The Beheading of St John the Baptist

The Beheading of St John the Baptist

Title

The Beheading of St John the Baptist

[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, No. 73]

Painting on lime wood

Medium

Painting on lime wood

[Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt 2008, 159, No. 20]

oak wood

[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 84, No. 73]

The soldier with the halberd on the left in the foreground bears the physiognomy of Cranach and looks out at the viewer. St John the Baptist lies on the ground behind him. The henchman has already decapitated him and gives his head to Salome, who places it on a silver

The soldier with the halberd on the left in the foreground bears the physiognomy of Cranach and looks out at the viewer. St John the Baptist lies on the ground behind him. The henchman has already decapitated him and gives his head to Salome, who places it on a silver plate. Behind her is a group of female attendants. Salome's stepfather Herod enters the scene from the left on horseback accompanied by his entourage. A mountain forest landscape with numerous castles is visible in the background. The coat-of-arms of Stanislaus Thurzo, Bishop of Olmütz is illustrated in the bottom left corner.

[see Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt 2008, 159, No. 20]

Attribution
Lucas Cranach the Elder

Attribution

Lucas Cranach the Elder

[Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt 2008, 159, No. 20]
[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 84, No. 73]

Production date
1515

Production date

1515

[dated]

Dimensions
Dimensions of support: 84 x 58 cm

Dimensions

  • Dimensions of support: 84 x 58 cm

  • [Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt 2008, 159, No. 20]

  • [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 84, No. 73]

Signature / Dating
Artist's insignia on the halberd of the soldier standing on the left in the foreground: winged serpent and dated '1515'

Signature / Dating

  • Artist's insignia on the halberd of the soldier standing on the left in the foreground: winged serpent and dated '1515'

  • [Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt 2008, 159, No. 20]

  • [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 84, No. 73]

Owner
Archdiocese of Olomouc
Repository
Archbishop's Castle and Gardens Kromeríz
Location
Kromeríz
CDA ID
CZ_ESGK_KE2367
FR (1978) Nr.
FR073
Persistent Link
https://lucascranach.org/en/CZ_ESGK_KE2367/

Provenance

  • created for Stanislaus Thurzo
    [Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt 2008, 159, No. 21]
  • possibly originally in the Cathedral of St Wenzel or in the collegial church of St Moritz in Olmütz
    [Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt 2008, 159, No. 21]

Exhibitions

Frankfurt 2008, No. 20

Literature

Reference on page Catalogue Number Figure/Plate
Wegmann 2017 20, 21, 24 Fig. 1 (detail), 5
AuthorSusanne Wegmann
TitleDer selbstbewusste Maler. Lucas Cranach der Ältere im Selbstbildnis
Publicationin Gunnar Heydenreich, Daniel Görres, Beat Wismer, eds., Lucas Cranach der Ältere. Meister - Marke - Moderne. [Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017]
Place of PublicationMunich
Year of Publication2017
Pages20-27
Exhib. Cat. Prague 2016 91, 92, 176, 177
EditorOlga Kotková
TitleCranach. Ze všech stran. From all sides.
Place of PublicationPrague
Year of Publication2016
Pages16-180
Görres, Heydenreich, Kotková 2016 7 Fig. p. 7
AuthorOlga Kotková, Gunnar Heydenreich, Daniel Görres
TitleIntroduction
Publicationin Olga Kotková, ed., Cranach. Ze všech stran. From all sides., Exhib. Cat. Prague
Place of PublicationPrague
Year of Publication2016
Pages11-17
Exhib. Cat. Brussels 2010 99
EditorBozarbooks & Lannoo, Guido Messling
TitleDie Welt des Lucas Cranach. Ein Künstler im Zeitalter von Dürer, Tizian und Metsys [anlässlich der Ausstellung "Die Welt des Lucas Cranach", Palast der Schönen Künste, Brüssel, 20. Oktober 2010 - 23. Januar 2011]
Place of PublicationBrussels
Year of Publication2010
Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt 2007 159-161 20 p. 160
EditorBodo Brinkmann
TitleCranach der Ältere, [Frankfurt, Städel Museum, 23 Nov 2007 - 17 Feb 2008]
Place of PublicationOstfildern
Year of Publication2007
Schade 2007 95
AuthorWerner Schade
TitleCranachs Berührung durch die Niederlande. Antinomien einer Reisebetrachtung
Publicationin Bodo Brinkmann, ed., Cranach der Ältere, Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt
Place of PublicationOstfildern
Year of Publication2007
Pages91-97
Chamonikola 2005 B 14 (English version 6)
AuthorKaliopi Chamonikola
TitleLucas Cranach a ceské zeme/ Lucas Cranach and the Czech Lands
Publicationin Kaliopi Chamonikola, ed., Pod znamením okrídleného hada. Lucas Cranach a ceské zeme, Under the winged Serpent, Lucas Cranach and the Czech Lands, Exhib. Prague 2005
Place of PublicationPrague
Year of Publication2005
Pages13-33 (6-15)
Exhib. Cat. Prague 2005 46, 52, 53, 112, 118 (English version 22, 24, 43, 45) 4 Pl. p. 53
EditorObrazárna Pražského hradu, Kaliopi Chamonikola
TitlePod znamením okrídleného hada. Lucas Cranach a ceské zeme. Under the winged Serpent. Lucas Cranach and the Czech Land
Place of PublicationPrague
Year of Publication2005
Kotkova 2005 A 10 (English version 5) Fig. p. 10 (detail)
AuthorOlga Kotková
TitleLucas Cranach. Vývesní stít staronemecké malby/ Lucas Cranach. The signboard of Old German Painting
Publicationin Kaliopi Chamonikola, ed., Pod znamením okrídleného hada. Lucas Cranach a ceské zeme, Under the winged Serpent, Lucas Cranach and the Czech Lands, Exhib. Prague 2005
Place of PublicationPrague
Year of Publication2005
Pages8-12 (4-5)
Cat. Kromeríž 1998 122
EditorMilan Togner
TitleKromerížská obrazárna. Katalog sbírky obrazu Arcibiskupského zámku v Kromeríži
Place of PublicationKromeríž
Year of Publication1998
Exhib. Cat. Kronach 1994 225
EditorClaus Grimm, Johannes Erichsen, Evamaria Brockhoff
TitleLucas Cranach. Ein Maler-Unternehmer aus Franken [Festung Rosenberg, Kronach 17.05 - 21.08.1994; Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig 07.09 - 06.11.1994]
SeriesVeröffentlichungen zur bayerischen Geschichte und Kultur
Volume26
Place of PublicationAugsburg, Coburg
Year of Publication1994
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979 84 No. 73 Fig. 73
AuthorMax J. Friedländer, Jakob Rosenberg
EditorG. Schwartz
TitleDie Gemälde von Lucas Cranach
Place of PublicationBasel, Boston, Stuttgart
Year of Publication1979
Exhib. Cat. Basel 1974/1976 76
AuthorDieter Koepplin, Tilman Falk
TitleLukas Cranach. Gemälde, Zeichnungen und Druckgraphik
Volume1, 2
Place of PublicationBasel, Stuttgart
Year of Publication1974
Link http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:16-diglit-104522
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932 65
AuthorMax J. Friedländer, Jakob Rosenberg
TitleDie Gemälde von Lucas Cranach
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication1932
Link http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/friedlaender1932

Description/ Interpretation/ Comments

The presumption that the soldier standing on the left in the foreground could be a self-portrait of Cranach was first suggested by Benesch. Friedländer and Rosenberg agree with this identification. In the Frankfurt catalogue the author suggests that the motive for the self-portrait is Cranach’s pride at being commissioned by such an important figure.

[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 84, No. 73]

The pendant to this painting depicts the beheading of St Catherine and is in the same collection (FR74).

[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 84, No. 73]

Both panels may once have been the verso of wing panels, which were part of a triptych.

[Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt 2008, 159, No. 20]

This scene was copied numerous times (FR73A-C).

[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 84, No. 73]

  • The Beheading of St John the Baptist, 1515

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Technical studies

02. 2008Technical examination / Scientific analysis

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Underdrawing

DESCRIPTION

Tools/Materials:

- fluid, black medium and brush

Type/Ductus:

- freehand underdrawing

- thin lines

Function:

- relatively binding for the final painted version; lines delineate contours and describe the essential details and the facial features

Deviations:

- minor alterations made during the painting process to clearly define form

INTERPRETATION

Attribution:

- Lucas Cranach the Elder?

[Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2012]

Citing from the Cranach Digital Archive

Entry with author
<author's name>, 'The Beheading of St John the Baptist', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/CZ_ESGK_KE2367/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})
Entry with no author
'The Beheading of St John the Baptist', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document, entry or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/CZ_ESGK_KE2367/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})

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