Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon

Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon

Title

Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon

[Cat. Kassel 1997, 82]

Painting on beech wood

Medium

Painting on beech wood

[Cat. Kassel 1997, 83]

Although Melanchthon wears a thaler like in the 1532 version, suggested here by the faintly indicated folds, and interlocks his hands like then he now sits to match Luther, wearing a beret with a broad brim on his head. He also has a pointed beard. Furthermore the severe line of

Although Melanchthon wears a thaler like in the 1532 version, suggested here by the faintly indicated folds, and interlocks his hands like then he now sits to match Luther, wearing a beret with a broad brim on his head. He also has a pointed beard. Furthermore the severe line of his face is more angular, which is emphasised by the restless outline of his hat, his protruding beard and the bulge over his right elbow.

[Cat. Kassel 1997, 85]

Attribution
Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder

Attribution

Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder

[Exhib. Cat. Gotha 2015, No. 36] [Cat. Kassel 1997, 82]

Production date
1543

Production date

1543

[dated]

Dimensions
Dimensions of support: 20,7/20.8 (links/rechts) x 15.2 x 0.7 cm (slightly trimmed along the right edge)

Dimensions

  • Dimensions of support: 20,7/20.8 (links/rechts) x 15.2 x 0.7 cm (slightly trimmed along the right edge)

  • [Cat. Kassel 1997, 83]

Signature / Dating
Artist's insignia right above the sitter's shoulder: winged serpent facing left and dated '1543'; in black paint

Signature / Dating

  • Artist's insignia right above the sitter's shoulder: winged serpent facing left and dated '1543'; in black paint

  • [cda 2013]

Inscriptions and Labels
Reverse of the panel: - top centre: label with the number '230' in brown ink - another label with a distich, also …

Inscriptions and Labels

Stamps, Seals, Labels:

  • Reverse of the panel: - top centre:
  • label with the number '230' in brown ink
  • - another label with a distich, also in brown ink:
  • 'Melanchthonis est pictus Cranachii amore
  • Peniculo artifici, pignore amicitiae.
  • G.C. Beireis.'
  • (translation: 'Melanchthon was painted by Cranach with a loving, artistic brush and as a pledge for their friendship.')
  • - above:
  • label with the number '129' in brown ink
  • [Cat. Kassel 1997, 83]
  • [Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009, no. 13]
Owner
Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel
Repository
Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Kassel
Location
Kassel
CDA ID
DE_MHK_GK18
FR (1978) Nr.
FR314-315E
Persistent Link
https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_MHK_GK18/

Provenance

  • the portrait was [together with its pendant, cda 2013] the property of the doctor, scholar and collector Gottfried Christoph Beireis (b. 1730 Mühlhausen/Thüringen, d. 1809 Helmstedt). He is author of the distich on the reverse of the panel.
  • acquired in 1891 from the art dealer Klingelhöfer, Marburg

[Cat. Kassel 1997, 82]

Exhibitions

Bremen 2009, no. 13
Gotha, Kassel 2015, no. 36

Literature

Reference on page Catalogue Number Figure / Plate
Exhib. Cat. Florence 2017 66 under no. 2
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. Gotha, Kassel 2015 156, 157 36 Pl. p. 157
EditorJulia Carrasco, Justus Lange, Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein, Gotha, Benjamin D. Spira, Timo Trümper
TitleBild und Botschaft. Cranach im Dienst von Hof und Reformation, [Gotha, Herzogliches Museum; Kassel, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Schloss Wilhelmshöhe]
Place of PublicationHeidelberg
Year of Publication2015
Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009 13
EditorRainer Stamm
TitleLucas Cranach der Schnellste
Place of PublicationBremen
Year of Publication2009
Cat. Kassel 1997 82-86
AuthorAnja Schneckenburger-Broschek
EditorStaatliche Museen Kassel
TitleAltdeutsche Malerei. Die Tafelbilder und Altäre des 14. bis 16. Jahrhunderts in der Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister und im Hessischen Landesmuseum Kassel. Bestandskatalog Staatliche Museen Kassel
Place of PublicationMunich
Year of Publication1997
Cat. Kassel 1996 88-89
EditorBernhard Schnackenburg
TitleGesamtkatalog Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister. Staatliche Museen Kassel
Place of PublicationMainz
Year of Publication1996
Exhib. Cat. Kronach 1994 354
EditorClaus Grimm, Johannes Erichsen, Evamaria Brockhoff
TitleLucas Cranach. Ein Maler-Unternehmer aus Franken [Festung Rosenberg, Kronach 17.05 - 21.08.1994; Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig 07.09 - 06.11.1994]
SeriesVeröffentlichungen zur bayerischen Geschichte und Kultur
Volume26
Place of PublicationAugsburg, Coburg
Year of Publication1994
Kokoska 1994 118
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. Kassel 1982 19, 63 90
AuthorAnja Schneckenburger-Broschek
TitleDie Altdeutsche Malerei. Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Kassel
Place of PublicationKassel
Year of Publication1982
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979 131 314-315E
AuthorMax J. Friedländer, Jakob Rosenberg
EditorG. Schwartz
TitleDie Gemälde von Lucas Cranach
Place of PublicationBasel, Boston, Stuttgart
Year of Publication1979
Thulin 1961 187
AuthorOskar Thulin
TitleMelanchthons Bildnis und Werk in zeitgenössischer Kunst
Publicationin Walter Elling, ed., Philipp Melanchthon. Forschungsbeiträge zur vierhundertsten Wiederkehr seines Todestages dargeboten in Wittenberg 1960
Place of PublicationGöttingen
Year of Publication1961
Pages180-193
Cat. Kassel 1958 47 18
AuthorHeinrich Vogel
TitleKatalog der Staatlichen Gemäldegalerie zu Kassel
Place of PublicationKassel
Year of Publication1958
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932 under No. 252-253
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
Cat. Kassel 1929 18 18
AuthorK. Luhmer
TitleKatalog der Staatlichen Gemäldegalerie zu Kassel
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication1929
Cat. Kassel 1913 13, 58 18
AuthorG. Gronau
TitleKatalog der Königlichen Gemäldegalerie zu Cassel. Amtliche Ausgabe
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication1913

Research History / Discussion

A prototype of this pictorial type is illustrated in a woodcut from 1539 showing a medallion portrait of the scholar. It frames the title page of the first edition of Luther's 'Vom Reich Christi', together with similar portraits of Elector Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous and Luther.[1] In addition to the example in Kassel nine further versions exist of this double portrait type bearing the date 1543. They vary only slightly in the background colour. [2] The standardisation and the number created within one year suggest that they satisfied a large order, which served to disseminate an 'image', which had found its definitive expression for both reformers.[3]

[1] Exhib. Cat. Basel 1974, 389f., under No. 268; Cat. Kassel 1997, 84, fig. 55. Although the woodcut was not produced in the Cranach worshop the model was probably created there.

[2]Cat. Kassel 1997, 86. Examples are the version in Schloss Gottorf (on loan from a private collection, Exhib. Cat. Bremen 2009, Nos. 10/11, fig.) and that sold in an auction in London (Sotheby's), 10 July 2008, No. 104.

[3] See Warnke 1984, 61 f.; Hinz 1994, 175. Kurt Löcher presumed that a supply was painting in advance and that the date could refer to the year the firat version was created and not the later repetitions, see Löcher, Cat. Nuremberg 1995, 370.

[Gerrit Walczak, Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel 2015, 156]

  • Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon, 1543

Images

Compare images
  • overall
  • overall
  • reverse

Technical studies

1997Technical Examination

Support

- Beech wood, vertical grain

- trimmed along the right edge

Verso:

- original condition with a thin, black coating

- slightly bevelled at the edges

[Cat. Kassel 1997, 83]

Condition Reports

Date1997

Recto:

  • the paint layers are slightly abraded, otherwise in good condition

Verso:

  • original condition with a thin, black coating

  • slightly bevelled at the edge

[Cat. Kassel 1997, 83]

Conservation History

Date1997

  • conservation treatment

[Curatorial file, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister Kassel]

Date1973

  • restoration treatment on the occassion of the re-opening of the gallery

[Curatorial file, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister Kassel]

Citing from the Cranach Digital Archive

Entry with author
<author's name>, 'Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_MHK_GK18/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})
Entry with no author
'Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document, entry or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_MHK_GK18/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})

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