Cranach - Hunting near Hartenfels Castle
Hunting near Hartenfels Castle
Lucas Cranach the Elder
The Cleveland Museum of Art
21.04.2021 - 18:01
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Painting:
CDA ID / Inventory NumberUS_CMA_1958-425
Persistent Linkhttps://lucascranach.org/US_CMA_1958-425
FR (1978) No.FR412B
Title:
Hunting near Hartenfels Castle[The Cleveland Museum of Art, revised 2017]
'Jagd zu Wasser anno 1540'[Gemäldegalerie Dresden, Inventory 1722-1728, B 1527]
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Attribution:
Lucas Cranach the Elder [The Cleveland Museum of Art, revised 2017] [Kolb 2005 A, 160]
Lucas Cranach the Younger [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, No. 412B]
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Dating:
1540[dated]
Owner / Repository / Location:
OwnerThe Cleveland Museum of Art
RepositoryThe Cleveland Museum of Art
LocationCleveland
Dimensions:
Dimensions of support: 116.80 x 170.20 cm (45 15/16 x 67 inches) Dimensions including frame: 133 x 185.5 x 7.3 cm (52 5/16 x 73 x 2 13/16 inches) [The Cleveland Museum of Art, revised 2017]
Support:
Painting on wood (transferred from wood to wood-veneered honeycomb panel) [The Cleveland Museum of Art, revised 2017]
Signature / Date:
Artist's insignia lower right on boat: winged serpent and dated '1540' [The Cleveland Museum of Art, revised 2017]
Inscriptions, Marks, Labels, Seals:
Recto: - lower right: inventory number: '1577' [The Cleveland Museum of Art, revised 2017]
Description:
This animated court hunt scene was commissioned by the rulers of Saxony and is set near their residence, Hartenfels Castle, which stands in the background. The Elector of Saxony John Frederick the Magnanimous, shown in the bottom left corner, is depicted in dark green hunting attire; he spans his crossbow and waits for a stag to cross the river. On the opposite side stands his wife, the Electress Sibylle, poised to take the first ceremonial shot. By spreading various running animals and armed noblemen across the surface, the artist executed an extremely complex composition. The prince electors of Saxony were passionate practitioners of parforce hunting with dogs - elaborate, highly rehearsed occasions, coordinated by the use of signals from hunting horns. The green areas and the wavy river increase the rhythm in the painting. Lucas Cranach the Elder dated this work and signed it with an insignia of a winged snake at the lower right (on the boat). The 1577 in the right-hand corner is the house of Saxony's inventory number. [The Cleveland Museum of Art, revised 2017]
Provenance:
- Moritzburg, near Dresden
[Gemäldegalerie Dresden, Inventory 1722-1728, B 1527]
[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, No. 412B]
- after 1924 the Familienverein Haus Wettin (Albertinische Linie e. V.) was given the painting as part of a settlement, a result of the so-called 'Fürstenabfindung' (expropriation of the dynastic properties of the former ruling houses).
[Kolb 2005 A, 159]
- M. H. Drey, London
- 1958 aquired by the Cleveland Museum of Art (John L. Severance Fund)
[The Cleveland Museum of Art, revised 2017]
Exhibitions:
Kronach 1994, No. 131
Torgau 2004, No. 219
Torgau 2015, No. 42
Sources / Publications:
Reference on PageCatalogue NumberFigure/Plate
Exhib. Cat. Torgau 2015105, 10642Fig. 42
Franklin, Mann 2012168 f.
Wunder 201044 f.Fig. 10
Kolb 2005 A160, 173 Fn. 245, 246Fig. 72
Pérez d'Ors 20058, 13
Kolb 2005 C539
Exhib. Cat. Torgau 2004159 (Bd. 1)219
Selzer 2003
Exhib. Cat. Kronach 1994310-313131
Cat. Cleveland 1982163-165
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979412B
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932331b
Material / Technique:
  • Date: 2017
  • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
  • Infrared reflectography
  • X-radiography
  • UV-light photography
  • Stereomicroscopy
  • Support
  • A record photograph of a detail of the reverse of the orginal wood panel taken before the transfer [shows it] to have been either beech or linden or walnut. Several knots were present and the original chiselmarks were evident.
  • Ground and Imprimatura
  • There is a white ground layer estimated to be chalk.
  • Underdrawing
  • Some fine black line preliminary drawing is detectable under the figures and architecture when viewed with infrared reflectography.
  • Paint Layers and Gilding
  • Glazes in oil paint were laid in to form the undertone for the landscape. A light yellowish brown toning is evident, followed by glazes of darker brown and green for the terrain and grey wash for the water. Locally-applied opaque touches of color define the details of foliage and other vegetation. The figures appear to have been painted over the completed landscape including the blades of grass. The weapons and the antlers of the stags, in particular, clearly overlap the grass blades.
    [Marcia Steele, The Cleveland Museum of Art, 2017]
      • Date: 2014
      • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
      • Infrared reflectography
      • Lucas Cranach the Elder - The Cleveland Museum of Art - Hunting near Hartenfels Castle - Infrared Images
      • Underdrawing
      • DESCRIPTION

        Tools/Material:
        - fluid, black medium, brush; an initial design may have been executed with a stylus?

        Type/Ductus:
        - very careful underdrawing (presumably after a pre-existing design)

        Function:
        - relatively binding for the final painted version; faint lines are visible delineating the main contours, and describing details and facial features; no representation of volume with hatching-strokes; possibly some washes?

        Deviations:
        - very few corrections were made to the forms during the painting process; small changes for example the contours of some of the dogs in the background, the legs of the leaping stag in the middle ground.

        INTERPRETATION

        Attribution:
        - Lucas Cranach the Elder or the Younger

        [Sandner, Smith-Contini, Heydenreich, cda 2017]
        • photographed by: The Cleveland Museum of Art
        • Date: 2014
        • Technical examination / Scientific analysis
        • X-radiography
        • Lucas Cranach the Elder - The Cleveland Museum of Art - Hunting near Hartenfels Castle - X-Radiographs
          • created by: The Cleveland Museum of Art
          Condition Reports:
          • Date: 2017
          • Condition Summary: The transferred painting is in secure condition, although there are some areas of tented texture in the paint. The varnish is significantly discolored yellow, distorting the overall tonality of the composition. Additionally, it is marred by drips and splatters and is coated with a matte surface accumulation. SUPPORT Construction: The paint and ground layers have been transferred to a new panel support consisting of a 1/2" thick honeycomb core veneered with a 1/8" thick layer of pressed wood toward the face and 1/8" thick layer of mahogany on the reverse. The ground has been adhered to the pressed wood veneer with rabbit skin glue. The reverse side was sealed with varnish and wax. A cradle consisting of nine horizontal glued members and twelve vertical sliding members is attached to the reverse. This transfer treatment was carried out in 1959 by William Suhr. A radiograph of the lower right corner of the painting reveals the honeycomb support structure. A record photograph of a detail of the reverse of the orginal wood panel taken before the transfer confirms the insect damaged condition of the wood. It appears to have been either beech or linden or walnut. Several knots were present and the original chisel marks were evident. Condition: The support is in stable condition and completely planar. PAINT/GROUND LAYERS Construction: There is a white ground layer estimated to be chalk. Because of the transfer and the loss of the extreme margins, there are no details about its application to describe. The 1959 treatment notes also state that the ground layer was thinned during the transfer process. Some fine black line preliminary drawing is detectable under the figures and architecture when viewed with infrared reflectography. Glazes in oil paint were laid in to form the undertone for the landscape. A light yellowish brown toning is evident, followed by glazes of darker brown and green for the terrain and grey wash for the water. Locally-applied opaque touches of color define the details of foliage and other vegetation. The figures appear to have been painted over the completed landscape including the blades of grass. The weapons and the antlers of the stags, in particular, clearly overlap the grass blades. Condition: The ground layer is in stable condition. The paint layers are also secure, although there are areas of horizontal tenting in the upper center and upper right regions. These deformities appear to be consolidated by the adhesive used in the transfer. There is a network of cracquelure with related low cupping throughout the paint. The degree of cupping has been minimized by the transfer treatment, but is still prominent in the upper right corner. The paint is in generally very good condition, with some minor abrasion in some of the thinly-painted passages, such as the grey washes in the water. Losses are comparatively minimal for a panel painting of this size. Most of the paint loss is concentrated along the edges of the composition. A larger area of margin loss occurs along the middle right near the grouping of figures. These have been restored. Other significant restored paint losses are at H.49 W.19 cm from the lower right: H.75 W.53 cm from the lower right. VARNISH An older natural resin varnish was removed and replaced with dammar in 1998. Retouches were carried out using PVA medium. [Marcia Steele, The Cleveland Museum of Art, 2017]