Philipp Melanchthon

Philipp Melanchthon

Title

Philipp Melanchthon

[Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009, No. 18]

Painting on softwood

Medium

Painting on softwood

[Angelica Hoffmeister-zur Nedden, Restaurierungsbericht März 2009, Werkakte]
[Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009, No. 18]

Portrait of Melanchthon in a black cloak against a blue background. The bare-headed figure is in three-quarter profile and facing to the left.

[Görres, cda 2012]

Attribution
Lucas Cranach the Younger

Attribution

Lucas Cranach the Younger

[Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009, No. 18]

Production date
1551

Production date

1551

[dated]

Dimensions
Dimensions of support: 25.6 x 20.3 x 0.5 cm

Dimensions

  • Dimensions of support: 25.6 x 20.3 x 0.5 cm

  • [Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009, No. 18]

  • Maße mit Rahmen: 40.7 x 35.8 x 3.3 cm

  • [Petra Klier, Hamburg, Inventarblatt vom 27.9.92, Werkakte]

Signature / Dating
Artist's insignia on the right, above the sitter's shoulder: winged serpent with elevated wings, facing left and dated '1551'; in black paint

Signature / Dating

  • Artist's insignia on the right, above the sitter's shoulder: winged serpent with elevated wings, facing left and dated '1551'; in black paint

  • [Görres, cda 2012]

Inscriptions and Labels
Reverse of the panel: - 3rd box (of the cradle) from the top and the 2nd from the left: inscription in black …

Inscriptions and Labels

Stamps, Seals, Labels:

  • Reverse of the panel: - 3rd box (of the cradle) from the top and the 2nd from the left:
  • inscription in black felttip pen 'LR 62'
  • On the cradle:
  • - top horizontal member:
  • in black felttip pen 'LR 62'
  • ,- 2nd vertical member from the left, bottom:
  • paper label in white: 'Inv.Nr. 62'
  • - right vertical member, bottom:
  • round paper label printed in black: 'Roselius = Haus Bremen'
  • small white discoloured paper label, printed in black: '1496' crossed-out with a black felttip pen
  • [Angelica Hoffmeister-zur Nedden, Conservation Report, March 2009, Documentation file]
Owner
Freie Hansestadt Bremen, Stadtgemeinde
Repository
Kunstsammlungen Boettcherstraße, Bremen
Location
Bremen
CDA ID
DE_KBSB_B62
FR (1978) Nr.
FR-none
Persistent Link
https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_KBSB_B62/

Provenance

  • in the collection of Theodore George Dentz van Schaick (born Utrecht 1861, died Amsterdam 1925)
  • acquired by Ludwig Roselius in November 1934 at the auction house Frederik Muller & Co., Amsterdam
  • 1988 acquired by the city of Bremen

[Museum im Roselius-Haus, revised 2013]

Exhibitions

Bremen 2009, No. 18

Literature

Reference on page Catalogue Number Figure / Plate
Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009 18
EditorRainer Stamm
TitleLucas Cranach der Schnellste
Place of PublicationBremen
Year of Publication2009
Cat. Bremen 2003 76-78 17
AuthorRainer Stamm
TitleDie Gemäldesammlung des Roselius-Haus, Kunstsammlungen Boettcherstraße
Place of PublicationBremen
Year of Publication2003
Kokoska 1994 124-125
AuthorKira Judith Kokoska
TitleDie Melanchthon-Bildnisse von Lucas Cranach d. Ä. und Lucas Cranach d. J. bzw. der Cranach-Werkstatt. Ein systematisierender Katalog [Magisterarbeit Universität Heidelberg]
Place of Publication[Heidelberg]
Year of Publication1994
Cat. Bremen 1979 20
AuthorErnst Wolfgang Mick
TitleDas Roseliushaus in der Böttcherstraße
Place of PublicationBremen
Year of Publication1979
Cat. Bremen 1969 20, 51
AuthorWerner Kloos
TitleDie Museen der Boettcherstraße in Bremen
SeriesKulturgeschichtliche Museen in Deutschland
Place of PublicationHamburg
Year of Publication1969
Müller Hofstede 1969
AuthorJulius Müller Hofstede
TitleGutachten vom 12.3.1969, Werkakte
Year of Publication1969
  • Philipp Melanchthon, 1551

Images

Compare images
  • overall

Technical studies

2009Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Infrared photography
  • Stereomicroscopy

Support

softwood

The panel was cradled and trimmed during a previous intervention and therefore it was not possible to draw inferences about the construction of the panel from marks from a saw or a plane.

surface: smooth

cradle: five vertical oak wood battens, 2.5 cm in width and five moveable horizontal members, 1.3 cm in width, also oak wood

reverse: stained (oak wood)

[Angelica Hoffmeister-zur Nedden, Conservation Report 2009, Documentation file]

'The present size of the Melanchthon panel is at least 8 cm smaller in height and 2 cm in width from the Standardformat B. Although the Cranach workshop did employ individual formats there is evidence, that this painting might have been originally designed for a larger format.' [Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009, No. 18]

Ground and Imprimatura

- thick, dark brown size on the wooden support

- chalk/glue ground with no additional material

- large loss in the ground layer in the lower section of the face and in the right hand sectionof the neck and collar, top and bottom right corners and the centre of the right edge at the height of the signature

- fills

[Angelica Hoffmeister-zur Nedden, Conservation Report 2009, Documentation file]

'A white ground was applied to the wooden support in a number of layers: the ground was applied in the background earlier, imparing the outlines of Melanchthon, as if the figure was held in reserve employing some sort of a stencil during further application. The painted version adhers strictly to this demarcation for the clothing, but less allowance is made in the head and the execution is accoringly freer.'

[Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009, No. 18]

Underdrawing

'the (rather bad) infrared reflectogram revealed an underdrawing executed with a drawing implement (chalk), and reinforced with a brush'

[Angelica Hoffmeister-zur Nedden, Conservation Report 2009, Documentation file]

Underdrawing with short, slightly curved strokes in dark grey on the white ground. It was not strictly adhered to during the painting process. Despite the increased transparency of the paint layers due to ageing the underdrawing seems to have been intentionally incorporated in the final painted version.

[Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009, No. 18]

Paint Layers and Gilding

'The paint, which was probably tempera, was applied in thin layers over the ground and underdrawing and finely drawn details with a brush set certain accents. Soft transitions and colour gradients alternate with areas, in which the paint has been thickly applied with bold brushstrokes.'

'The background consists of two layers, the lower thinner and streaked, the upper more opaque. The flesh paint consists of numerous layers, first dark pink, then a lighter pink, above that the details.'

'The paint of the background was applied after the portrait was completed, in this overpainted area there are visible brushstrokes'

'Very delicate impasto application of single hairs from the beard and head on the flesh paint

Black robe relatively thin single black layer with indicated folds, here there are also traces of impasto brushwork along the border with the white collar '

[Angelica Hoffmeister-zur Nedden, Conservation Report 2009, documentation file]

Application tool: brush

Assumed binding medium: Tempera

Original coatings: discoloured remnants in the background

Numerous small losses

Numerous retouches

Distinct cracquelée in the background running diagonally across the panel from the top left to the bottom right [Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009, No. 18]

Framing

- modern 1930s frame

[Museum im Roselius-Haus, revised 2013]

Conservation History

Date2009

'Environment fluctuations, which caused shrinkage and expansion of the wood, have lead to extensive damage in the past: resulting in large losses in the paint layer. Previous restoration treatments consisting of fills and now discoloured retouches and overpaint partially cover the original paint and compromise its quality and effect. For this reason it was decided to remove the old fills and overpaint after completing the necessary conservation treatment. During this process remains of a hand were discovered on Melanchthon's black gown under the black overpaint. [...] Employing measured retouching the loss was reintegrated in its original context and the hand was as far as possible reconstructed.'

[Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009, No. 18]

  • conservation treatment by Unknown

Date10. 2008 - 03. 2009

  • 10.2008 - 03.2009 Angelica Hoffmeister-zur Nedden, Leipzig

[Kunstmuseum im Roselius-Haus, revised 2013]

  • conservation treatment by Angelica Hoffmeister-zur Nedden

Date29.03.1954

  • 29.03.1954 Lily Lange-Bellstedt, Bremen

[Kunstmuseum im Roselius-Haus, revised 2013]

  • restauriert von Lily Lange-Bellstedt

Date05.02.1936

  • 05.02.1936 Herbert Wernicke, Restaurator, Bremen, Kunsthalle

[Kunstmuseum im Roselius-Haus, revised 2013]

  • restauriert von Herbert Wernicke

Citing from the Cranach Digital Archive

Entry with author
<author's name>, 'Philipp Melanchthon', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_KBSB_B62/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})
Entry with no author
'Philipp Melanchthon', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document, entry or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_KBSB_B62/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})

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