The Suicide of Lucretia

The Suicide of Lucretia

Titles

The Suicide of Lucretia

[CDA 2010]

Lucretia

[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 94, No. 121]

Painting on beech wood

Medium

Painting on beech wood

[Cat. Coburg 2018, 94]

Klein Bericht 03.03.2016]

[Maedebach, Exhib. Cat. Coburg 1972, No. 10]

Painting on lime wood

[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 94, No. 121]
[Maedebach, Cat. Coburg 1969]
[Posse 1942, 57, No. 43]

The painting depicts Lucretia as a three-quarter length, standing nude figure. Her head is inclined slightly to the left and she stares into the far distance. She points the dagger at her chest with her right hand. The long dagger has already inflicted a small wound just below her breasts.

The painting depicts Lucretia as a three-quarter length, standing nude figure. Her head is inclined slightly to the left and she stares into the far distance. She points the dagger at her chest with her right hand. The long dagger has already inflicted a small wound just below her breasts. She holds the hand of her left raised arm in front of her. A transparent veil is draped over Lucretia's shoulders and is blown to the right by a breeze to cover her vulva. The only jewellery she wears is an armband. Her hair is equally simple - two knots at the side with some loose strands of hair.

An interior is indicated in the background. On the right there is a vague indication of a red curtain and on the left there is a window through which there is a view of a wooded landscape with a river and two castles. Lucretia's overcoat, which is green and fur-trimmed lies beneath the window.

According to the legend Lucretia lived in the 6th century BC and was the beautiful and virtuous wife of the roman Collatinus. The roman King's son - Sextus Tarquinius fell in love with her. During a stay in her house Sextus threatened to kill her and shame her honour if she did not surrender to him. After the rape Lucretia had her father and husband vow vengeance and then she stabbed herself. The event led to an uprising in which the royal family was overthrown and the Roman Empire became a Republic.

Depictions of Lucretia who was seen as the epitomy of female virtue, chastity, fidelity and honour enjoyed great popularity, particularly in the 16th century.

[Literature: Bierende 2002, Follak 2002, Livius 1909]

Attributions
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Hans Cranach

Attributions

Lucas Cranach the Elder

[Cat. Coburg 2018, 94]
[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 94, No. 121]
[Maedebach, Cat. Coburg 1969]

Hans Cranach

[Flechsig 1900 B, 32, No. 123]

Production dates
about 1518 - 1519
about 1530

Production dates

about 1518 - 1519

[Cat. Coburg 2018, 94]

about 1530

[Flechsig 1900 B, 32, No. 123]
[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 97, No. 121]

Dimensions
Dimensions of support: 85.5 x 57.5 x 1.2 cm

Dimensions

  • Dimensions of support: 85.5 x 57.5 x 1.2 cm

  • [Cat. Coburg 2018, 94]

  • [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 94, No. 121]

  • [Maedebach, Cat. Coburg 1969]

  • '1 Fuß 6 Zoll x 1 Fuß 1 Zoll'

  • [Schuchardt 1851 A, 37, No. 70]

Signature / Dating
Artist's insignia on the left side of the balustrade: winged serpent with elevated wings

Signature / Dating

  • Artist's insignia on the left side of the balustrade: winged serpent with elevated wings

  • [Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg, revised 2010]

Inscriptions and Labels
none Reverse: - on the frame at the left: handwritten: '714'

Inscriptions and Labels

Inscriptions, Badges:

  • none

Stamps, Seals, Labels:

  • Reverse: - on the frame at the left:
  • handwritten: '714'
  • [Cat. Coburg 2018, 94]
Owner
Oberfrankenstiftung
Repository
Veste Coburg Kunstsammlungen
Location
Coburg
CDA ID
DE_KSVC_M162
FR (1978) Nr.
FR121
Persistent Link
https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_KSVC_M162/

Provenance

  • 1851 recorded in Coburg Castle, Ducal property, Coburg
    [Schuchardt 1851 A, 37, No. 70]
  • 1876 Ducal Art and Antiquities Collection, Coburg (Herzogliche Kunst- und Altertümersammlungen der Veste Coburg (HKA))
  • 1919 Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg (KVC)
  • 1921 displayed in the residential quarters of the Ducal Palace (Fürstenbau), Coburg
  • April 1945 until August 1947 transferred to Banz monastery during World War 2
    [Cat. Coburg 2018, 94]

Exhibitions

Dresden 1899, No. 86
Berlin 1937, No. 35
Coburg 1969
Coburg 1972, No. 10
Rome 2010, No. 24

Literature

Reference on page Catalogue Number Figure / Plate
Cat. Coburg 2018 94-96, 98, 99 16 Pl. p. 95, Fig. 1
AuthorKlaus Weschenfelder
TitleCranach in Coburg. Gemälde von Lucas Cranach d.Ä., Lucas Cranach d.J., der Werkstatt und des Umkreises in den Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg
Place of PublicationRegensburg
Year of Publication2018
Weschenfelder 2018 A 20
AuthorKlaus Weschenfelder
TitleCranach in Coburg.
Publicationin Klaus Weschenfelder, ed., Cranach in Coburg. Gemälde von Lucas Cranach d.Ä., Lucas Cranach d.J., der Werkstatt und des Umkreises in den Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg
Place of PublicationRegensburg
Year of Publication2018
Pages7-23
Exhib. Cat. Rome 2010 207 - 209 No. 24 Pl. p. 209
EditorGalleria Borghese, Rome, Anna Coliva, Bernard Aikema
TitleCranach. L'altro rinascimento / a different renaissance, [Rome, Galleria Borghese 15 ottobre 2010 - 13 febbraio 2011]
Place of PublicationMilan
Year of Publication2010
Heydenreich 2007 A 416
AuthorGunnar Heydenreich
TitleLucas Cranach the Elder
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Year of Publication2007
Link https://lucascranach.org/application/files/6116/2097/3099/Heydenreich_2007_Lucas_Cranach_the_Elder.pdf
Bierende 2002
AuthorEdgar Bierende
TitleLucas Cranach d.Ä. und der deutsche Humanismus. Tafelmalerei im Kontext von Rhetorik, Chroniken und Fürstenspiegeln
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication2002
Follak 2002
AuthorJan Follak
TitleLucretia zwischen positiver und negativer Anthropologie: Coluccio Salutatis Declamatio Lucretie und die Menschenbilder im exemplum der Lucretia von der Antike bis in die Neuzeit
Place of PublicationKonstanz
Year of Publication2002
Link http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:352-opus-9144
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979 94 No. 121 Fig. 121
AuthorMax J. Friedländer, Jakob Rosenberg
EditorG. Schwartz
TitleDie Gemälde von Lucas Cranach
Place of PublicationBasel, Boston, Stuttgart
Year of Publication1979
Schade 1977
AuthorWerner Schade
TitleBeobachtungen an Vorzeichnungen von Cranach-Bildern
Publicationin Dieter Koepplin, ed., Akten des Kolloquiums zur Basler Cranach-Ausstellung 1974
Place of PublicationBasel
Year of Publication1977
Pages11-12
Schade 1974 69
AuthorWerner Schade
TitleDie Malerfamilie Cranach
Place of PublicationDresden
Year of Publication1974
Link http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/schade1974
Cat. Coburg 1972 No. M162
AuthorHeino Maedebach
EditorLWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur, Münster
TitleVeste Coburg, Kunst- und Altertümersammlung
Place of PublicationCoburg
Year of Publication1972
Cat. Coburg 1969 19
AuthorHeino Maedebach
EditorLWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur, Münster
TitleKunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg. Ausgewählte Werke
SeriesKataloge der Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg
Volume1
Place of PublicationCoburg
Year of Publication1969
Giesecke 1955 181-192
AuthorAlbert Giesecke
TitleWappen, Siegel und signet Lucas Cranachs und seiner Söhne und ihre Bedeutung für die Cranach-Forschung
JournalZeitschrift für Kunstwissenschaft
Issue9
Year of Publication1955
Pages181-192
Lüdecke 1953 B 92 Fig. 99
AuthorHeinz Lüdecke
TitleLucas Cranach der Ältere. Der Künstler und seine Zeit
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication1953
Cat. Coburg 1951 38
AuthorHeinrich Kohlhaussen
EditorKunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg
TitleKunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg
Place of PublicationCoburg
Year of Publication1951
Posse 1943 26, 57 No. 43
AuthorHans Posse
TitleLucas Cranach d. Ä.
Place of PublicationVienna
IssueSecond edition
Year of Publication1943
Lilienfein 1942 75f. Fig. 99
AuthorHeinrich Lilienfein
TitleLukas Cranach und seine Zeit
Place of PublicationBielefeld
Year of Publication1942
Posse 1942 26, 57 No. 43
AuthorHans Posse
TitleLucas Cranach d. Ä.
Place of PublicationVienna
Year of Publication1942
Exhib. Cat. Berlin 1937 21 035 Pl. 34
EditorStaatliche Museen, Berlin
TitleLucas Cranach d. Ä. und Lucas Cranach d. J. Gemälde, Zeichnungen, Graphik
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication1937
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932 48 102
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
Glaser 1923 Fig. 209
AuthorCurt Glaser
TitleLukas Cranach
Place of PublicationLeipzig
Year of Publication1923
Link http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/glaser1923
Voss, Lehfeldt 1907 559
AuthorPaul Lehfeldt, Georg Voss
TitleBau- und Kunst-Denkmäler Thüringens. Herzogthum Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha; Amtsgerichtsbezirke Neustadt, Rodach, Sonnefeld, Königsberg, Coburg
SeriesBau- und Kunstdenkmäler Thüringens
VolumeIV
Place of PublicationJena
Year of Publication1907
Flechsig 1900 A 279 No. 86
AuthorEduard Flechsig
TitleCranachstudien
Volume1
Place of PublicationLeipzig
Year of Publication1900
Link page/n5/mode/2up
Flechsig 1900 B 32 No. 123
AuthorEduard Flechsig
TitleTafelbilder Lucas Cranachs d. Ä. und seiner Werkstatt
Volume1, 2
Place of PublicationLeipzig
Year of Publication1900
Link http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/flechsig1900tafeln
Woermann 1900 25, 55, 78
AuthorKarl Woermann
TitleDie Dresdner Cranach-Ausstellung
JournalZeitschrift für bildende Kunst
IssueN.F. 11
Year of Publication1900
Exhib. Cat. Dresden 1899 No. 86
EditorKarl Woermann
TitleDeutsche Kunstausstellung Dresden 1899. Abteilung Cranach-Ausstellung. Wissenschaftliches Verzeichnis der ausgestellten Werke
Place of PublicationDresden
Year of Publication1899
Link http://resolver.staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/SBB00002A2400000000
Schuchardt 1851 C 37 70
AuthorChristian Schuchardt
TitleLucas Cranach des Aeltern Leben und Werke. Zweiter Theil
Place of PublicationLeipzig
Year of Publication1851
Link http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/schuchardt1851bd2

Research History / Discussion

Schade considers this a curious depiction of Lucretia. He compares her softly modelled hand with the work of Francesco Francia and describes the view out of the window as an italian landscape.

[Schade 1977, 69]

Invoice for two paintings of Lucretia by Cranach in the year 1518

[Heydenreich 2007 A, 416]

It may be this painting of Lucretia for which Cranach received the sum of 1 fl

[Herrschaft, cda 2010]

In the series of Lucretia depictions this early painting is the first nude. There is a landscape is the background similar to the painting in Kassel (FR122), which was presumably created at the same time. However, here it is only visible in part through a window. the same template appears to have been employed for both paintings. [Herrschaft, cda 2010]

  • The Suicide of Lucretia, about 1518 - 1519

Images

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Technical studies

2018Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Dendrochronology / identification of wood species

Support

- beech wood

- two vertically aligned planks. Plank I: 26.9 cm; plank II: 30.6 cm

- there is a rebate on all four edges, 1.3 cm wide, 0.6 cm in height. The panel was originally fitted in a grooved frame.

- Dendrochronology: the following annual rings were recorde and measured: plank II: 147 annual rings, 1516-1370; plank II: 155 annual rings, 1505-1351. Generally with beech wood the entire section is used and only the bark is removed, therefore it can be estimated that the earliest felling date was 1516. The wood was then seasoned for at least two years before it could be used (Klein 2016).

Ground and Imprimatura

- chalk ground

- the ground and paint layers do not extend as far as the edges of the panel ( original painted edge)

Framing

- Karl Pfefferle, Munich, 1964

[Cat. Coburg 2018, 94]

03.03.2016Scientific analysis

  • Dendrochronology / identification of wood species

Support

Identification of wood species: beech wood

Dendrochronology: plank I 147 annual rings 1516 -1370; plank II 155 annual rings 1505 -1351

The youngest annual ring is from 1516.

[Klein report, 03.03.2016]

  • analysed by Peter Klein

Condition Reports

Date2018

Support:

  • cradled on the reverse. The surface was sanded down and open worm channels were exposed. The pine wood cradle was glued to the reverse with PVA. The horizontal members have since been removed.

Paint layers:

  • various retouches; some were broadly applied and extend beyond the actual losses; they appear matt and lean; the retouches are located along the join and in various abraded areas of the flesh paint.

Varnish:

  • traces of a previous partial cleaning, after which a new varnish was applied

[Cat. Coburg 2018, 94]

Conservation History

Date1975

Restoration

[Cat. Coburg 2018, 94]

  • conservation treatment by Richard Harzenetter

Citing from the Cranach Digital Archive

Entry with author
<author's name>, 'The Suicide of Lucretia', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_KSVC_M162/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})
Entry with no author
'The Suicide of Lucretia', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document, entry or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_KSVC_M162/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})

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