelée in the background; in this area some retouches - abrasion of glazes in the hair, abrasion also in the fleah paint, where it is also extensively retouched and in part overpainted - large loss beneath the ear (old fill, matt retouching) - discoloured retouches, overpaint and increase in transparency in the areas of the flesh paint - no original varnish, cleaned numerous times, in the area of the garments thicker layers of varnish, slightly yellowed, relatively even gloss, occasional matt retouches [Museum der bildenden Künste, 11.06.2014]
              • examined by: Rüdiger Beck
              • Date: 1978
              • In a poor state of preservation, the face and hand overpainted. [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1978, 99, No. 148]
                History of Restoration:
                • Date: 1950
                • - treated again in 1950 by Charlotte Kirchner (no record available) [Museum der bildenden Künste, 11.06.2014]
                • conservation treatment by: Charlotte Kirchner
                • Date: 01.12.1913
                • Acta Restaurierung III - 1890-1923, Sheet 186. Treatment report by Philipp Ritter, Leipzig end of December 1913. Annual report for 1913. New acquisition, Portrait of Luther by L. Cranach the Elder with a beard [Cranach the Elder, Inv.-No. 946]. The painting had a very yellowed varnish, the background was slightly toned, in addition there were various splits and defects, overpaint in the face etc. A comprehensive treatment was carried out. [Museum der bildenden Künste, 11.06.2014]
                • conservation treatment by: Philipp Ritter