Cranach - Christ on the Cross
Christ on the Cross
Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder
National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
21.04.2021 - 20:17
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CDA ID / Inventory NumberIE_NGI_NGI-471
Persistent Link
FR (1978) No.FR-none
Christ on the Cross[National Gallery of Ireland, revised 2013]
Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder [National Gallery of Ireland, revised 2013]
Lucas Cranach the Elder Former attributions: 1898-1981 National Gallery of Ireland catalogues 1876 [Exhib. Cat. Wexham 1876] [Cat. Dublin 1987, 7, No. 471]
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Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerNational Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
RepositoryNational Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
Dimensions of the support: 22.5 x 16.8 cm [National Gallery of Ireland, revised 2013]
Painting on oak wood [National Gallery of Ireland, revised 2013]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia below the centre on the shaft of the cross: winged serpent with elevated wings facing right and dated '1540'; an unidentifiable mark is visible beneath to insignia
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
Original Inscriptions:
- above the cross: 'PATER IN MANUS TUAS COMMENDO SPIRITUM MEUM' 'Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit' [Cat. Dublin 1987, 6, No. 471]
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
Reverse of the hollow panel: - bottom centre: White label of Cholmondely sale, Christie's, London, lot 39 - bottom left corner: Exhibition label from Cranach-Ausstellung, Deutsches Museum, Berlin, 1937 - top, centre: Stencil of number 670 [Cat. Dublin 1987, 6, No. 471]
'The image of Christ on the Cross in no. 471 corresponds to a precise moment in Christ's Crucifixion as told in the book of Luke, ch. 23, vs. 44-46: '(44) And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. (45) And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in the midst. (46) and when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit, and, having said this, he gave up his spirit.' The Latin equivalent to Christ's last words are written above the cross in the Dublin picture. Christ looks up towards heaven and his mouth is open to speak the final words. That Christ is alive is emphasised by the absence of the wound in His side which was pierced after his death. The billowing loin cloth adds to the portrayal of a particular instant in the Crucifixion narrative and the dramatic effect is enhanced by the way Christ is silhouetted against the dark sky.' [Cat. Dublin 1987, 7, No. 471]
- Reginald Cholmondely, Condover Hall, 1876-97
- his sale, Christie's, London, 6 March 1897, lot 39
[Cat. Dublin 1987, 6, No. 471]
- purchased, 1897

[National Gallery of Ireland, revised 2013]
Wrexham 1876, No. 115
London 1906, No. 32
Berlin 1937
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Sitt, Monsees 2015310, 313Fig. 1
Cat. Dublin 19876-8No. 471Figs. 3, 59
Exhib. Cat. Berlin 1937
Exhib. Cat. London 190632
Exhib. Cat. Wrexham 1876No. 115
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
'The town to the left of the cross is an ideal German equivalent to Jerusalem but the large building to the right of the cross can be identified. It shows the south-east wing of Schloss Hartenfels in Torgau [...]. This particular wing was a new addition to the castle on the banks of the river Elbe which was built under the direction of the architect Konrad Krebs between 1533 and 1538.'

[Cat. Dublin 1987, 8, No. 471]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 1987
  • Technical Examination
  • Support
  • - single oak panel

    [Cat. Dublin 1987, 6, No. 471]
      Condition Reports:
      • Date: 1987
      • 'The panel of 'Christ on the Cross' is set inside a slightly larger hollow panel, 25.7 x 19.2 cms. This insertion occurred sometime before 1897, the date of the Christie's sale tag on the reverse of the hollow panel. The hollow panel may have been added to accommodate a frame. The support of Christ on the cross is generally in good condition. Some slender cracks can be seen on the left side of the sky and X-rays reveal a small knot of wood with star-shaped cracks under Christ's right arm. The paint surface is in good condition apart from some retouching which are noticeable in Christ's legs and cloak.' [Cat. Dublin 1987, 6, No. 471]