The Washing of the Feet

The Washing of the Feet

Title

The Washing of the Feet

[CDA 2010]

Painting on limewood

Medium

Painting on limewood

[Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz Berlin, revised 2010]

This depiction of the washing of feet, which took place during the Last Supper, closely follows the text in the bible (John 13, 1-20).

Christ kneels in front of Peter in the foreground and washes his feet. The other apostles are gathered around them, their gestures express both worry and devout

This depiction of the washing of feet, which took place during the Last Supper, closely follows the text in the bible (John 13, 1-20).

Christ kneels in front of Peter in the foreground and washes his feet. The other apostles are gathered around them, their gestures express both worry and devout prayer. The dining table is visible at the right edge of the panel and in the background Judas leaves the scene through a door.

[see Elke A. Werner, Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 213-214, No. IV.14]

Attributions
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Lucas Cranach the Younger

Attributions

Lucas Cranach the Elder

[Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 213-214, No. IV.14]
[Cat. Berlin 1883, 98f.]
[Schuchardt 1851 A, Bd. II, No. 16]
[Waagen, Cat. Berlin 1830, 143, No. 59]

Lucas Cranach the Younger

[Cat. Berlin 1891, No. 374A.]

Production date
153[7]

Production date

153[7]

[dated]
'153[7] the last number can be interpreted as a 7'
[Waagen, Cat. Berlin 1830, 143, No. 59.]

Dimensions
Dimensions of support: 149.9 x 113.5 cm

Dimensions

  • Dimensions of support: 149.9 x 113.5 cm

  • [Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, revised 2010]

Signature / Dating
Artist's insignia bottom right: winged serpent (with elevated wings) and dated '153[?]'

Signature / Dating

  • Artist's insignia bottom right: winged serpent (with elevated wings) and dated '153[?]'

Inscriptions and Labels
On the painted surface: - bottom left: '626' (possibly an old inventory number) Reverse of the panel: - top left, label: …

Inscriptions and Labels

Stamps, Seals, Labels:

  • On the painted surface: - bottom left:
  • '626' (possibly an old inventory number)
  • Reverse of the panel:
  • - top left, label:
  • 'Staatliche Museen Berlin - Gemäldegalerie
  • Inv.Nr. I. 641
  • Kat.Nr. 579
  • L. Cranach d. J.'
  • Top right, label:
  • 'Verwaltung der Schlösser u. Gärten Berlin
  • Kat.Nr. 11425
  • Lucas Cranach
  • Fußwaschung Christi'
  • Right centre, seal:
  • 'Koenigliche Museen Berlin'
  • Below, black stamp: 'I.641'
  • Bottom left and right, labels:
  • 'Gen. Kat.
  • No. 11425'
  • Right below, label:
  • 'KNr. 579
  • Inv. I/649'
  • [Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz Berlin, revised 2010]
Owner
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie
Repository
Grunewald hunting lodge
Location
Grunewald
CDA ID
DE_smbGG_579
FR (1978) Nr.
FR374A
Persistent Link
https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_smbGG_579/

Provenance

  • probably taken from the cathedral (Domkirche) in the 17th century and placed in the Erasmus chapel (Erasmuskapelle) of the Berlin palace; eight Passion paintings are listed in the Berlin palace inventory from 1700
    [Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 213, Nos. IV.14-22]

  • after its return from Wiesbaden (probably 1932) the painting was lent to the Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten (1960) in Charlottenburg palace (Schloss Charlottenburg), depot

  • 1973 returned to Dahlem for an exhibition

  • Since 5 June 1974 again on loan to Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten, Gunewald hunting lodge (Jagdschloss Grunewald)
    (note in the file)
    [Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz Berlin, revised 2011]

Exhibitions

Berlin 2009, 213, 214, Fig. IV.14
Berlin 1980, 102
Berlin 1973, No. 6a

Literature

Reference on page Catalogue Number Figure / Plate
Sandner, Heydenreich, Smith-Contini 2015 136, Fn. 61
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
Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009 A 213-214 No. IV.14 Fig. IV.14
EditorStiftung Preussische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg
TitleCranach und die Kunst der Renaissance unter den Hohenzollern. Kirche, Hof und Stadtkultur
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication2009
Tacke 2007 C 81, 82, 84
AuthorAndreas Tacke
TitleMit Cranachs Hilfe: Antireformatorische Kunstwerke vor dem Tridentiner Konzil
Publicationin Bodo Brinkmann, ed., Cranach der Ältere, [Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt am Main]
Place of PublicationOstfildern
Year of Publication2007
Link http://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/artdok/volltexte/2012/2000
Pages81-89
Cat. Berlin 1996 35 Fig. 79
AuthorRainald Grosshans, Henning Bock
EditorStaatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie
TitleGemäldegalerie Berlin. Gesamtverzeichnis
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication1996
Erichsen 1994 A 157, 158
AuthorJohannes Erichsen
TitleAltäre Lucas Cranachs und seiner Werkstatt vor der Reformation
Publicationin Claus Grimm, Johannes Erichsen, Evamaria Brockhof, eds., Lucas Cranach. Ein Maler-Unternehmen aus Franken, Exhib. Cat. Kronach 1994
SeriesVeröffentlichungen zur bayerischen Geschichte und Kultur
Volume26/94
Place of PublicationAugsburg, Regensburg
Year of Publication1994
Pages150-165
Börsch-Supan 1980 18 No. 3
AuthorHelmut Börsch-Supan
TitleDie Kunst in Brandenburg-Preußen: ihre Geschichte von der Renaissance bis zum Biedermeier dargestellt am Kunstbesitz der Berliner Schlösser
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication1980
Exhib. Cat. Berlin 1980 A 102
AuthorVictor H. Elbern, Herbert Schade
EditorStaatliche Museen, Berlin
TitleChristus und Maria. Menschensohn und Gottesmutter
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication1980
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979 145 No. 374A
AuthorMax J. Friedländer, Jakob Rosenberg
EditorG. Schwartz
TitleDie Gemälde von Lucas Cranach
Place of PublicationBasel, Boston, Stuttgart
Year of Publication1979
Exhib. Cat. Berlin 1973 No. 6a
AuthorWilhelm H. Köhler, Frank Steigerwald
TitleLucas Cranach. Gemälde, Zeichnungen, Druckgraphik
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication1973
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932 294-299
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
Friedländer 1905 64
AuthorMax J. Friedländer
TitleDie Tafelmalerei des 15. und 16. Jahrhunderts
Publicationin Oscar Döring, Georg Voss, eds., Meisterwerke der Kunst aus Sachsen und Thüringen
Place of PublicationMagdeburg
Year of Publication1905
Pages3-18
Borrmann 1893 107, 163
AuthorRichard Borrmann
TitleDie Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler von Berlin
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication1893
Cat. Berlin 1883 98-99
AuthorMax Jordan
EditorStaatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie
TitleBeschreibung des Gebaudes, Geschichte der Sammlung, Verzeichniss Sammtlicher Kunstwerke mit drei Grundrissen
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication1883
Schuchardt 1851 C 15-16 8
AuthorChristian Schuchardt
TitleLucas Cranach des Aeltern Leben und Werke. Zweiter Theil
Place of PublicationLeipzig
Year of Publication1851
Link http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/schuchardt1851bd2
Cat. Berlin 1830 143 No. II.59
AuthorGustav Friedrich Waagen
EditorKönigliches Museum, Berlin
TitleVerzeichniß der Gemälde-Sammlung des Königlichen Museums zu Berlin
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication1830
Puhlmann 1790 35 No. 32
AuthorJohann Gottlieb Puhlmann
TitleBeschreibung der Gemählde welche sich in der Bildergallerie, den daranstossenden Zimmern, und dem weissen Saale im Königl. Schlosse zu Berlin befinden
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication1790

Research History / Discussion

'The last figure of the date was probably reconstructed to create a 7.'

[Waagen 1830, 143, No. 59.]

'Since 1891 the painting has been attributed to Lucas Cranach the Younger due to certain stylistic characteristics and the appearance of the insignia (the feathers of the wings are curved upwards and the middle loop of the snake is higher).'

[Gemäldegalerie, revised 2010]

[Cat. Berlin 1891, No. 374A.]

'The painting is one of nine Passion panels that were originally parts of an unknown number of winged altarpieces. Commissioned by Joachim II Lucas Cranach the Elder and his workshop created them for the collegial church in Berlin (Berliner Stiftskirche) between 1537 and 1538. This is one of the central panels, which was probably flanked by full-length depictions of saints on the wings and complemented by scenes from the old testament on the predella. […] The Berlin Passion cycle was based on the 16 Passion altarpieces, which were commissioned by Cardinal Albrecht from Lucas Cranach the Elder and his workshop for the collegial church in Halle (Hallenser Stiftskirche) (about 1520-1525) and it was the second large painted Passion series created in the Cranach workshop. Not only are numerous central panels now missing from the Berlin Passion altarpieces, like for example ‚The Arrest of Christ‘ or ‚The Crucifixion‘, but in addition the whereabouts of all the wing panels and a large number of the predella panels is unknown. They were probably lost in 1613 when Elector Johann Sigismund converted to Calvinism. […]'

[Elke A. Werner, Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 213, No. IV.14-22]

'It is uncertain whether the Berlin Passion Cycle began with this scene or if other scenes like the entry into Jerusalem or the Last Supper preceded it.'

[Elke A. Werner, Exhib. Cat. Berlin 2009, 213-214, No. IV.14]

  • The Washing of the Feet, 153[7]

Images

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  • reverse
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  • detail
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Technical studies

2010Technical Examination

  • reverse

Support

- the original surface on the reverse of the panel has been preserved

- a rebate (1 cm in width) is present on all four sides; a thin white ground and a black glaze were applied to the edges, holding the centre in reserve

Framing

- 2009 new frame for the Cranach exhibition

  • written by Christine Unsinn

2010Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Infrared reflectography
  • irr

Underdrawing

DESCRIPTION

Tools/Materials:

- fluid, black medium and brush

Type/Ductus:

- detailed and freehand underdrawing

- thin lines; predominantly short lines in combination with some longer ones

Function:

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

Deviations:

- minor alterations made during the painting process to clearly define form (e.g. Christ’s left hand)

INTERPRETATION

Attribution:

- Lucas Cranach the Elder

[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>, 'The Washing of the Feet', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_smbGG_579/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})
Entry with no author
'The Washing of the Feet', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document, entry or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_smbGG_579/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})

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