The Adoration of the Magi

The Adoration of the Magi

Title

The Adoration of the Magi

[CDA 2011]

Painting on limewood

Medium

Painting on limewood

[Klein, Report 2013]

Wood

[Stuhr, Exhib. Cat. Leipzig, Bonn, Stuttgart 1994, 58]

A scene from the Adoration of the Magi is depicted, which is only mentioned in (Matth. 2, 1-12). Cranach illustrates it almost literally. In the foreground there are two coats-of-arms: that of Degenhart Pfeffinger, the Kurfürstliche Rat, Kämmerer and treasurer of Friedrich the Wise is on the left and that

A scene from the Adoration of the Magi is depicted, which is only mentioned in (Matth. 2, 1-12). Cranach illustrates it almost literally. In the foreground there are two coats-of-arms: that of Degenhart Pfeffinger, the Kurfürstliche Rat, Kämmerer and treasurer of Friedrich the Wise is on the left and that of Ehrentraud von Seiboldsdorf is on the right.

[Stuhr, Exhib. Cat. Leipzig, Bonn, Stuttgart 1994, 58]

Attributions
Lucas Cranach the Elder (and Workshop)
Lucas Cranach the Elder

Attributions

Lucas Cranach the Elder (and Workshop)

[Koepplin, Falk, Exhib. Cat. Basel 1974- 1976, 526, No. 374]

Lucas Cranach the Elder

[Stuhr, Exhib. Cat. Leipzig, Bonn, Stuttgart 1994, 58]

First mentioned with this attribution in the collection's catalogue
[Cat. Leipzig 1897][1]

[1][Stuhr, Exhib. Cat. Leipzig, Bonn, Stuttgart 1994, 58]

Follower of Lucas Cranach the Elder

[Leipzig 1881, 36][1]
[1][Stuhr, Exhib. Cat. Leipzig, Bonn, Stuttgart 1994, 58]

Hans Burgkmair

[Schuchardt 1857, 19][1]
[1][Stuhr, Exhib. Cat. Leipzig, Bonn, Stuttgart 1994, 58]

Production dates
about 1515
about 1514

Production dates

about 1515

[Stuhr, Exhib. Cat. Leipzig, Bonn, Stuttgart 1994, 58]

about 1514

[Koepplin, Falk, Exhib. Cat. Basel 1974- 1976, 526, No. 374]

about 1518

[Exhib. Cat. Weimar, Wittenberg 1953, 25, No. 17]

Dimensions
Dimensions of support: 68.5/68.8 x 49.5 x 1.6 cm

Dimensions

  • Dimensions of support: 68.5/68.8 x 49.5 x 1.6 cm

  • Dimensions including frame: 95.4 x 75.6 x 6.5 cm (7.5 cm including panel)

  • [Rüdiger Beck, Museum der bildenden Künste, revised 11.06.2014]

Signature / Dating
none
Inscriptions and Labels
The coat-of-arms is a reference to the Saxon-electoral Kämmerer Degenhart Pfeffinger, who commissioned the painting and paid Cranach for the …

Inscriptions and Labels

Inscriptions, Badges:

  • The coat-of-arms is a reference to the Saxon-electoral Kämmerer Degenhart Pfeffinger, who commissioned the painting and paid Cranach for the accomplished work in 1515 (Invoice: No. 659a; [Schade 1974, 408, No. 127]); for more information about him and his connection to Cranach see No. 129
  • [Koepplin, Falk, Exhib. Cat. Basel 1974-1976, 528]
Owner
Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig
Repository
Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig
Location
Leipzig
CDA ID
DE_MdbKL_24
FR (1978) Nr.
FR049B
Persistent Link
https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_MdbKL_24/

Provenance

  • Carl Lampe Collection, Leipzig
  • 1848-1857 on permanent loan in the Municipal Gallery (Städtisches Bildermuseum)
  • acquired in 1857 as a gift from Carl Lampe

[Stuhr, Exhib. Cat. Leipzig, Bonn, Stuttgart 1994, 58]

Exhibitions

Dresden 1899, No. 113
Weimar, Wittenberg 1953, No. 17
Dresden 1971, under No. 107
Basel 1974, Bd. 1 No. 129; Bd. 2 No. 374, No. 659a
Yokohama, Sapporo, Hiroshima 1985/86, No. 17, Fig. 49
Karlsruhe 1991, No. 13, Fig. 54
Leipzig, Bonn 1994, 58

Literature

Reference on page Catalogue Number Figure / Plate
Exhib. Cat. Bonn 1994 58
EditorHerwig Guratzsch, Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig
TitleVon Lucas Cranach bis Caspar David Friedrich [Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn]
Place of PublicationStuttgart
Year of Publication1994
Exhib. Cat. Karlsruhe 1991 No. 13 Fig. 54
AuthorDieter Gleisberg
EditorStädtische Galerie im Prinz-Max-Palais, Karlsruhe
TitleKunstschätze aus Sachsen. Meisterwerke aus Leipziger Museen vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart, [Städtische Galerie im Prinz-Max-Palais, Karlsruhe]
Place of PublicationKarlsruhe
Year of Publication1991
Exhib. Cat. Yokohama, Sapporo, Hiroshima 1985/86 No. 17 Fig. 49
EditorNobuyuki Senzoku
TitleMeisterwerke der Renaissance und des Barock aus dem Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, DDR
Place of Publication[Tokyo]
Year of Publication1985
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979 79 No. 49B
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 Nos. 374, 659a (Bd. 2)
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
Exhib. Cat. Dresden 1971 under No. 107
EditorStaatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
TitleDeutsche Kunst der Dürerzeit
Place of PublicationDresden
Year of Publication1971
Exhib. Cat. Weimar, Wittenberg 1953 No. 17
AuthorWalther Scheidig
EditorDeutsche Lucas Cranach Komitee
TitleLucas Cranach Ausstellung. Weimar und Wittenberg
Place of PublicationWeimar, Wittenberg
Year of Publication1953
Bockelberg 1941 124 Fig. 20
AuthorOtto Heinrich Bockelberg
TitleDas Morgenländische in der Anbetung der Könige
Publicationin Martin Luther-Universität, Halle-Wittenberg, Horst Keller, ed., Deutschland-Italien. Beiträge zu den Kulturbeziehungen zwischen Norden und Süden. Festschrift für Wilhelm Waetzoldt zu seinem 60. Geburtstage 21.2.1940
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication1941
Pages91-134
Cat. Leipzig 1903
Authorn. a.
TitleVerzeichnis der Kunstwerke im Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig
Place of PublicationLeipzig
IssueTwentieth edition
Year of Publication1903
Flechsig 1900 A 92, 96, 282
AuthorEduard Flechsig
TitleCranachstudien
Volume1
Place of PublicationLeipzig
Year of Publication1900
Link page/n5/mode/2up
Flechsig 1900 B No. 25
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 34
AuthorKarl Woermann
TitleDie Dresdner Cranach-Ausstellung
JournalZeitschrift für bildende Kunst
IssueN.F. 11
Year of Publication1900
Exhib. Cat. Dresden 1899 No. 113
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
Friedländer 1899 246 No. 109
AuthorMax J. Friedländer
TitleDie Cranach-Ausstellung in Dresden
JournalRepertorium für Kunstwissenschaft
Issue22
Year of Publication1899
Pages236-249
Cat. Leipzig 1881 36
Authorn. a.
TitleVerzeichniss der Kunstwerke im Städtischen Museum zu Leipzig
Place of PublicationLeipzig
IssueFifteenth edition
Year of Publication1881
Link https://digital.ub.uni-leipzig.de/mirador/index.php
Cat. Leipzig 1857 19
AuthorChristian Schuchardt
TitleCatalog der Kunstwerke im Museum zu Leipzig, nebst biographischen Mitteilungen über die Künstler
Place of PublicationLeipzig
Year of Publication1857
Link https://digital.slub-dresden.de/werkansicht/dlf/93352/5
  • The Adoration of the Magi, about 1515

Images

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Technical studies

11.06.2014Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Infrared reflectography
  • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology
  • Stereomicroscopy
  • reverse
  • detail
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Rahmung

- not original, 19th century

- hardwood, verneer

- mortise and tenon join, mitred at the front; the flat surface is verneered and the profile is painted black; the inlay is arched at the top, painted black and the inner edge has a profiled rebate with a matt gilded finish.

[Museum der bildende Künste, revised 2014]

Support

- limewood [1]; no knots, tangential cut

- three vertically aligned boards (23 cm; 11,2 cm; 15,4 cm)

- butt joints

- no contemporary treatment for damage; the joins do not appear to have been reinforced

- horizontal and vertical marks from a block plane visible; there is a 7 cm bevell on three sides, excepting the the top edge where vertical block plane marks are visible (see raking light image of the reverse)

- trimmed along the top edge (later)

[1] See Klein Report 2013

Ground and Imprimatura

- thin, white ground layer, probably glue-chalk (not tested)

- the panel appears to have been fixed in a temporary work-frame (or temporary battens were attached at the top and bottom) during the application of ground and paint layers. Along the vertical edges the ground extends to the edge of the panel. Here occasional small bulges of ground have been preserved, in part they go beyond the edge. The upper edge of the panel has been trimmed by c. 7 cm. A barbe is only visible along the bottom edge where c. 4-5mm of wood was left exposed.

- bottom edge: marks on the bare wood (probably marks for the saw). along both outer edges and the semi-circle: incisions in the ground to fix the size of the image.

- no marks from tools; no imprimatur

Underdrawing

- freehand drawing with a quill

- visible with the naked eye in the areas of the flesh paint and partially in the landscape

- in the background lines for the stable roof and the posts were drawn with a ruler

- small alterations are visible in the heads of the group in the background on the right, in the legs of Christ; otherwise the painted version is more or less identical

- there is no indication that any mechanical method to transfer the design was employed

Paint Layers and Gilding

Order of paint layers:

- greyish-blue underpaint beneath the blue paint layer of the sky; the application for the semi-circular arch (monochrome) is achieved employing blue paint over a dark grey layer (opaque)

Sequence:

-The composition was sketched on the white ground with greyish-brown paint of varying transparency. The flesh paint was held in reserve. The subsequent painting adhered strictly to the design of the underdrawing. It often clips zones like the robe, the sky and the heads of figures with sharp edges. The flesh paint is a simple layer structure: economical undermodelling of shadows and forms are essentially described by contours, that alternate between hard and soft ; economic use of highlights. The architcture and the foreground are painted wet-in-wet employing various brown tones. These are semi-transparent allowing the brushstrokes from the underpaint to show through. Highlights and contours are also applied to the wet brown paint, and in part blurred. The coloured robes were painted wet-in-wet, with a monochrome underpaint, the are shadows darker and finished with glazes. Contours, hightlights and grass are in part applied with an impasto technique with a pointed brush (probably tempera).

Paint application:

- brushstrokes, in part dabbed, glazed, highlights and contours impasto application

Brush width:

- pointed and small flat brushes

Paint application beyond the edge of the ground layer:

- top: rounded arch clipped by a black line. Azurite (only examined under the stereomicroscope) was probably employed in the admixture to paint the neighbouring monochrome zone (in places overpainted). The paint layers extend to the edge of the panel on the left and right sides, see image.

- there are no fingerprints, alterations or gilding

  • examined by Rüdiger Beck

06. 2014Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • UV-light photography
  • uv_light
  • photographed by Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig

26.10.2013Scientific analysis

  • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology

Support

Identification of wood species: limewood (Tilia sp.)

  • analysed by Peter Klein

06. 2010Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Infrared reflectography
  • irr

Underdrawing

DESCRIPTION

Tools/Materials:

- fluid black pigmented medium, pointed brush; probably starting with a very diluted medium

Type/Ductus:

- freehand underdrawing

- fine lines

Function:

- relatively binding for the final painted version; lines delineate contours and define inner forms; shorter, frequently crescent-shaped lines describe the facial features; no representation of volume

Deviations:

- minor alterations were made during the painting process to clearly define forms

INTERPRETATION

Attribution:

- workshop

[Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2012]

  • photographed by Gunnar Heydenreich
  • photographed by Ingo Sandner

Condition Reports

Date10.06.2014

Generally in good condition.

Support:

  • the panel exhibits a slight convex curve. Trimmed at the top (c. 7 cm), at the left and bottom edges the original dimensions are preserved; the right edge is in part damaged and has been reworked (but the original dimensions have to a greater extent been retained. The joins are stable.

Paint layers/ground:

  • fine network of craquelée caused by age, more apparent in the green garments. Transparent highlights in the brown tones and the flesh paint. Fine drying cracks in the dark areas of the Virgin's robe. The retouches and small amounts of overpaint to the left of the coat-of-arms (on the wall) have developed a distinctive craquelée - a large loss at the bottom centre to the left of the hat has been filled and retouched.

  • the green garments have been glazed over with a thin glaze (see UV image), in part small fills and retouches. Top: the monochrome background (arch) has been completely overpainted; on the right past cleaning tests are visible.

  • retouching, overpaint yellowed and darkened. The green glaze has become brown.

Varnish:

  • no original varnish. Varying surface gloss, partially cleaned. The varnish is thinner on the flesh paint, the sky as well as the green garments and the Virgin's robe in the central scene. In UV: retouches and overpaint appear darker.

[Museum für bildende Künste, revised 2014]

  • examined by Rüdiger Beck

Date1978

"Overcleaned in spots, especially in the Virgin's face"

[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1978, 79, No. 49B]

Conservation History

Date08. 1925

Acta Restaurierung IV - 1924-1932 ; Blätter 6.-29. Treatment report by Walter Kühn, Leipzig [August 1925]. 397) 'Anbetung der heiligen 3 Könige' von Cranach d. Ä. [Inv.-Nr. 24] gereinigt, mit Terpentin abgerieben, regeneriert [mit roter Tinte:] 'F[irnis]. bleibt matt, ölig. / [zur Signatur:] nach Katalog bez. r. am Baumstamm mit Schlange. ' Kann dies nicht finden. (Adoration of the Magi' by Cranach the Elder [Inv. No. 24] cleaned with terpentine, regenerated [with red ink] 'V[arnish] remained matt, oily/ [concerning the signature] which according to the catalogue is represented by a winged serpent on the tree trunk. Can't find it."

Inventarbucheintragungen MdbK N° 24 - Restaurierungen: Restauriert von A.Hauser, Berlin, im April 189. (Restoration: restored by A. Hauser, Berlin, April 1891) (Letter in the file Inv. Nr. 24) Acte III, S. 1,2 ; 1925 v. W. Kühn,IV, S.4

[Museum der bildende Künste, revised 2014]

  • conservation treatment by Walter Kühn

Date1912

[Acta, betreff das Gemälde-Restauriren, Bd. III, 1, 2, Museum der bildenden Künste-Archiv][1]

[1][Stuhr, Exhib. Cat. Leipzig, Bonn, Stuttgart 1994, 58]

  • conservation treatment by Hauser

Date1890 - 1891

Acta Restaurierung III - 1890-1923; Blatt 34: Letter from Alois Hauser to the director Theodor Schreiber, Berlin 18.1.1891, paper with the embossed stamp of the Königliche Museen Berlin. "... Der Kranach ist ebenfalls sehr klar und emailleartig in der Farbe geworden; das Bild ist wohl von dem jüngeren Kranach oder einem Schüler, aber es hat doch sehr hübsche Einzelheiten, namentlich in der Landschaft. Das Bild hatte sehr viele Beschädigungen und verriebne Stellen und ich habe dasselbe jetzt nur sehr schwach gefirnißt. Sollte es stark einschlagen, so könnte es ja nach einigen Monaten dort nochmals gefirnißt werden.... (the colours of Kranach have also become very clear and enamell-like; the painting is probably by the younger Cranach or an assistant, but it has very pretty details, particularly in the landscape. The painting exhibits extensive damage and abraded areas, therefore I have only applied a thin layer of varnish. It it should sink it could be varnished again a few months later...)" Restoration costs for the paintings entrusted to him: 4) The Adoration of the Magi (from Dr. Lampe) [Inv.-No. 24] c. 80 M, he apologizes for the delayed completion as he was snowed under with work, adding that it won't last much longer.

List and invoice of the treatments carried out between 1890 and 1891, without a date. Cranach'sche School [Inv.-No. 24] } [H. Restorer Hauser] 36 Mark

  • conservation treatment by Alois Hauser

Citing from the Cranach Digital Archive

Entry with author
<author's name>, 'The Adoration of the Magi', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_MdbKL_24/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})
Entry with no author
'The Adoration of the Magi', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document, entry or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_MdbKL_24/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})

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