Venus and Cupid as Honey Thief

Venus and Cupid as Honey Thief

Title

Venus and Cupid as Honey Thief

[Cat. Schwerin 1990, 19]

Painting on beech wood

Medium

Painting on beech wood

[Cat. Schwerin 1990, 19]

'Venus stands under an apple tree wearing a large purple red beret and a gold chain. She looks coquettishly out of the image, while Cupid looks ruefully up at her holding a honeycomb in his hand. In the background there is a wonderful alpine landscape and battling stags are visible.

The

'Venus stands under an apple tree wearing a large purple red beret and a gold chain. She looks coquettishly out of the image, while Cupid looks ruefully up at her holding a honeycomb in his hand. In the background there is a wonderful alpine landscape and battling stags are visible.

The ancient subject refers to Theocritus' Idyll. Venus cautions Cupid, who complains of having been stung by bees, that even the briefest lust for which he is responsible is associated with bitter pain. This is written in the text above, which was probably composed by Melanchthon.

DVM PVER ALVEOLO FVRATVR MELLA CVSPIDE FIXIT APIS SIC ETIAM NOBIS BREVIS ET PERITVRA VOLVPTAS QUAM PETIMVS TRISTI MIXTA DOLORE NOCET.'

[Cat. Schwerin 1990, 19]

Attributions
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Copy after Lucas Cranach the Elder

Attributions

Lucas Cranach the Elder

[Cat. Schwerin 1990, 19]

Copy after Lucas Cranach the Elder

Koepplin suggests it is an exact copy after a lost original
[Cat. Schwerin 1990, 19, 20]

Production date
1527

Production date

1527

[dated]

Dimensions
Dimensions of support: 83 x 58.2 cm

Dimensions

  • Dimensions of support: 83 x 58.2 cm

  • [Cat. Schwerin 1990, 19]

Signature / Dating
Artist's insignia at bottom left on the stump: winged serpent and dated '1527'

Signature / Dating

  • Artist's insignia at bottom left on the stump: winged serpent and dated '1527'

  • [Cat. Schwerin 1990, 19]

Inscriptions and Labels
- top: 'DVM PVER ALVEOLO FVRATVR MELLA CVSPIDE FIXIT APIS SIC ETIAM NOBIS BREVIS ET PERITVRA VOLVPTAS QUAM PETIMVS TRISTI MIXTA …

Inscriptions and Labels

Inscriptions, Badges:

  • - top:
  • 'DVM PVER ALVEOLO FVRATVR MELLA CVSPIDE FIXIT APIS SIC ETIAM NOBIS BREVIS ET PERITVRA VOLVPTAS QUAM PETIMVS TRISTI MIXTA DOLORE NOCET'
  • [Cat. Schwerin 1990, 19]
Owner
Staatliches Museum Schwerin, Kunstsammlungen Schlösser, Gärten
Repository
Staatliches Museum Schwerin, Museum Schloss Güstrow
Location
Güstrow
CDA ID
DE_SMS_G199
FR (1978) Nr.
FR246A
Persistent Link
https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_SMS_G199/

Provenance

  • acquired in 1851 from the estate of the Gallery director Friedrich Lenthe, Schwerin

[Cat. Schwerin 1990, 20]

Literature

Reference on page Catalogue Number Figure / Plate
Sandner, Heydenreich, Smith-Contini 2015 132, 134, Fn. 35
AuthorGunnar Heydenreich, Ingo Sandner, Helen Smith-Contini
TitleVeränderungen beim Unterzeichnen in Cranachs Werkstatt und die Arbeitsweise von Sohn Lucas
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/5215/6337/7366/Heydenreich_Sandner_Smith-Contini_2015_-_Unterzeichnung.pdf
Pages128-141
Kolind Poulsen 2003 130, 141
AuthorHanne Kolind Poulsen
TitleFläche, Blick und Erinnerung. Cranachs Venus und Cupido als Honigdieb im Licht der Bildtheologie Luthers
Publicationin Heinz Spielmann, Werner Schade, eds., Lucas Cranach. Glaube, Mythologie und Moderne, Exhib. Cat. Hamburg 2003
Place of PublicationOstfildern-Ruit
Year of Publication2003
Pages130-143
Cat. Schwerin 1990 19-20 007
AuthorKristina Hegner
TitleKunst der Renaissance
Place of PublicationSchwerin
Year of Publication1990
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979 No. 246A
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 656, 657 No. 570 Fig. 321
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. Weimar 1972 B No. 13
EditorSchlossmuseum Weimar
TitleLucas Cranach 1472-1553. Ein großer Maler in bewegter Zeit
Place of PublicationWeimar
Year of Publication1972
Exhib. Cat. Weimar, Wittenberg 1953 No. 31
AuthorWalther Scheidig
EditorDeutsche Lucas Cranach Komitee
TitleLucas Cranach Ausstellung. Weimar und Wittenberg
Place of PublicationWeimar, Wittenberg
Year of Publication1953
Lilienfein 1942 Fig. 102
AuthorHeinrich Lilienfein
TitleLukas Cranach und seine Zeit
Place of PublicationBielefeld
Year of Publication1942
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932 204a
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
Heyck 1908 83, 112 Fig. 66 p. 108
AuthorEduard Heyck
TitleLukas Cranach
SeriesKünstlermonographien
Volume95
Place of PublicationBielefeld
Year of Publication1908
Link https://archive.org/details/lukascranach01heycgoog
Flechsig 1900 A 249, 268
AuthorEduard Flechsig
TitleCranachstudien
Volume1
Place of PublicationLeipzig
Year of Publication1900
Link page/n5/mode/2up
Cat. Schwerin 1882 No. 160
AuthorFriedrich Schlie
TitleBeschriebendes Verzeichniss der Werke älterer Meister in Grossherzoglichen Gemälde-Gallerie zu Schwerin
Place of PublicationSchwerin
Year of Publication1882
Schlie 1882 22
AuthorFriedrich Schlie
TitleKurzes Verzeichniss der Bilder in der Grossherzoglichen Gemälde-Gallerie zu Schwerin
Place of PublicationSchwerin
Year of Publication1882
Schlie 1883 18
AuthorFriedrich Schlie
TitleKurzes Verzeichniss der Bilder in der Grossherzoglichen Gemälde-Gallerie zu Schwerin
Place of PublicationSchwerin
IssueSecond edition
Year of Publication1882
Prosch 1863 34 (III)
AuthorEduard Prosch
TitleCatalog und Inventarium der Grossherzoglichen Gemälde-Gallerie und der Grossherzoglichen Sammlung plastischer Kunstwerke in Schwerin
Year of Publication1863

Research History / Discussion

Although Cranach borrows the representation of the apple tree and the ornamentally stretched nude female figure against a backdrop of thick shrubbery from his depictions of Eve in the Fall of Man and despite the cautioning content Venus appears as a seductress. The strange position of the left hand was already represented by Hans Baldung Grien in his drawing of Eve from 1510 (pen and ink, Hamburg Kunsthalle). It recalls depictions of Venus with the brash Cupid within Cranach's oeuvre. [...]

The branch covering her [Venus'] vulva -visible on earlier photographs - was recognized to be a later addition (restoration of 1908?) and has been removed.

Numerous variants exist of which the Schwerin version features the earliest date. However Koepplin assumes that the version in the National Gallery, London (FR204K) was created as early as 1526 and that the painting in Schwerin is an exact copy of a lost original. The treetop laiden with apples associates it with the painting in London, a feature that is missing in the other variants listed by Friedländer, Rosenberg. The apple tree is also represented in the paintings 'Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg as St Jerome reading in a Landscape' (about 1527) and 'Samson and Delila' (1529), both painted around the same date.'

[Cat. Schwerin 1990, 19, 20]

  • Venus and Cupid as Honey Thief, 1527

Images

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Technical studies

07. 2013Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Infrared reflectography
  • irr

Underdrawing

DESCRIPTION

- an underdrawing is not readily visible

[Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2013]

  • photographed by Gunnar Heydenreich
  • photographed by Ingo Sandner
  • X-radiography
  • x_radiograph
  • x_radiograph

Condition Reports

Date1990

Later overpaint and retouching along the left edge, in the area of the joins and in the flesh paint.

[Cat. Schwerin 1990, 19]

Conservation History

Date1908

conservation treatment first recorded in 1908.

[Cat. Schwerin 1990, 19]

Citing from the Cranach Digital Archive

Entry with author
<author's name>, 'Venus and Cupid as Honey Thief', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_SMS_G199/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})
Entry with no author
'Venus and Cupid as Honey Thief', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document, entry or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_SMS_G199/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})

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