Johannes Bugenhagen

Johannes Bugenhagen

Title

Johannes Bugenhagen

[http://predigerseminar-cdm.gbv.de/u?/Gemaelde,96; 11.07.2012]

Painting on beech wood

Medium

Painting on beech wood

[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, No. 351, 140]

Half-length portrait of Johannes Bugenhagen depicted wearing a black academic gown and a black beret against a blue background. Bugenhagen is facing left and is looking at the beholder.

[Görres, cda 2012]

Attributions
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Lucas Cranach the Younger

Attributions

Lucas Cranach the Elder

[http://predigerseminar-cdm.gbv.de/u?/Gemaelde,96; 11.07.2012]

Lucas Cranach the Younger

"Für die malerische Ausführung [...] kommt schon L. Cranach d. J. in Betracht."
[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, No. 351, 140]
[Claudia Adamczyk, Tanja Steinfelser 2013]

Production date
1537

Production date

1537

[http://predigerseminar-cdm.gbv.de/u?/Gemaelde,96; 11.07.2012]

Dimensions
Dimensions of support: 36.5 x 24 cm

Dimensions

  • Dimensions of support: 36.5 x 24 cm

  • [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, No. 351, 140]

  • Dimensions including frame: 45.5 x 33.5 cm

  • [http://predigerseminar-cdm.gbv.de/u?/Gemaelde,96; 11.07.2012]

Signature / Dating
Artist's insignia in the bottom right corner: winged serpent facing left in black colour

Signature / Dating

  • Artist's insignia in the bottom right corner: winged serpent facing left in black colour

  • [Görres, cda 2012]

Inscriptions and Labels
- at the bottom: 'EFFIGIES IOH BVGENHAGII POMERANI. LVCA CRONACHIO PICTORE. .M. D. XXXVII.'

Inscriptions and Labels

Inscriptions, Badges:

  • - at the bottom: 'EFFIGIES IOH BVGENHAGII POMERANI.
  • LVCA CRONACHIO PICTORE.
  • .M. D. XXXVII.'
  • [Görres, cda 2012]
Owner
Evangelisches Predigerseminar Wittenberg
Repository
Lutherhaus Wittenberg
Location
Wittenberg
CDA ID
DE_EPSW_02
FR (1978) Nr.
FR351
Persistent Link
https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_EPSW_02/

Provenance

  • Dean Dr. Augustin, Halberstadt [1]
  • library of the theological seminary of Wittenberg [1]
  • since 2008 on loan in Lutherhaus Wittenberg [2]

[1] [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, No. 351, 140]
[2] [http://predigerseminar-cdm.gbv.de/u?/Gemaelde,96; 11.07.2012]

Literature

Reference on page Catalogue Number Figure / Plate
Reitemeier 2021 Fig. 1
AuthorArnd Reitemeier
TitleUnruhe, Umbruch und Unsicherheit. Die Reformation in Lübeck.
Publicationin Dagmar Täube, ed., Lucas Cranach der Ältere und Hans Kemmer. Meistermaler zwischen Renaissance und Reformation [Lübeck, St. Annen-Museum]
Place of PublicationMunich
Year of Publication2021
Pages115-123
Zorzin 2015 11
AuthorAlejandro Zorzin
TitleEine unbeachtete Identifizierung: Das Cranach-Porträt des Justus Jonas
JournalNordhäuser Nachrichten. Südharzer Heimatblätter
Issue24/4 (1 Dec 2015)
Year of Publication2015
Pages10-11
Ahuis 2011 68, 91, 105-128 6, 41
AuthorFerdinand Ahuis
TitleDas Porträt eines Reformators. Der Leipziger Theologe Christoph Ering und das vermeintliche Bugenhagenbild Lucas Cranachs d. Ä. aus dem Jahre 1532
SeriesVestigia Biblia
Place of PublicationBern
Year of Publication2011
Exhib. Cat. Wittenberg 1992 p. 197
AuthorVolkmar Joestel
TitleDer Reformator mit dem Hammer. Zur Wirkungsgeschichte von Luthers "Thesenanschlag" bis 1917
Place of PublicationWittenberg
Year of Publication1992
Kabus 1989
AuthorRonny Kabus
TitleLucas Cranachs Heimkehr nach Wittenberg - Rückführung zweier Gemälde in die Lutherhalle
SeriesSchriftenreihe der Staatlichen Lutherhalle Wittenberg
Place of PublicationWittenberg
Issue5
Year of Publication1989
Exhib. Cat. Wittenberg 1985 30-32, 39 p. 39
AuthorRonny Kabus, Volkmar Joestel
TitleJohannes Bugenhagen - Ein Reformator an der Seite Luthers. Sonderausstellung anläßlich des 500. Geburtstages Johanne Bugenhagens in der Staatlichen Lutherhalle Wittenberg vom 24. Juni bis 13. Oktober 1985
Place of PublicationWittenberg
Year of Publication1985
Exhib. Cat. Wittenberg 1984 208 42
AuthorRonny Kabus, Hans-Joachim Beeskow
TitleMartin Luther 1483 bis 1546 in der Staatlichen Lutherhalle Wittenberg. Katalog zur Ausstellung
Place of PublicationRostock
Year of Publication1984
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979 140 351
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 715
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
Schade 1974 79
AuthorWerner Schade
TitleDie Malerfamilie Cranach
Place of PublicationDresden
Year of Publication1974
Link http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/schade1974
Exhib. Cat. Weimar 1972 B 59
EditorSchlossmuseum Weimar
TitleLucas Cranach 1472-1553. Ein großer Maler in bewegter Zeit
Place of PublicationWeimar
Year of Publication1972
Thulin 1967 53 43
AuthorOskar Thulin
TitleBilder der Reformation. Aus den Sammlungen der Lutherhalle in Wittenberg
Place of PublicationBerlin
IssueThird edition
Year of Publication1967
Thulin 1956 47 42
AuthorOskar Thulin
TitleBilder der Reformation. Aus den Sammlungen der Lutherhalle in Wittenberg
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication1956
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932 285
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
Jordan 1924 6, 29
AuthorJulius Jordan
TitleZur Geschichte der Sammlungen der Lutherhalle 1877-1922
Place of PublicationWittenberg
Year of Publication1924
Jordan 1920 9
AuthorJulius Jordan
TitleLutherhalle Wittenberg. Führer durch die Sammlungen des Lutherhauses
Place of PublicationWittenberg
IssueSecond edition
Year of Publication1920
Cat. Dresden 1899 27
AuthorKarl Woermann
TitleKatalog der Königlichen Gemäldegalerie zu Dresden. Grosse Ausgabe
Place of PublicationDresden
IssueFourth edition
Year of Publication1899
Link https://digital.slub-dresden.de/werkansicht/dlf/91887/7
Schuchardt 1871 158 57
AuthorChristian Schuchardt
TitleLucas Cranach des Aeltern Leben und Werke. Dritter Theil
Place of PublicationLeipzig
Year of Publication1871
Link http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/schuchardt1871bd3

Research History / Discussion

The work is considered to be a portrait of the theologian Johannes Bugenhagen (1485-1558). Depicted with his head crowned with a beret and set against a light blue background he occupies the upper half of the painting. A contemporary and friend of Cranach he is togther with Melanchthon regarded as a confidant of Luther. Since 1521 Bugenhagen was active in the University of Wittenberg where he worked closely with Luther. In 1524 he became the second reformation theologian to be married to Walpurga Bugenhagen (1500 – 1569). An appointment to the Nicolaikirche in Hamburg failed. [1] On the 9. October 1528 he returned to Hamburg where a generous reception awaited him. From the end of 1530 until the spring of 1532 he was in Lübeck and lived for almost two full years – 1537-1539 - in Copenhagen. In all of these locations he developed a new church constitution. He returned to Wittenberg in 1539.

Thw small format of the portrait suggests it was conceived for private use.

Very few verified portraits of Bugenhagen exist. The Lady altar by Lucas Cranach the Elder in the parish church of Wittenberg can be cited as a painted portrait. It was handed over during a service on the 24. April 1547[2]. The right panel depicts Johannes Bugenhagen at confession.[3]

Cranach the Elder created a number of portraits in a similar manner to that of the Portrait of Bugenhagen from 1537. Striking in this context are the contemporaneous portraits of Georg Spalatin and Philipp Melanchthon that both feature the same composition, size and date.[4]

The subtle execution of the portraits recalls early Netherlandish portraiture of the time and according to Heydenreich Cranach’s encounter with Netherlandish painting and art markets provided important stimuli for his artistic work.[5]

In 1974 Schade described the bearing of sitters from before the Wittenberg period as withdrawn and the expression of the faces as subdued; they gaze beyond the viewer. In contrast the depictions from the Wittenberg period appear more open-minded [6]. The faces set against a neutral background meet the viewer’s gaze and answer.[7]

Further known portraits of the theologian by Cranach the Younger are a portrait of Johannes Bugenhagen from the year 1551[8] as well as a little-known portrait in Leipzig [9] (property of the Stadtmuseum, 71 x 49 cm) from the year 1579. In addition Cranach the Younger created an Epitaph for Paul Eber in 1569, which is in the same parish church a Cranach’s Lady altar. [10] Bugenhagen and his associates are depicted on the Epitaph as workers in the Lord’s vineyard (Mt 20, 1-16).

Opinions in art historical research are divided regarding the question of the authorship of the portrait from 1537. Schade 1974 interprets the signature on the portrait of Bugenhagen - which is unusual for later years - as clear evidence of an early independent work by the son. [11] Friedländer/Rosenberg also consider that the Portrait of Bugenhagen as well as that of Spalatin could be attributed to Cranach the Younger.[12]

When focusing on details the rendering of the hair and the ear are striking. The left ear is indicated but not worked up. Comparison with the portraits of Spalatin and Melanchthon from the same year show that in these works the artist avoided painting the ear by the skillful positioning of the head attire and the hair. In the portrait of Spalatin the right ear is indicated by a shadow, which is inaccurate and is therefore unconvincing, whereas in that of Melanchthon the earlobe is barely visible through the hair.

The subtle painting style of the Bugenhagen portrait is found again on the portrait of Spalatin as is the particular manner of paint application, whereby single hairs were applied in a second stage after the form was defined by an underlying layer. The execution of Melanchthon followed a similar pattern, however of a different quality. Here more emphasis is made on the fluid transitions to the underlying layer and an extraordinary individuality of single hairs. A conclusive judgment cannot be drawn regarding the informative value of the representation of the hair as the lacking subtle finish of single hairs could be due to the condition of the painting.

Furthermore the signatures on the portraits of Spalatin and Bugenhagen exhibit one parallelism: both have dragons’ wings. Melanchthon’s portrait on the other hand is the only one of the three paintings that made the change from the dragon’s to the bird’s wings. A thorough examination of the details in the signature on the portraits of Spalatin and Bugenhagen revealed a close proximity between the two.

Although the portrayed resemblance bears more similarity with the depiction by Cranach the Elder on the right wing panel of the altar in the Marienkirche Wittenberg than with other versions by Cranach the Younger, the comparable diligence in the finish of the hair speaks in favour of an attribution to Cranach the Younger. Thus the suggestion by Friedländer/Rosenberg that the portrait of Bugenhagen from 1537 could be by the Younger - taking some workshop participation into account - is justified.

[Claudia Adamczyk, Tanja Steinfelser 2013]


[1] The St. Nikolai church in Hamburg owns a portrait of Bugenhagen, which was on permanent loan to the Hamburg Kunsthalle until 2010. (verbal communication from Anne Barz 6.2.2012); however rescent research on bugenhagen suggests it may not be a portrait (letter from Probst Claussen, St. Nikolai, 10.2.2013).

[2] Thulin, Oskar: Cranach Altäre der Reformation, Berlin 1955, p. 9.

[3] Thulin, Oskar: Cranach Altäre der Reformation, Berlin 1955, p. 21.

[4] Jacob-Friesen, Holger: Lucas Cranach d. Ä. - Georg Spalatin – Philipp Melanchthon, in: Rainer Stamm (ed.), Lucas Cranach der Schnellste, Bremen 2009, p.15.

[5] see Heydenreich, Gunnar: Reisende Bilder im Wandel, in: Messling, Guido (ed.), Die Welt des Lucas Cranach, Brüssel 2010, p. 66.

[6] see Schade, Werner: Die Malerfamilie Cranach, Dresden, Verlag der Kunst 1974, p. 51

[7] see Schade, Werner: Die Malerfamilie Cranach, Dresden, Verlag der Kunst 1974, p. 51

[8] see Koepplin, Tilman (eds.): Lukas Cranach. Gemälde, Zeichnungen, Druckgraphik, Exhib. Cat. Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel/ Stuttgart 1974, p.715; property of the Museums der Stadt Leipzig, wood, 71 x 49 cm

[9] Leder, Hans-Günter / Buske, Norbert: Reform und Ordnung aus dem Wort – Johannes Bugenhagen und die Reformation im Herzogtum Pommern, Berlin 1985, Fig. 21.

[10] see Steinwachs, Albrecht/Pietsch. Jürgen: Der Weinberg des Herren – Lucas Cranach d.J., Lutherstadt Wittenberg, 2002.

[11] see Schade, Werner: Die Malerfamilie Cranach, Dresden 1974, p. 79.

[12] see Friedländer, Max/ Rosenberg, Jakob: Die Gemälde von Lucas Cranach, Basel 1979, p.140.

  • Johannes Bugenhagen, 1537

Images

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Technical studies

11.07.2012Technical Examination

  • overall

Framing

Golden, channeled frame with inner leaf decoration.

[http://predigerseminar-cdm.gbv.de/u?/Gemaelde,96; 11.07.2012]

06. 2010Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Infrared reflectography
  • irr

Underdrawing

DESCRIPTION

Tools/Materials:

- dry drawing material, dark chalk

Type/Ductus:

- delicate, fine to thin traced lines

Function:

- binding for the final painted version; lines delineate contours and describe the facial features; no representation of volume

Deviations:

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

INTERPRETATION

Attribution:

- not possible

Comments:

- probably transferred from a pre-existing design (traced)

[Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2012]

  • photographed by Gunnar Heydenreich
  • photographed by Ingo Sandner

2010Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Infrared reflectography

Two words of the inscription were erased: in the top line right "ANNO" and in the middle row left "AET [?]". It is also striking that the text field in the IRR is rather dark. This could be an indication for a later conception of the text field within the painting process against a black ground or a subsequent adding.

[Heydenreich, cda 2012]

  • Bearbeiter/in Daniel Görres
  • X-radiography
  • x_radiograph
  • created by n. a.

Conservation History

Date01.05.2001

  • conservation
  • conservation
  • conservation
  • conservation
  • conservation
  • conservation treatment by Ateliergemeinschaft Reschke & Beck

Date29.05.1995

  • conservation treatment by Angela Günther

Citing from the Cranach Digital Archive

Entry with author
<author's name>, 'Johannes Bugenhagen', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_EPSW_02/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})
Entry with no author
'Johannes Bugenhagen', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document, entry or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_EPSW_02/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})

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