Salome (Fragment)

Salome (Fragment)

Titles

Salome (Fragment)

[CDA 2011]

Die Tochter der Herodias

'L. Cranach (Werkstatt), Die Tochter der Herodias in rothem Kleid, rothem Federhut und Goldschmuck, das Haupt des Täufers auf der Schüssel haltend, Halbfigur auf schwarzem Grunde', [Aldenhoven 1890, No. 359][1] [1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 52]

Herodias das Haupt Johannes in einer Schüssel haltend

'Cranach, Lucas Sunders 'Herodias das Haupt Johannes in einer Schüssel haltend'', [Verzeichnis 1826, fol. 62, No. 90][1] [1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 52]

Die Historie mit dem Haupte Johannes in einer Schüßel

'Die Historie mit dem Haupte Johannes in einer Schüßel und in einem längligten Rahmen eingefasst, über Conditioniret von Lucas Cranachen'
[Inventar 1721, fol. 470, No. 42][1] [1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 52]

Die Herodias mit Johannis Kopff

'Die Herodias mit Johannis Kopff', [Nachlass-Inventar 1681, No. 24][1] [1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 52]

Die Herodias mit dem Haupt Johannis

'Lux[Lucas] Mahler. Die Herodias mit dem Haupt Johannis', [Inventar 1659, fol. 1, No. 3][1] [1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 52]

Die Herodias mit dem Haupt Johannis

'Die Herodias mit dem Haupt Johannis, Lux [Lucas] Mahler', [Inventar 1656, fol. 1, No. 5][1] [1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 52]

Die Herodias, wie Sie Johannes Kopff auf der Schüßel tragett

[Inventar 1644, fol. 31][1] [1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 52]

Painting on wood (Beech wood?)

Medium

Painting on wood (Beech wood?)

[cda 2019]

Painting on fir wood

[Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 52]

The severed head of St John the Baptist rests on a silver plate with the eyes half closed and the mouth open. Salome the daughter of Herodias presents the plate. She holds it with her left hand in front of her luminous red brocade dress, which is rich both in

The severed head of St John the Baptist rests on a silver plate with the eyes half closed and the mouth open. Salome the daughter of Herodias presents the plate. She holds it with her left hand in front of her luminous red brocade dress, which is rich both in folds and decorative slits. Together with the transparent lining it stands in contrast to the dark background. The panel is a fragment of a larger painting. It was originally the lower part of a half-length depiction of Salome, measuring 84 x 57 cm and formerly in the Gotha collection. It was sold on the art market in 1936 and only the section depicting the head of St John the Baptist on a platter returned to Gotha in the same year, while the rest of the painting is presently considered lost. [1] The intervention was made for commercial reasons, and so out of a 'femme fatale' an attractive female portrait was created for the market, and was offered as a Portrait of Sibylle of Saxony. [2]

[1] The upper section last appeared on the art market in 1972 (art dealer, P. de Boer, Amsterdam) as a work by Cranach the Younger (Sibylle of Saxony, wood, 54 x 47.5 cm), see: Jacoby 2002, 208 f.

[2] In another case the severed head of St John the Baptist was overpainted with flowers. The whereabouts of this panel is unknown.

[Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel 2015, 278]

Attributions
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Follower of Lucas Cranach the Elder

Attributions

Lucas Cranach the Elder

[Exhib. Cat. Gotha 2015, 278, No. 99]
'Cranach, Lucas Sunders 'Herodias das Haupt Johannes in einer Schüssel haltend'', [Verzeichnis 1826, fol. 62, No. 90][1]
'über Conditioniret von Lucas Cranachen'
[Inventar 1721, fol. 470, No. 42][1]
'Lux[Lucas] Mahler. Die Herodias mit dem Haupt Johannis'
[Inventar 1659, fol. 1, No. 3][1]
'Die Herodias mit dem Haupt Johannis, Lux[Lucas] Mahler'
[Inventar 1656, fol. 1, No. 5][1]
[1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 52]

Follower of Lucas Cranach the Elder

'Nach Lucas Cranach der Ältere'
[Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 52]

Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder

L. Cranach (Werkstatt)'
[Aldenhoven 1890, No. 359][1]
'Akte 3425 I und II, Schloßmuseum, 1936 über Galerie Buck/Mannheim an Galerie Abels/Köln verkauft, Galerie Buck an Schenk zu Schweinsberg am 2.6.1936 nach Friedländer und Buchner späte Werkstattarbeit Cranachs bzw. Schule, lt. Buchner noch nicht einmal das. Galerie Abels schickt im Oktober 1936 "das blutige Haupt und den Rahmen" nach Gotha zurück.'[1]

[1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 52]

Circle of Lucas Cranach the Elder

'als Schule L. Cranach d. Ä.'
[Parthey 1863, I, 699, No. 5][1]

'Schule Cranachs'
[Schneider 1868, Abt. V, No. 122][1]

[1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 52]

Production dates
about 1520 - 1535
about 1600

Production dates

about 1520 - 1535

[Exhib. Cat. Gotha 2015, 278-279, No. 99]

about 1600

[Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 52]

Dimensions
Dimensions of support: 32.3 x 57 cm (originally 84 cm high)

Dimensions

  • Dimensions of support: 32.3 x 57 cm (originally 84 cm high)

  • [Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 52]

Signature / Dating
None
Owner
Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein, Gotha
Repository
Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein, Gotha
Location
Gotha
CDA ID
DE_SMG_SG303
FR (1978) Nr.
FR-none
Persistent Link
https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_SMG_SG303/

Provenance

  • 1644 in 'Kaufhaus Gotha' [Inventar 1644, fol. 31][1] arrived in Gotha as part of the dowery of Duchess Elisabeth Sophie of Saxony-Altenburg [Exhib. Cat. Gotha 2015, 279]
  • recorded in Gotha art cabinet (Kunstkammer) since 1656 [Inventar 1656, fol. 1, No. 5][1]
    [1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 52]
  • 1936 sold to Galerie Buck, Mannheim
  • in the same year, the fragment returned to Gotha
    [Exhib. Cat. Gotha 2015, 278-279, No. 99]

Exhibitions

Gotha 1994
Gotha 2001, No. 1.19
Gotha/Kassel 2015, No. 99

Literature

Reference on page Catalogue Number Figure / Plate
Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel 2015 278, 279 99 Pl. p. 279
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. Gotha 2001 1.19
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 52
EditorStiftung Schloss Friedenstein, Gotha
TitleGotteswort und Menschenbild. Werke von Cranach und seinen Zeitgenossen
Place of PublicationGotha
Year of Publication1994
Parthey 1863-1864 699 (Bd. 1) No. 5
AuthorGustav Parthey
TitleDeutscher Bildersaal. Verzeichnis der in Deutschland vorhandenen Oelbilder verstorbener Maler aller Schulen
Volume1, 2
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication1864

Research History / Discussion

In various biblical depictions from the 16th century the tragedy of St John the Baptist was used to illustrate the transgression of a ruler, tyranny and catholic idolatry. [1] This usurpation of the biblical story, in particular from a protestant perspective, is especially noticeable with regards the ernestine elector, who identified himself with St John the Baptist. His unwavering belief, which led to his imprisonment and martyrdom offered a welcome parallel to the fate of Elector Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous of Saxony. He had adopted the first professor to Christianity as his patron saint. Johann Friedrich who was taken prisoner while fighting for the protestant faith against the catholic emperor was condemned to death in 1547. This sentence was changed to life imprisonment upon the intervention on his part by influential princes. A connection between Johann Friedrich's life and his martyrdom for his beliefs is also established in the commemorative text on his death in 1554. [2]

Similar to the image in Gotha is a painting in Budapest (about 1526/30), which also shows Salome against a dark background and divorced of a narrative context . [3] The luminous red, slitted dress differs in numerous details, but exhibits a similar arrangement of the folds. Instead of a feathered hat Salome wears a bride's wreath in her hair. Various female half-length figures quote the upper section of the Gotha panel, but do not compare in painterly quality and can be attributed to the circle or followers of Cranach. [4] In addition a faithful copy of the painting by Christian Richter (about 1640/50) is preserved in Braunschweig and documents the long-lasting interest in Cranach's pictorial invention. [5] According to Schade the work in Gotha can be attributed to a follower of Cranach and was created about 1600. However, the style and painterly quality of the panel confirmed by the recent conservation treatment (2014/15) as well as the numerous copies make it worth while to question this attribution and the late dating. [6] An earlier dating is supported by the original dimensions of the panel that correspond to one of the preferred standard sizes employed in the Cranach workshop between c. 1520 and c. 1535, and the suppport material (fir wood), which was frequently used in the second decade of the 16th century.[7] The date uncovered on the upper section during a dubious restoration does not help in answering the question regarding the date of creation. [8] In 1972 the dark background was considered not authentic and removed. This intervention took into account a considerable loss of original paint along the contours. The portrait of Salome now appears against an odd, patchy light backdrop, that appears very uncharacteristic for Cranach. The Cranach insignia and date '1549' was apparently uncovered to the right of the head during this treatment. Recent technical examination of the lower section can now prove without doubt that this panel never had a white background and that this is the light ground and therefore the authenticity of the uncovered inscription must also be questioned.

The painting of Salome in Gotha is from ernestine property and arrived as a dowery from Duchess Sophie of Saxony-Altenburg (1619-1680) from Altenburg in Gotha, where it is first recorded in1644. [9] Such a prominent provenance speaks in favour of a new evaluation of the panel.

[1] Washof 2007, 331

[2] Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 162, No. 2.49

[3] Cranach the Elder, about 1526/30, Szépmüvészeti Múzeum, Inv. No. 145, see Exhib. Cat. Brussels 2010, 213, No. 115

[4] Cranach follower, 'Female Half-length Figure with a Feathered Hat,' oil on wood, 62 x 52.5 cm, whereabouts unknown (Dorotheum 2010); Monogrammist HVK, 'Female Half-length Figure with a Feathered Hat,' oil on wood, 23 x 19.2 cm, whereabouts unknown (Koller 2007); Cranach follower, 'Female Half-length Figure with a Feathered Hat,' 17th century, 58.5 x 51.5 cm, whereabouts unknown (Boisgirard Antonini, Paris, 13. August 2006); Cranach workshop, 'Female Half-length Figure with a Feathered Hat', 16th century, Staatsgalerie im Schloss Johannisburg, Aschaffenburg; Cranach workshop, 'Female Half-length Figure with a Feathered Hat', oil on wood, 57 x 50 cm, Louisville (Kentucky), Speed Art Museum.

[5] Christian Richter, Salome with the Head of St John the Baptist, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Braunschweig. See Jacoby 2002, 206 ff.

[6] The conservation treatment was generously financed by the Freundeskreis Kunstsammlungen Schloss Friedenstein Gotha e. V.

[7] Heydenreich 2007, 43 and 47 f.

[8] Jacoby 2002, 209

[9] Exhib. Cat. Gotha 2001, 49.1

  • Salome (Fragment), about 1520 - 1535

Images

Compare images
  • overall
  • overall
  • overall
  • overall
  • reverse
  • reverse
  • irr

Technical studies

03. 2019Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Infrared reflectography
  • irr

Underdrawing

DESCRIPTION

Tools/Material:

- fluid, black medium

Type/Ductus:

- detailed traced or copied underdrawing

- delicate lines

- fine hatching strokes

Function:

- binding for the final painted version; lines delineate the main contours and describe essential details and facial features

Deviations:

- minor corrections were made to forms during the painting process

INTERPRETATION

Attribution:

- not possible

[Sandner, Smith-Contini, Heydenreich, cda 2019]

  • photographed by Gunnar Heydenreich
  • photographed by Ingo Sandner

2019 - Technical Examination

Support

- wooden panel with the grain running vertically

Ground and Imprimatura

- the barb has been retained at the left and right edges of the painting

[Heydenreich, cda 2019]

Condition Reports

Date2019 -

  • the reverse of the panel has been thinned minimally to 0.9 cm, cradled and coated with a paint appplication

  • remnants for supporting a moveable horizontal cross-member are visible at the centre

  • examined by Gunnar Heydenreich

Date2014 - 2015

A technical examination of the lower section of the panel showed that it never had a white background and that this could only be the light ground, which means that the authenticity of the signature that was uncovered must be questioned.

[Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel 2015, 278-279, No. 99]

Conservation History

Date2014 - 2015

Conservation treatment 2014/15

[Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel 2015, 278-279, No. 99]

Citing from the Cranach Digital Archive

Entry with author
<author's name>, 'Salome (Fragment)', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_SMG_SG303/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})
Entry with no author
'Salome (Fragment)', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document, entry or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_SMG_SG303/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})

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