An Altarpiece from St. Moritz Church [left fixed wing]: St Elizabeth

An Altarpiece from St. Moritz Church [left fixed wing]: St Elizabeth


An Altarpiece from St. Moritz Church [left fixed wing]: St Elizabeth

[cda 2015]

Painting on pine wood


Painting on pine wood

[Documentation D. Jakob 2014]

St Elizabeth is depicted as a full-length figure against a dark background. She holds a bowl of fruit and a jug in her hands.

Master of the Mittenwald Retable
Anonymous Master from the Cranach Workshop


Master of the Mittenwald Retable

[Heydenreich 2016, 143]

Anonymous Master from the Cranach Workshop

[Heydenreich, cda 2015]

Lucas Cranach the Elder (and Workshop)

[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 79, No. 47B]

Production date

Production date



Dimensions of painted surface: 157.3 x 67.7 cm


  • Dimensions of painted surface: 157.3 x 67.7 cm

  • Dimensions including frame: 168.8 x 79 cm

  • [Documentation D. Jakob 2014]

Signature / Dating
Dated on the left moveable wing

Signature / Dating

  • Dated on the left moveable wing

  • [Documentation D. Jakob 2014]

Evangelische Kirchengemeinde Mittenwalde
St. Moritzkirche Mittenwalde
FR (1978) Nr.
Persistent Link


  • 1514 donated by the Electress Elisabeth of Brandenburg
    [Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 79, No. 47B]


Reference on page Catalogue Number Figure/Plate
Heydenreich 2017 A 76-77
AuthorGunnar Heydenreich
TitleCranach? Fragen der Zuschreibung im Lichte kunsttechnologischer Untersuchungen
Publicationin Gunnar Heydenreich, Daniel Görres, Beat Wismer, eds., Lucas Cranach der Ältere. Meister - Marke - Moderne. [Exhib. Cat. Düsseldorf 2017]
Place of PublicationMunich
Year of Publication2017
Heydenreich 2016
AuthorGunnar Heydenreich
TitleDas Mittenwalder Retabel (1514). Die Malerei im Spiegel der Cranach-Forschung
Publicationin, Brandenburgisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologisches Landesmuseum ed., Flügelaltäre um 1515 - Höhepunkte mittelalterlicher Kunst in Brandenburg und in den Nachbarregionen
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication2016
Knüvener 2011 227-228
AuthorPeter Knüvener
TitleDie spätmittelalterliche Skulptur und Malerei in der Mark Brandenburg
VolumeBd. 14
JournalForschungen und Beiträge zur Denkmalpflege im Land Brandenburg
Place of PublicationWorms
Year of Publication2011
Müller 2008 A
AuthorMathias Müller
EditorErnst Badstübner, Peter Knüvener, Dirk Schumann
TitleOrdenslehre und Fürstenmemoria. Bildform und Bildkonzept des dominikanischen Altarretabels von Mittenwalde bei Berlin
Publicationin: Die Kunst des Mittelalters in der Mark Brandenburg. Tradition - Transformation - Innovation
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication2008
Cardenas, Schumann 2004
AuthorLivia Cardenas, Dirk Schumann
TitleDas mittelalterliche Altaretabel der Moritzkirche in Mittenwalde
Year of Publication2004
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979 79 No. 47B
AuthorMax J. Friedländer, Jakob Rosenberg
EditorG. Schwartz
TitleDie Gemälde von Lucas Cranach
Place of PublicationBasel, Boston, Stuttgart
Year of Publication1979

Description/ Interpretation/ Comments

Like the altarpiece in Neustadt the winged altarpiece in Mittenwalde exhibits a fairly puristic rendition of the Cranach style from this period, but it was probably executed with some workshop participation.

[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 79, No. 47B]

The artist who executed the Mittenwald Retable was trained in Cranach’s workshop and made use of his templates and preparatory material. He also drew on Dürer prints as inspiration for his compositions. However, a technical examination of this work does not suggest that it was produced in the workshop. The altarpiece was commissioned by Elizabeth of Brandenburg and was probably originally intended for a location in Berlin. The examination results support the theory that it was created in a workshop based in Berlin. A relationship with the Bernau retable should be explored within this context. It would also be of interest to discover whether a workshop in Berlin closely associated with Cranach’s workshop in Wittenberg. Numerous similarities in technique and style with a work in a private collection in Oslo ( suggest that this retable, which depicts the Adoration was painted by the same artist two years later. As Friedrich III is shown on this painting future research should attempt to discover more about the commission and explore the relationship between the Master of the Mittenwald Retable and the electors of Saxony.

[Heydenreich 2016, 149-150]

  • An Altarpiece from St. Moritz Church [left fixed wing]: St Elizabeth, 1514


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Technical studies

07. 2014Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Infrared reflectography
  • irr
  • irr
  • irr




- fluid black medium, brush; dry drawing material (dark chalk?) for the initial design?


- relatively freehand underdrawing

- thin lines; fine lines in the face and veil


- relatively binding for the final painted version; lines delineate the main contours and define facial features; no representation of volume with hatching-strokes


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



- an assistant in the Cranach workshop

[Sandner, Smith-Contini, Heydenreich, cda 2015]

  • photographed by Gunnar Heydenreich
  • photographed by Ingo Sandner

01.05.2014 - Scientific analysis

  • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology


pine wood

  • analysed by Dr. Thilo Schöfbeck

01. 2014Technical Examination

  • UV-light photography
  • uv_light

2009 - Technical Examination

  • Stereomicroscopy


- pine wood, 3 planks with numerous knots, these were reinforced with a canvas application

- the joins were reinforced with strips of canvas; these observations were only confirmed on the fixed wings where the paint layers on the reverse had been removed.

- both sides of the panel were smoothed in preparation for the paint layers; a block plane was not used

Ground and Imprimatura

- the ground is a thin application (c. 1mm). a barb is visible along the edges close to the frame. This is particularly apparent since the new framing of the fixed wings and the original area of the painted surface is clearly visible. In raking light marks from a spatula used to smoothen the ground are visible. No analysis was done to establish the composition of the ground.

A light umbra coloured imprimatura is visible in the glazed areas of the painting


- there is an underdrawing executed with a brush and black ink (visible in IR). The painted version deviates somewhat from the underdrawing.

Paint Layers and Gilding

- glazed to opaque application of the paint


not original

[Documentation Dirk Jacob 2014]

  • examined by Grit Jehmlich

Conservation History

Date2012 - 2014

  • the extensive overpaint from 1861 was removed from the panels
  • conservation treatment by Grit Jehmlich
  • written by Dirk Jacob

Date1959 -

  • the frames of the fixed wings were in part reconstructed during a restoration in 1959

[Documentation Dirk Jacob 2014]

Date1861 - 1862

  • restoration of the retable and the paintings (extensively overpainted)

[Documentation Dirk Jacob 2014]

  • minor conservation treatment in the 20th century

[Documentation Dirk Jacob 2014]

Citing from the Cranach Digital Archive

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