Law and Grace [from the bible of Georg III. of Anhalt, Georg 1476.2°, vol. 3, additional sheet in front of folio CCXLII]

Law and Grace [from the bible of Georg III. of Anhalt, Georg 1476.2°, vol. 3, additional sheet in front of folio CCXLII]

Title

Law and Grace [from the bible of Georg III. of Anhalt, Georg 1476.2°, vol. 3, additional sheet in front of folio CCXLII]

[cda 2015]

Painting on parchment

Medium

Painting on parchment

[Ruth Slenczka, in Exhib. Cat. Dessau 2015, No. 53a]

The sheet is the cover page of the New Testament of the Lutheran bible that belonged to Prince Georg III of Anhalt, a three volume edition printed in 1541 on parchment [Georg 1476.2°]. A portrait of Melanchthon has also survived in the second volume.

Corresponding to the difference between Law and

The sheet is the cover page of the New Testament of the Lutheran bible that belonged to Prince Georg III of Anhalt, a three volume edition printed in 1541 on parchment [Georg 1476.2°]. A portrait of Melanchthon has also survived in the second volume.

Corresponding to the difference between Law and Gospel as distinguished by Luther the composition is dichotomous in structure. The picture plane is divided down the centre in two halves by a tree, which has bare branches on the left and green ones on the right. The despairing sinner is shown on the left side being chased by death and the devil into Hell's blazing flames. He looks to the right, where Moses stands among a group of Old Testament prophets and points at the tablets with the Ten Commandments.

Scenes of the Fall of Man and the Last Judgment set in the expansive landscape illustrate the origin and punishment of man's transgression. On the right the scene of the Brazen Serpent - an episode from the Old Testament, which was important for Luther and prefigures the crucifixion - illustrates how the Israelites were saved from the poisonous snakes by following God's instruction. St John the Baptist stands to the right of the tree together with the naked man from the left side of the panel. St John was the last prophet before Jesus and according to Luther can be positioned between Law and the Gospel and is represented here in the role of mediator.

He draws the attention of the naked man, who stands quite calmly with his arms folded, to the crucified Christ. Blood spurts out of a wound in Christ's side onto the naked man's chest. The Holy Spirit appears as a dove in the blood. Illustrated here is that Christ alone can overturn the law's condemnation by sacrificing himself for mankind. The Holy Spirit conveys his joyful message. It is only through Christ's faith, his 'sola fide', that mankind can be blessed with divine forgiveness by the redeeming spurt of blood. Through the resurrection of Christ, who ascends into heaven above the tomb behind the cross, Death and the Devil who had pursued the sinner on the left side of the panel are banished: both lie vanquished at Christ's feet. The Lamb of God is shown in front of the cross and like the risen Christ he holds the victory banner. At the top right corner only the feet of the ascending Christ are visible. In the background the annunciation to the shepherds is shown on the right. The Virgin stands on the tomb and the infant Christ floats towards her out of a gloriole. All the scenes on the right side illustrate mankind's acceptance of the word of God. It is made clear to the viewer that both law and gospel herald the same joyful message that always leads to Christ.

The composition is enclosed in a broad frame, which contains a text field at the bottom. The field contains quotations from the New Testament, like the area above the frame.

[Görres, cda 2016 with additions by Anhaltische Landesbücherei Dessau]

Attribution
Lucas Cranach the Younger

Attribution

Lucas Cranach the Younger

[Ruth Slenczka, in Exhib. Cat. Dessau 2015, No. 53a]

Production date
1544

Production date

1544

[dated]

Dimensions
Dimensions of painted surface: 19.2 x 18.8 cm

Dimensions

  • Dimensions of painted surface: 19.2 x 18.8 cm

  • [Ruth Slenczka, in Exhib. Cat. Dessau 2015, No. 53a]

Signature / Dating
Artist's insignia on the tree: serpent with dropped wings, facing left, in gold und date '1544'

Signature / Dating

  • Artist's insignia on the tree: serpent with dropped wings, facing left, in gold und date '1544'

  • [cda 2016]

Inscriptions and Labels
- above the frame, in two columns: left: 'Ro. i. Es wird offenbart Gottes/ zorn von himel : vber aller …

Inscriptions and Labels

Inscriptions, Badges:

  • - above the frame, in two columns:
  • left: 'Ro. i. Es wird offenbart Gottes/ zorn von himel : vber aller mensch / en gottlos wesen vnd unrecht,'
  • right:
  • 'Jesa: vii. Der herr wird euch selbs / ein zeichen geben. Sihe, eine Jung: / fraw. wird schwanger sein. vnnd / einen son geperen.'
  • - beneath the image, in two columns:
  • left:
  • 'Sie seind alle zumal sunder, vnd / mangeln, das sie sich Gottes nicht / rumen mugen. Ro:3.
  • Die sunde ist des todes speis, aber das / gesecz ist der sunden crafft. i. Cor: iiii.
  • Das gesetz richtet nur zorn an. Ro. iiii.
  • Durchs gesetz kombt erkentnis der / sunde. Ro. 3. Das gesetz, vnd alle / Propheten, gehen bis auff Johane / zeit. Matthei.xi.
  • Der gerecht lebt seines glaubens. / Ro: i. Wir haltenn'
  • right:
  • 'das der mensch gerecht werde du[r]ch / den glauben. on des gesecz werck. Ro.iii.
  • Sihe. das ist Gottes lamb, das der / welt sunde tregt. Jo:i. In der hei- / ligung des geistes. zum gehorsam, / vnd besprengung des bluts. Jhesu / Christi. i. Pet. i.
  • Der tod ist verschlungen Im sieg. / Tod, wo ist dein spies, helle, wo ist / dein sieg. Gott aber sey danck, der / vns den sieg gibt, durch Jhesum / Christum vnsern herrn, i. Cor: xv.'
  • [cda 2016]
Owner
Anhaltische Landesbücherei Dessau
Repository
Anhaltische Landesbücherei Dessau
Location
Dessau
CDA ID
DE_ALBD_Georg1476-2-3
FR (1978) Nr.
FR-none
Persistent Link
https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_ALBD_Georg1476-2-3/

Exhibitions

  • Dessau 2015, No. 53a

Literature

Reference on page Catalogue Number Figure / Plate
Exhib. Cat. Dessau 2015 228-229 53a
EditorNorbert Michels
TitleCranach in Anhalt. Vom alten zum neuen Glauben
Place of PublicationPetersberg
Year of Publication2015
Willig-Stritzke 2015 76
AuthorNadine Willig-Stritzke
Title"Verlasset euch nicht auff Fürsten; sie sind menschen, die konnen ja nicht helffen..." Lucas Cranach der Jüngere und die Fürsten von Anhalt im Kontext der Quellen
Publicationin Elke E. Werner, Anne Eusterschulte, Gunnar Heydenreich, eds., Lucas Cranach der Jüngere und die Reformation der Bilder
Place of PublicationMunich
Year of Publication2015
Pages72-83
Fleck 2010
AuthorMiriam Fleck
TitleEin tröstlich gemelde. Die Glaubensallegorie "Gesetz und Gnade" in Europa zwischen Spätmittelalter und Früher Neuzeit
Place of PublicationKorb
Year of Publication2010
Reinitzer 2006 203 167
AuthorHeimo Reinitzer
TitleGesetz und Evangelium. Über ein reformatorisches Bildthema, seine Tradition, Funktion und Wirkungsgeschichte
Volume1-2
Place of PublicationHamburg
Year of Publication2006
Brandis et al. 1997
AuthorTilo Brandis, Jürgen Fischer, Annette Gerlach
TitleDie "Cranach-Prachtbibel"
Place of PublicationBerlin, Dessau
Year of Publication1997
Troschke 1939 B 20-21
AuthorAsmus von Troschke
TitleMiniaturbildnisse von Cranach d. J. in Lutherbibeln
JournalZeitschrift des deutschen Vereins für Kunstwissenschaft
Issue6
Year of Publication1939
Pages15-28
Wahl 1935 143-144 3
AuthorPaul Wahl
TitleDie Lutherbibel in Anhalt
JournalSachsen und Anhalt : Jahrbuch der Historischen Kommission für Sachsen-Anhalt
Issue11
Year of Publication1935
Pages137-150
Boës 1928
AuthorAdolf Boës
TitleDie Zerbster Rathausbibel und die anhaltischen Bibeln von 1541
JournalZerbster Jahrbuch
Issue13 (1928)
Year of Publication1928
Pages1-20
  • Law and Grace [from the bible of Georg III. of Anhalt, Georg 1476.2°, vol. 3, additional sheet in front of folio CCXLII], 1544

Images

Compare images
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Condition Reports

Date2016 -

  • slightly abraded on golden frame bottom right

  • parchment applied on parchment

[Anhaltische Landesbücherei Dessau, revised 2016]

Conservation History

Date1955 -

Conservation treatment of bible in 1955 (conservation of cover, replacement of sewing (partly), but no treatment of painting)

[Anhaltische Landesbücherei Dessau, revised 2016]

Citing from the Cranach Digital Archive

Entry with author
<author's name>, 'Law and Grace [from the bible of Georg III. of Anhalt, Georg 1476.2°, vol. 3, additional sheet in front of folio CCXLII]', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_ALBD_Georg1476-2-3/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})
Entry with no author
'Law and Grace [from the bible of Georg III. of Anhalt, Georg 1476.2°, vol. 3, additional sheet in front of folio CCXLII]', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document, entry or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_ALBD_Georg1476-2-3/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})

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