Friedrich III the Wise, Elector of Saxony

Friedrich III the Wise, Elector of Saxony

Titles

Friedrich III the Wise, Elector of Saxony

[cda 2010]

Friederich der Dritte Churfürst und Herzog zu Sachsen

'Friederich der Dritte Churfürst und Herzog zu Sachsen in Brust bild, mittelmäßiger Größe, da bey die Jahr Zahl 1532', [Inventar 1721, fol. 490, No. 52][1]
[1][Exhib. Cat., Gotha 1994, 28]

Churfürst friederich Sapiens und Churf. Johannes

'Churfürst friederich Sapiens und Churf. Johannes auf einer täfelein neben einander', [Inventar 1667-92, fol. 12][1]
[1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 28]

Painting on beech wood (Fagus sp.)

Medium

Painting on beech wood (Fagus sp.)

[Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 28, 214]
[Klein, Report 1994]

A half-length portrait of Friedrich the Wise shown in three-quarter profile facing right against a blue background. The elector wears a black beret and a fur-trimmed coat and has a greyish-black beard.

[Görres, cda 2015]

Attributions
Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder
Lucas Cranach the Elder

Attributions

Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder

[Exhib. Cat. Gotha 2015, No. 82]

Lucas Cranach the Elder

[Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 28]

Production dates
1536
after 1537
Dimensions
Dimensions of support: 20.6 x 14.6 x 0.25 cm [cda 2010]

Dimensions

  • Dimensions of support: 20.6 x 14.6 x 0.25 cm [cda 2010]

Signature / Dating
Artist's insignia in the top left corner: winged serpent with dropped wings (unclear, possibly not authentic), facing right; in black paint.

Signature / Dating

  • Artist's insignia in the top left corner: winged serpent with dropped wings (unclear, possibly not authentic), facing right; in black paint.

Inscriptions and Labels
Printed on paper: - attached to the top right corner: 'Friderich der Drit/ Chur-/ furst und Hertzog zu / Sachssen' - …

Inscriptions and Labels

Inscriptions, Badges:

  • Printed on paper:
  • - attached to the top right corner:
  • 'Friderich der Drit/ Chur-/ furst und Hertzog zu / Sachssen'
  • - below:
  • 'Fridrich bin ich billich genand. Schönen frid ich erhielt im Land. Durch groß vernunfft/ geduld und glück Widder machen ertzbösen tück. Das land ich zieret mit gebew Und Stifft ein hohe Schul auffs new. Zu Wittemberg im Sachssen land Inn der welt die wardt bekand. Denn aus der selb kam Gottes wort Und that gros ding an manchem ort. Das Bepstlich reich störtzt es nidder. Und bräch rechten glauben widder. Zum Keisar war erkorn ich Des mein alter beschweret sich. Dafür ich Keisar Carl erwelt Von dem mich nicht wand gunst noch gelt.'

Stamps, Seals, Labels:

  • Reverse of the panel:
  • - top centre:
  • paper label, handwritten in black ink: '611/381'
  • - left side:
  • printed yellow label: 'Schlossmuseum Gotha/Inv. Nr.:/S.G. Nr.:/Alte Nr.:'; handwritten entry in black ink under Inv. Nr.: '48', under S.G. Nr.: '8'.
  • - bottom:
  • handwritten in red ink 'Zentral-Museum-Gotha'
Owner
Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein, Gotha
Repository
Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein, Gotha
Location
Gotha
CDA ID
DE_SMG_SG8
FR (1978) Nr.
FR-none
Persistent Link
https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_SMG_SG8/

Provenance

  • since 1691 recorded in the collection of the Dukes Saxony-Gotha-Altenburg
    [Sebastian Dohe, in Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel 2015, 248]
  • recorded in Gotha Castle since 1721 [Inventar 1721, fol. 490, No. 52][1]
    [1][Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 28]

Exhibitions

Gotha 1994
Gotha 2001, No. 1.10
Gotha/Kassel 2015, No. 82

Literature

Reference on page Catalogue Number Figure / Plate
Tacke 2021 86 Fig. 4
AuthorAndreas Tacke
TitleCranach-on-Demand. Zu Wiederholungen in der Malerei
Publicationin Dagmar Täube, ed., Lucas Cranach der Ältere und Hans Kemmer. Meistermaler zwischen Renaissance und Reformation [Lübeck, St. Annen-Museum]
Place of PublicationMunich
Year of Publication2021
Pages83-91
Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel 2015 248, 249, 344 82 Pl. p. 249, Fig. p. 344 (T82)
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
Spira 2015 55
AuthorBenjamin D. Spira
TitleLucas Cranach, der Maler Luthers. Der Hofmaler und der Reformator - Bindung, Bilder und Bedeutung
Publicationin Julia Carrasco, Justus Lange, Benjamin D. Spira, Timo Trümper, Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein Gotha and Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel, eds., Bild und Botschaft. Cranach im Dienst von Hof und Reformation, [Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel]
Place of PublicationHeidelberg
Year of Publication2015
Pages51-62
Trümper 2015 22
AuthorTimo Trümper
TitleInszenierungsstrategien der Ernestiner
Publicationin Julia Carrasco, Justus Lange, Benjamin D. Spira, Timo Trümper, Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein Gotha and Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel, eds., Bild und Botschaft. Cranach im Dienst von Hof und Reformation, [Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel]
Place of PublicationHeidelberg
Year of Publication2015
Pages17-28
Exhib. Cat. Gotha 2001 1.10
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
Bünsche 1998 A 61
AuthorBernd Bünsche
TitleDie Verwendung von Lochpausen bei der Anfertigung der Fürstenportraits durch Lucas Cranach den Älteren
Publicationin Ingo Sandner, Wartburg-Stiftung Eisenach and Fachhochschule Köln, ed., Unsichtbare Meisterzeichnungen auf dem Malgrund. Cranach und seine Zeitgenossen, Exhib. Cat. Eisenach
Place of PublicationRegensburg
Year of Publication1998
Pages61-64
Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994 28
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 28, 42 1.10 Fig. p. 28, Pl. p. 42
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

Research History / Discussion

The double portraits from the 1532 series as well as the panel in Gotha emphasize the similarity of the two depicted brothers, shown by the manner in which they are turned towards each other, the identical attire and the heraldic arrangement - the elder brother on the left, the younger on the right - and represent as such above all fraternal ties and succession. In contrast to the portraits from the 1532 series, which are slightly more three dimensional, those of the two panels in Gotha are more flat and plain, even after consideration of the in part heavy abrasion and cracking. The execution of the panels in Gotha shows that the lines of the underdrawing were precisely followed during the painting process in correspondance with the requirements for an economic production with the aim to create an exact replica. The attached paper strips are also of interest for another reason: these may not only have served an economic purpose - saving time by printing - , but also make another mediality tangible and combine the traits of a painting with the potential media power of the printed word.

[Sebastian Dohe, in Exhib. Cat. Gotha, Kassel 2015, 248]

  • Friedrich III the Wise, Elector of Saxony, 1536

Images

Compare images
  • overall
  • overall
  • reverse
  • irr
  • x_radiograph
  • conservation
  • conservation
  • conservation
  • conservation
  • conservation

Technical studies

04. 2010Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Infrared reflectography
  • irr

Underdrawing

- an underdrawing is not visible

[Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2012]

  • photographed by Gunnar Heydenreich
  • photographed by Ingo Sandner

2002Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Infrared reflectography
  • conservation
  • conservation
  • conservation
  • conservation
  • conservation

Support

- beech wood panel

- dimension bottom 14.6 cm, centre 14.7 cm, top 14.7 cm

- all four edges bevelled: top left: 2 cm, top right: 1.5 cm, right edge: 2.2 cm, left edge: 2.1 cm, bottom edge, centre: 3.3 cm

- all sawn edges are irregularly bevelled

Ground and Imprimatura

- thin ground

Underdrawing

- the underdrawing in red is visible beneath the sitter's hat

- there are incised lines 4-5 mm from the edge of the painting

Paint Layers and Gilding

- printed paper labels are attached to the panel on the top right corner and the lower third of the painting

Framing

- the frame is not original

Restoration Treatment

  • written by Angela Möller

1995Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • X-radiography
  • x_radiograph

17.03.1994Scientific analysis

  • Identification of wood species / Dendrochronology

Support

The panel consists of a single beechwood plank (20.7 x 14.3 cm). 37 annual rings were measured, that match the beech wood chronology between the years 1530 and 1494. The most recent annual ring dated is from the year 1530. Usually with beech wood the entire transverse section was used and only the bark removed, therefore the earliest felling date is 1530. Considering a two year seasoning period the painting could have been created no earlier than 1532.

[Exhib. Cat. Gotha 1994, 28]

  • analysed by Peter Klein

Conservation History

Date2002

  • conservation
  • conservation
  • conservation
  • conservation
  • conservation

Condition 1995:

The dark yellow varnish and dirt covered the printed paper labels on the bottom half of the painting (holes were also visible in the paper). The original bluish green of the background was altered in colour by the aged varnish layers. In the flesh paint there were numerous retouchs which had changed colour.

Condition 1999:

Many of the vertical splits in the panel are visible in the ground and the paint layers. There are multiple losses in the paint layers next to the hairline cracks, which are very obvious and appear dark because they were not toned in. In a previous restoration campaigns the resin varnish was thinned unevenly and now appears cloudy: particularly left above the signature and right below the paper label above a large area of retouching.

In the top left quarter of the painting there is a round scratch to the right of the fur collar, which is overlapped by a dot and dash-like damage. The surface is also damaged in the area of the fur. There is an old scratch on the right side of the sitter's beard.

The printed paper labels on the top right and on the lower third of the painting have detached themselves from the support at the top left and exhibit small damages.

There is a large irregular piece of paper missing (2.2 cm long and 1.2 cm wide) at the bottom left.

Treatment Report

1.1

The darkened varnish was removed from the entire painting (excluding the areas of text) with acetone. This procedure was monitored under the stereomicroscope. Many tiny losses were revealed, particularly along the craquelée in the flesh paint, in the fur and the background. Some areas where the paint had yellowed were left.

1.2

Mechanical removal of the varnish layers over the areas of text was monitored under the stereomicroscope. Removal from the paper labels with printed text were particularly difficult and time consuming, taking longer than anticipated.

The areas of loss were cleaned; an isolating layer was applied

Consolidation with sturgeon glue

The losses were filled and the missing paper in the lower left corner was replaced with old paper, at a later stage the upper right corner was treated in the same manner

The losses were inpainted with water colour. After near completion of the inpainting the splits along the craquellée appeared rather disturbing. These were filled with a chalk mixture and leveled. The damaged areas on the paper labels were reconstructed and toned in.

A Dammar varnish was applied over both the paint surface and the paper labels

A new frame was made by Herr Rothe, the furniture restorer in the castle

20.9 x 14.4 x 0.5 cm

Frau Dr. Lübbecke, Munich conducted the art historical research in association with the restoration.

  • conservation treatment by Angela Möller

Citing from the Cranach Digital Archive

Entry with author
<author's name>, 'Friedrich III the Wise, Elector of Saxony', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_SMG_SG8/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})
Entry with no author
'Friedrich III the Wise, Elector of Saxony', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document, entry or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_SMG_SG8/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})

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