Cranach - Lucretia
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Private Collection
06.12.2021 - 12:34
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CDA ID / Inventory NumberPRIVATE_NONE-P063
Persistent Link
FR (1978) No.FR055
Lucretia[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, No. 55]
Lucas Cranach the Elder [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 80, No. 55]
[Auct.Cat. Sotheby's New York 1988 in the Archive D. Koepplin]
about 1509 - 1510[Auct. Cat. Sotheby's New York 2011, 98, No. 34]
about 1512 - 1514[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 80, No. 55]
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Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerPrivate Collection
RepositoryPrivate Collection
Dimensions of support: 60.3 x 48.9 cm
[Auct. Cat. Sotheby's NY 2011, 98, No. 34]

Slight difference at Britannica:
57 x 46.5 cm
[; 06.01.2015]
Painting on lime wood
[Auct. Cat. Sotheby's 2011, 98, No. 34]

[; 06.01.2015]
Signature / Date:
The painting depicts Lucretia as a seated half-length figure in contemporary dress with contemporary accessories.
Her white dress with its puffed sleeves has slipped off her shoulders to reveal her chest. Only her left breast is covered by the green fur-trimmed gown. Lucretia's left hand rests in her lap and she holds the long dagger in her right hand. She has raised it slightly and it touches her under the right breast. Lucretia's head is inclined slightly to the left and she looks at the viewer. Her curly brown hair is held back with a black hair-band. She wears an artistic chain and two large linked chains as well as another large chain around her neck.
The background is dark.
[Herrschaft, cda 2012]

According to the legend Lucretia lived in the 6th century BC and was the beautiful and virtuous wife of the roman Collatinus. The roman King's son - Sextus Tarquinius fell in love with her. During a stay in her house Sextus threatened to kill her and shame her honour if she did not surrender to him. After the rape Lucretia had her father and husband vow vengeance and then she stabbed herself. The event led to an uprising in which the royal family was overthrown and the Roman Empire became a Republic.
Depictions of Lucretia who was seen as the epitomy of female virtue, chastity, fidelity and honour enjoyed great popularity, particularly in the 16th century.
[Literature: Bierende 2002, Follak 2002, Livius 1909]
- 1920 auctioned at Art Collectors Assoc. Ltd., London
[Auct. Cat. Sotheby's NY 2011, 98, No. 34]
[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 80, No. 55]
- 03.06.1988 auctioned at Sotheby's, New York
[Auct. Cat. Sotheby's NY 2011, 98, No. 34]
[handwritten annotation D. Koepplin in the Auct. Cat. Sotheby's NY in the Archive D. Koepplin]
- 26.01.2012 auctioned at Sotheby's, New York, lot 34
[Auct. Cat. Sotheby's NY 2011, 98, No. 34]
- 05.-16. July 2014 'Contemplation of the Divine' Sotheby's London
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Friedländer, Rosenberg 197980No. 055Fig. 55
Friedländer, Rosenberg 193239048Fig. 48
Interpretation / History / Discussion:
Friedländer associates it with the painting ‚The Virgin as Mother of Sorrows‘ in the Birnbaum Collection, Amsterdam
[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932, 39, No. 48]
This is one of the earliest preserved paintings depicting Lucretia. Stylistically and in size it is very similar to a Lucretia painting created by Cranach about 1510-13 [FR042].
[Herrschaft, cda 2012]
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 2011
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Stereomicroscopy
  • Infrared reflectography
  • 8.01 Support
  • - four stripes of linden run horizontally, unusual
  • 8.02 Ground and Imprimatura
  • - double white ground, first more liquid, second thicker
  • 8.03 Underdrawing
  • - no underdrawing visible to naked eye or under infrared examination
  • 8.04 Paint Layers and Gilding
  • - composition revised while worked on it: changes to the length and positioning of Lucretia´s left thumb, it was oroginally smaller and was possibly hidden under the fur at the egde of her mantle
  • 8.05 Framing
  • - framing elements were nailed to the panel before ground was applied
    [Auct. Cat. Sotheby´s 2011, 98, No. 34]