Philipp Melanchthon

Philipp Melanchthon

Titles

Philipp Melanchthon

[cda 2011]

Melanchthon's Bildniss

'Melanchthon's Bildniss von 1532', [Schneider 1868, Abt. V. No. 74][1] [1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 25; Exhib. Cat. Gotha 2001, No. 1.7]

Philippus Melanchton in Brustbild

'Philippus Melanchton in Brustbild auf Holz gemahlt von Lucas Cranachen', [Inventar 1721, fol. 490, No. 54][1] [1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 25; Exhib. Cat. Gotha 2001, No. 1.7]

Philippi Melachtonis Contrafait

'Philippi Melachtonis Contrafait |Von Lucas Cranach gemahlt| Dergl. etwas kleiner', [Inventar 1667-92, fol 16][1] [1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 25; Exhib. Cat. Gotha 2001, No. 1.7]

Philippus Melanchton

[Inventar 1644, fol. 30][1] [1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 25; Exhib. Cat. Gotha 2001, No. 1.7]

Painting on beech wood

Medium

Painting on beech wood

[Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 25]

The painting in Gotha corresponds with a portrait type for Philipp Melanchthon, which was reproduced numerous times from 1532. Further examples of the same format are preserved in Berlin, Dresden, Regensburg and Munich. It shows the scholar and reformer in three-quarter profile against a monochrome blue background facing left. He

The painting in Gotha corresponds with a portrait type for Philipp Melanchthon, which was reproduced numerous times from 1532. Further examples of the same format are preserved in Berlin, Dresden, Regensburg and Munich. It shows the scholar and reformer in three-quarter profile against a monochrome blue background facing left. He is wearing a black gown and his hands are folded in his lap.

[Carrasco, Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel 2015, 154]

Attributions
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Hans Cranach

Attributions

Lucas Cranach the Elder

[Exhib. Cat. Gotha 2015, No. 34] [Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 25]

Hans Cranach

'?' [Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel 2015, 154, No. 34]
[Heydenreich, cda 2014]

Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder

[Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 477]

Production date
1532

Production date

1532

[dated]

Dimensions
Dimensions of support: 19 x 15.2 x 0.25 cm [cda 2010]

Dimensions

  • Dimensions of support: 19 x 15.2 x 0.25 cm [cda 2010]

Signature / Dating
Artist's insignia above the proper left shoulder: winged serpent with elevated wings, facing left and dated '1532'; in black paint.

Signature / Dating

  • Artist's insignia above the proper left shoulder: winged serpent with elevated wings, facing left and dated '1532'; in black paint.

  • 'The shape of the wings and the style of writing is unusual'

  • [Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 25]

Inscriptions and Labels
Reverse of the panel: - in the centre: handwritten in red ink: 'Zentral-Museum/Gotha Nr. 10/(342)' - bottom left: printed yellow label: …

Inscriptions and Labels

Stamps, Seals, Labels:

  • Reverse of the panel: - in the centre:
  • handwritten in red ink: 'Zentral-Museum/Gotha Nr. 10/(342)'
  • - bottom left:
  • printed yellow label: 'Schloßmuseum Gotha/Inv.-Nr.:/S.G. Nr.:/Alte Nr.:'; handwritten entry in black ink: '50', '10', '342 Ahv.'
Owner
Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein, Gotha
Repository
Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein, Gotha
Location
Gotha
CDA ID
DE_SMG_SG10
FR (1978) Nr.
FR-none
Persistent Link
https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_SMG_SG10/

Provenance

  • recorded in the 'Kaufhaus Gotha' in 1644 (Residence of the Duke Ernst), [Inventar 1644, fol. 30][1]
  • recorded in Gotha Castle before 1674 [Inventar 1680, fol. 2][1]
  • [Inventar 1721, fol. 490, No. 54][1]

[1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 25]

Exhibitions

Gotha 1994
Weimar 1972, No. 56
Gotha 2001, No. 1.7
Gotha, Kassel 2015, No. 34

Literature

Reference on page Catalogue Number Figure / Plate
Knüvener 2016 123
EditorBrandenburgisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologisches Landesmuseum
EditingPeter Knüvener, Werner Ziems
TitleFlügelaltäre um 1515 - Höhepunkte mittelalterlicher Kunst in Brandenburg und in den Nachbarregionen
SeriesArbeitshefte des Brandenburgischen Landesamtes für Denkmalpflege und Archäologisches Museum
Volume42
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication2016
Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel 2015 154, 155 34 Pl. p. 155
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
Heydenreich 2015 122, 123 Fig. 5c
AuthorGunnar Heydenreich
TitleHans Cranach. Auf der Suche nach seinem verlorenen Oeuvre
Publicationin Elke A. Werner, Anne Eusterschulte, Gunnar Heydenreich, eds., Lucas Cranach der Jüngere und die Reformation der Bilder
Place of PublicationMunich
Year of Publication2015
Link https://lucascranach.org/application/files/5415/6232/3883/Heydenreich_2015_-_Hans_Cranach.pdf
Pages116 -127
Exhib. Cat. Munich 2011 60f. under Nos. 5-7
AuthorMartin Schawe
EditorBayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen
TitleCranach in Bayern
Place of PublicationMunich
Year of Publication2011
Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005 477f., 479 Fn. 11 under No. 42 Fig. 209
EditorHarald Marx, Karin Kolb, Ingrid Mössinger
TitleCranach Anlässlich der Ausstellung Cranach vom 13. November 2005 bis 12. März 2006 in den Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz. Eine Ausstellung in Kooperation mit der Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Place of PublicationCologne
Year of Publication2005
Exhib. Cat. Gotha 2001 1.7
EditorGotha Kultur, Allmuth Schuttwolf
TitleErnst der Fromme (1601-1675), Bauherr und Sammler. Katalog zum 400. Geburtstag Herzog Ernsts I. von Sachsen-Gotha und Altenburg
Place of PublicationGotha
Year of Publication2001
Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994 25
EditorStiftung Schloss Friedenstein, Gotha
TitleGotteswort und Menschenbild. Werke von Cranach und seinen Zeitgenossen
Place of PublicationGotha
Year of Publication1994
Klein 1994 B 214
AuthorPeter Klein
TitleHolzartenbestimmung und dendrochronologische Analyse an Gemäldetafeln von Lucas Cranach d.Ä. und seiner Werkstatt
PublicationAllmuth Schuttwolf, ed., Gotteswort und Menschenbild. Werke von Cranach und seinen Zeitgenossen, Exhib. Cat. Gotha
Place of PublicationGotha
Year of Publication1994
Pages210-219
Schade, Schuttwolf 1994 25, 26, 39, 70 1.7 Fig. p. 25, Pl. p. 39
AuthorWerner Schade, Allmuth Schuttwolf
TitleMalerei und Plastik
Publicationin Allmuth Schuttwolf, ed., Gotteswort und Menschenbild. Werke von Cranach und seinen Zeitgenossen, Exhib. Cat. Gotha
Place of PublicationGotha
Year of Publication1994
Pages15-94
Exhib. Cat. Weimar 1972 B No. 56
EditorSchlossmuseum Weimar
TitleLucas Cranach 1472-1553. Ein großer Maler in bewegter Zeit
Place of PublicationWeimar
Year of Publication1972
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932 75 Mentioned under No. 252
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
Parthey 1863-1864 697 (Bd. 1) No. 332
AuthorGustav Parthey
TitleDeutscher Bildersaal. Verzeichnis der in Deutschland vorhandenen Oelbilder verstorbener Maler aller Schulen
Volume1, 2
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication1864
Böhler, Steinmeyer 11
EditorJulius Wilhelm Böhler, Fritz Steinmeyer
Title[Auction Catalogue]
Place of PublicationLucerne, New York, Berlin

Research History / Discussion

[...] Later copies and variants of this pictorial type exist, which vary in format, composition and some details. [1] Whereas pendant pieces depicting Martin Luther have survived for the versions in Berlin, Regensburg and Dresden these are missing for both the painting in Munich and Gotha. However a portrait of the Wittenberg reformer probably originally served as the pendant to each of these paintings. Serial production of the small format portraits of Luther and Melanchthon began in 1532 and remained with regards to the portrait of Luther unaltered. Conversely from 1543 the representation of Melanchthon was modified with a pointed beard and a beret, as illustrated by the small panel in Kassel (see Cat No. 36). [2]

Beyond the possible function as a friendship portrait [3] the serial character of this portrait type allows an association with the current political and confessional developments: the year 1532 marked the accession to power of Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous of Saxony, succeeding his father Johann the Steadfast of Saxony as elector and supporter of the reformation. Prior to this in 1530 the frontiers between the confessional factions had been further aggravated by a Lutheran confessional statement, the ‚Confessio Augustana‘, written under Melanchthon’s guidance and presented to the emperor at the Reichstag in Augsburg. This situation culminated in the formation of the protestant alliance the Schmalkaldic League. [4] The portraits could therefore have served a politically motivated propaganda of the new faith and its representatives, whose ‘image’ was to be embedded in the conscious mind through the serial character of the paintings.[5] On the other hand they can be interpreted as the indirect expression of support from the new elector for the reformist cause, and may have been gifts to like-minded rulers. [6]

By virtue of recent insights acquired regarding specific features of the painting in Gotha the question of a new attribution must be posed: [7] among others the specific rendition of the insignia and the addition of dots to the date links the painting with other portraits of Luther and Melanchthon as well as other thematic works from the Cranach workshop and as such relates it to works firmly attributed to Cranach’s eldest son Hans who died young. [8] Serial portraits like that of Melanchthon may have been used as an exercise for Cranach’s standardized production, while a deviation from the standard signature employed by the Cranach-workshop may have functioned as the mark of an individual assistant. [9]

[1] For an overview see: Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979, 131, Nos. 314 - 315

[2] Exhib. Cat. Kronach 1994, 354, No. 178 and Cat. Kassel 1997, 82-86, Nos. 52, 53

[3] Exhib. Cat. Kronach 1994, 354, No. 178

[4] Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 477-479, Fn. 11; Exhib. Cat. Munich 2011, 60f., Nos. 5-7

[5] Hinz 1994, 175, Nos. 34, 35

[6] For a discussion regarding the purpose of such gifts see also the essay by Sebastian Dohe in this publication.

[7] Heydenreich 2015. I would like to thank the author for providing me with the unpublished article.

[8] The above mentioned portraits in Dresden were previously associated with Hans in: Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 478.

[9] Heydenreich 2015, 135.

[Julia Carrasco, in Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel 2015, 154]

[...] There are other paintings from the Cranach workshop that bear an insignia exhibiting wings with a similar fan-like shape and/or where the date is accompanied by dots. These should be included in future research: Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon, 1532 Gotha, Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein; Double Portrait of Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon, 1532, Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie [1]; Double Portrait of Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon, 1532, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden [2]; Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon, 1533, Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum Hannover. [3] [...]

[1] See cda, ID: DE_UEK-smbGG_Dep26; DE_UEK-smbGG_Dep27. The suggestion that the Luther portraits from 1532 should be examined with regards an authorship by Hans Cranach was previously made by Werner Schade in 1972; Schade 1973 (wie Anm. 5) 117.

[2] See cda, ID: DE_SKD_GG1918; DE_SKD_GG1919. In 1860 Wilhelm Schäfer had already suggested that Hans Cranach may have executed both portraits; Wilhelm Schäfer, Die Königliche Gemälde Gallerie im Neuen Museum zu Dresden. Beschreibung und Erläuterung sämtlicher Gemälde nach der Ordnung der Räume begleitet von kunstgeschichtlichen und kritischen Erinnerungen, Dresden 1860, 988f. Since then the paintings were attributed generally tot he workshop; Karin Kolb, Bestandskatalog der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Cranach-Werke in der Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister und der Rüstkammer; in: Cranach, eds. Harald Marx and Ingrid Mössinger, Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005, 474 - 479.

[3] See cda. ID: DE_NLMH_L115. Further painting excluded here because they have not yet been examined to verify the insignia/date, but that should be considered in the future are: Portrait of Erasmus of Rotterdam (1532, 19 x 14.6 cm, Rotterdam, Collectie Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen) exhibited until 2011 the date ‘1532’ at the right edge; Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon (1532, 18.7 x 12.9 cm, Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria); Portrait of Martin Luther (1532, 19 x 15.3 cm, Paris, De Jonkheere, 2007); Portrait of Emperor Charles V. (1533, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemiza, cda, ID: ES_MTB_112-1933-7); Law and Gospel (1536, 64.8 x 120.6 cm, Christie's New York, Sale 2819, Lot 165, 2014).

[Heydenreich 2015, 123, 126]

  • Philipp Melanchthon, 1532

Images

Compare images
  • overall
  • overall
  • reverse
  • irr

Technical studies

04. 2010Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Infrared reflectography
  • irr

Underdrawing

DESCRIPTION

Tools/Materials:

- dry drawing material (dark chalk ?)

Type/Ductus:

- thin traced lines

Function:

- binding for the final painted version; lines delineate contours and describe the essential facial features; no representation of volume

Deviations:

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

INTERPRETATION

Attribution:

- not possible

Comments:

- probably with reference to a preparatory drawing or transferred from a pre-existing design (traced?)

[Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2012]

  • photographed by Gunnar Heydenreich
  • photographed by Ingo Sandner

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_SMG_SG10/ (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_SMG_SG10/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})

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