Martin Luther, bust-length, facing right

Martin Luther, bust-length, facing right

Titles

Martin Luther, bust-length, facing right

[KKL 2022]

Martin Luther (1483-1546)

[cda 2017]

Painting on beech wood

Medium

Painting on beech wood

[Brigitte Reineke, Deutsches Historisches Museum, revised 2015/2016]

See German text version

Attribution
Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder

Attribution

Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder

[Deutsches Historisches Museum, revised 2016] [KKL 2022]

Production date
1529

Production date

1529

[dated, KKL 2022]

Dimensions
Dimensions of support: 51-51.2 x 36.3 x 1cm (thinned; cradled)

Dimensions

  • Dimensions of support: 51-51.2 x 36.3 x 1cm (thinned; cradled)

  • Dimensions of the painted surface: 51.4 x 35.4 cm

  • Dimensions including frame: 70 x 54 x 8.5 cm (glazed)

  • [Brigitte Reineke, DHM 2015/1016]

Signature / Dating
Artist's insignia at the left edge (shoulder): winged serpent with elevated wings, facing right; above dated '1529'; in black paint

Signature / Dating

  • Artist's insignia at the left edge (shoulder): winged serpent with elevated wings, facing right; above dated '1529'; in black paint

  • Brigitte Reineke, Deutsches Historisches Museum, revised 2015/2016

Inscriptions and Labels
'IN SILENCIO ET SPE ER FORTITVDO VESTRA' - top edge, inscription in black (the area above the inscription is very damaged …

Inscriptions and Labels

Inscriptions, Badges:

  • 'IN SILENCIO ET SPE ER[IT] FORTITVDO VESTRA'
  • [KKL 2022]
  • - top edge, inscription in black (the area above the inscription is very damaged and has been retouched, comparative paintings identify Martin Luther as the sitter here): 'IN SILENCIO SPE ER[...] FORTITUDO VESTRA'
  • should read: IN SILENCIO SPE ERIT FORTITUDO VESTRA
  • [Brigitte Reineke, Deutsches Historisches Museum, revised 2015/2016]

Stamps, Seals, Labels:

  • Reverse of the panel: - written in yellow chalk: '13'; '2/47 18 92'
  • [Brigitte Reineke, Deutsches Historisches Museum, revised 2015/2016]
Owner
Stiftung Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin
Repository
Stiftung Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin
Location
Berlin
CDA ID
DE_DHM_Gm1989-1547-1
FR (1978) Nr.
FR-none
KKL-No
IV.M21a, Part of portait group IV
Persistent Link
https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_DHM_Gm1989-1547-1/

Provenance

  • 1989 auction, art market
    [Brigitte Reineke, Deutsches Historisches Museum, revised 2015/2016]

Exhibitions

Nuremberg, 1983, No. 557
Bonn, 2000, No. 223
Dresden, 2012, No. 13a
London, 2014
Minneapolis 2016, No. 229

Literature

Reference on page Catalogue Number Figure/Plate
Exhib. Cat. Florence 2017 72 under no. 5
Author / EditorFrancesca de Luca, Giovanni Maria Fara
Title I volti della Riforma. Lutero e Cranach nelle collezioni medicee [Uffizi, Florence]
Place of PublicationFlorence, Milan
Year of Publication2017
Exhib. Cat. Minneapolis 2016 229
Author / EditorStiftung Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, Stiftung Luthergedenkstätten in Sachsen-Anhalt, Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein, Gotha, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Morgan Library & Museum
TitleMartin Luther. Schätze der Reformation [Minneapolis Institute of Art, 10.2016-01.2017, Minneapolis, Minnesota; The Morgan Library & Museum, 10.2016-01.2017, New York; Pitts Theology Library der Emory University, 10.2016-01.2017, Atlanta, Georgia]
Place of PublicationDresden
Year of Publication2016
Exhib. Cat. London 2014
Author / EditorNeil MacGregor
TitleGermany. Memories of a Nation [British Museum, London]
Place of PublicationLondon
Year of Publication2014
Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2012 13a
Author / EditorStiftung Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin
TitleIm Atelier der Geschichte. Gemälde bis 1914 aus der Sammlung des Deutschen Historischen Museums [Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, 25 Octr 2012 - 21 April 2013]
Place of PublicationDresden
Year of Publication2012
Exhib. Cat. Bonn, Vienna 2000 223
Author / EditorAusstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wien, Petra Kruse
TitleKaiser Karl V. (1500-1558). Macht und Ohnmacht Europas
Place of PublicationMilan
Year of Publication2000
Exhib. Cat. Nuremberg 1983 557
Author / EditorGerhard Bott
TitleMartin Luther und die Reformation in Deutschland. Ausstellung zum 500. Geburtstag Martin Luthers
Place of PublicationFrankfurt a. M.
Year of Publication1983

Description/ Interpretation/ Comments

An expertise from Prof. Dr. Helmut Börsch-Supan: deviations mean that this painting can not be identified as the lost painting recorded in 1927 in the collection of the painter Raffael Schuster-Woldanz, Charlottenburg; whereas an expertise written by Prof. Dr. Brückner states that the painting could be the one recorded in Charlottenburg.

[Brigitte Reineke, Deutsches Historisches Museum, revised 2015/2016]

  • Martin Luther, bust-length, facing right, 1529

Images

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  • conservation
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Technical studies

02. 2015Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology

optical assessment and radial/tangential section examined employing transmitted light microscopy

  • analysed by Mathias Lang
  • analysed by Ulrike Hügle
  • analysed by Martina Homolka
  • analysed by Antje Liebers

02. 2015Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • X-radiography

[Christoph Schmidt, Gemäldegalerie Berlin; Feb. 2015]

  • created by Christoph Schmidt

02. 2015Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Instrumental material analysis

Pigment identification with XRF and optical spectroscopy [see pdf]

At all the points measured lead was detected (probably a lead based pigment in the ground or the imprimatura).

Blue: 1 (background): copper based pigment (probably azurite), lead white

Red: 6 (flesh paint of the hand): some vermilion, lead white; 5 (lips): probably retouching (large quantity of zinc and chrome)

Brown: 4 (hair): probably ochre, lead white, some vermilion, some copper based pigment, large quantity of zinc (siccative?)

Black: 2 (signature): probably carbon black; 3 (coat):probably carbon black, some copper based pigment, large quantity of zinc (siccative?)

[Jens Bartoll/SPSG Berlin, Feb. 2015]

  • analysed by Jens Bartoll

02. 2015Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • UV-light photography
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  • photographed by Ulrike Hügle

02. 2015Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Infrared reflectography
  • irr
  • photographed by Mathias Lang

2014 - 2016Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Infrared reflectography
  • X-radiography
  • UV-light photography
  • Stereomicroscopy
  • IInstrumental material analysis
  • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology
  • reverse
  • uv_light

Support

Beech

horizontal grain; panel thinned; consists of three horizontally aligned planks; tangential cut; trimmed at the top and bottom

Dimensions (from the top to the bottom):

1 – l.: 23.8 cm; r..: 24 cm

2 – l.: 6.8 cm; r.: 6.8 cm

3 – l.: 20.7 cm; r.: 20.3 cm

Ground and Imprimatura

Pale white ground. At the edges the wood was left exposed, occasionally the ground extends over the edge. There is no barbe. The top and bottom edges have been trimmed. Two parallel lines were incised into the ground as guidelines for the inscription a the top edge.

Lead was detected over the entire area of the painting employing X-ray fluorescence analysis (XFA) and may indicate the presence of a lead white imprimatura. another imprimatura is not visible.

Underdrawing

Two parallel incised lines serve as guidelines for the inscription. No underdrawing is visible employing infrared reflectography.

Paint Layers and Gilding

PIGMENTS: ( X-ray fluorescence analysis (XFA) and optical spectroscopy)

At all the points measured lead was detected (probably a lead based pigment in the ground or the imprimatura).

Blue: 1 (background): copper based pigment (probably azurite), lead white

Red: 6 (flesh paint of the hand): some vermilion, lead white; 5 (lips): probably retouching (large quantity of zinc and chrome)

Brown: 4 (hair): probably ochre, lead white, some vermilion, some copper based pigment, large quantity of zinc (siccative?)

Black: 2 (signature): probably carbon black; 3 (coat):probably carbon black, some copper based pigment, large quantity of zinc (siccative?)

The damaged condition of the painting makes it difficult to decipher the order of paint application. First the base tone was laid in and worked up to different degrees. The background was painted around the hair, the cloak, the hat and the right side of the face and there is only an occasional overlap. This is clearly visible in raking light. As far as it is possible to tell from the present condition areas were subsequently textured and modulated, shadows and highlights were added as well as details like hair and fur that overlap painted zones. In comparison with other areas of the painting the background exhibits a very varied density, a rapid paint application and a thick impasto in some sections. The brushstrokes are readily visible.

Framing

not the original frame

Profiled battens, dark finish

70 cm x 54 cm x 8.5 cm (glazed)

  • examined by Ulrike Hügle
  • examined by Mathias Lang

Condition Reports

Date2016

  • reverse
  • conservation

Support:

The painting is cradled and slightly warped. The greatest distance between the contact surface and the reverse of the panel is 3.2 cm. The support is damaged at the bottom left corner and here the paint layers are also affected. In the x-radiograph a metal pin is visible and it probably served to reinforce this area. The support was thinned and cradled. Examination of the edge of the reverse and a cross-section suggests that the support was laminated onto a wooden board. At the centre of the panel the original beech wood support is visible between the battens of the cradle, but around the edge oak inserts were attached. If the panel was not laminated to treat woodworm damage it may be assumed that a rebate on the reverse of the panel was made flush with the thinned panel using the oak blocks. Open worm channels have been filled. One of the corners (left as viewed from the front) is damaged. There are small losses along the edges and isolated horizontal splits in the original panel caused by the cradle (2x at the left edge: each 12 and 4 cm in length).

Paint layers:

The paint layers are in very bad condition and exhibit extensive tiny losses and small scratches. The latter may have been caused by the influence of solvents. The painting is very abraded with the exception of the background. The black cloak, the fur and the hair are extensively overpainted. About 90% of the modelling in the face has been reconstructed (see UV-light photograph). Therefore little can be said about the original paint application. Details like eyelashes, outlines or other textures have to a greater extent been replaced. The depiction is stiff and appears linear. A network of irregular cracks is evenly spread over the entire surface, which also exhibit very fine horizontal micro-cracks. In isolated areas, particularly at the bottom edge, there is distinctive cupping in the paint layers that runs in a horizontal direction. The craquelé is more evident in the face than in the hands. The more extensive craquelé corresponds with the woodworm damage visible in the x-radiograph. There are old surface scratches of varying depths.

Remnants of both an old and newer dark yellowed varnish are visible over the entire surface. In UV-light blue fluorescing area were observed, particularly in the face, which can be identified as retouches and correspond with black areas in the x-radiograph. Under the stereomicroscope a milky coating is visible in these areas that extends over the cracks and covers the retouching. The face and the hands which are better preserved exhibit distinctly different fluorescence. There is a strange contradiction between the apparently perfectly preserved surface of the face and the assumed actual condition. Hardly any original areas can be identified in the face.

  • examined by Mathias Lang
  • examined by Ulrike Hügle

Conservation History

Date1992 - 1993

1992, 1993: Brief report exists: surface cleaning, removal of old wter soluble retouches; old non-water-soluble discoloured retouches were left; exit holes were filled; retouching and correction with watercolours; application of a final dammar varnish. No documentation available for earlier interventions.

  • conservation treatment by Mathias Lang
  • conservation treatment by Ursula Fuhrer

Citing from the Cranach Digital Archive

Entry with author
<author's name>, 'Martin Luther, bust-length, facing right', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_DHM_Gm1989-1547-1/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})
Entry with no author
'Martin Luther, bust-length, facing right', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document, entry or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_DHM_Gm1989-1547-1/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})

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