Melancholy

Melancholy

Title

Melancholy

[Statens Museum for Kunst, revised 2013]

Painting on wood

Medium

Painting on wood

[Statens Museum for Kunst, revised 2013]

A woman figure with wings sits in the right side of the painting whittling on a stick, apparently in the process of making a hoop. At the left side of the painting three naked boys are playing a game, where they try to get a large ball through a hoop

A woman figure with wings sits in the right side of the painting whittling on a stick, apparently in the process of making a hoop. At the left side of the painting three naked boys are playing a game, where they try to get a large ball through a hoop by means of a stick.

[Statens Museum for Kunst, revised 2013]

Attribution
Lucas Cranach the Elder

Attribution

Lucas Cranach the Elder

[Statens Museum for Kunst, revised 2013]
[Exhib. Cat. Hamburg 2003, No. 26]

Production date
1532

Production date

1532

[dated]

Dimensions
Dimension of support: 51 x 97 cm

Dimensions

  • Dimension of support: 51 x 97 cm

  • Dimensions including frame: 66.3 x 111.7 x 8.3 cm

  • [Statens Museum for Kunst, revised 2013]

Signature / Dating
Artist's insignia at the bottom right on the stone block: winged serpent facing left and dated '1532'

Signature / Dating

  • Artist's insignia at the bottom right on the stone block: winged serpent facing left and dated '1532'

  • [Statens Museum for Kunst, revised 2013]

Inscriptions and Labels
Recto: - at bottom right: 'KGL. GALLERI COPENHAG / 74. L. CRANACH.' Reverse of the panel: - stencil: 'KMS / Sp 722' - pencil: …

Inscriptions and Labels

Stamps, Seals, Labels:

  • Recto: - at bottom right:
  • 'KGL. GALLERI COPENHAG[EN] / 74. L. CRANACH.'
  • Reverse of the panel:
  • - stencil: 'KMS / Sp 722'
  • - pencil: '69'
  • - chalk: '69'
  • - in chalk: 'A 158' (upside down)
  • - along the upper join:
  • in reddish paint (again upside down), illegible writing, also a symbol with a star in a box.
  • - folded over the vertical edge, on an adhesive label over an old paper with varnish over it: 'ROR Ej'
  • [Statens Museum for Kunst, revised 2013]
Owner
Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen
Repository
Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen
Location
Copenhagen
CDA ID
DK_SMK_KMSsp722
FR (1978) Nr.
FR276
Persistent Link
https://lucascranach.org/en/DK_SMK_KMSsp722/

Provenance

  • in Gottorps Inventory 1710
  • in Gottorps Inventory 1743, this was used by the delivery in Copenhagen in 1759
  • from Gottorp 1759
    [Statens Museum for Kunst, revised 2013]

Exhibitions

Stockholm 1988
Copenhagen 2002
Hamburg 2003, No. 26
Rome 2010, No. 12

Literature

Reference on page Catalogue Number Figure / Plate
Bonnet, Görres 2015 70-71 24 p. 71
AuthorAnne-Marie Bonnet, Daniel Görres
TitleLucas Cranach d. Ä. - Maler der Deutschen Renaissance
Place of PublicationMunich
Year of Publication2015
Spira 2015 59 Fig. 11
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
Axthelm-Hoffmann 2012 192-193 4
AuthorDagmar Hoffmann-Axthelm
TitleVanitas. Lukas Cranachs Melancholia-Gemälde (1533)
JournalMusic in Art. International Journal of Music Iconography
Issue37, 1/2
Year of Publication2012
Pages191-206
Bonnet, Kopp-Schmidt, Görres 2010 182-183 24
AuthorAnne-Marie Bonnet, Gabriele Kopp-Schmidt, Daniel Görres
TitleDie Malerei der deutschen Renaissance
Place of PublicationMunich
Year of Publication2010
Exhib. Cat. Rome 2010 164 - 167 No. 12 Pl. pp. 166, 167
EditorGalleria Borghese, Rome, Anna Coliva, Bernard Aikema
TitleCranach. L'altro rinascimento / a different renaissance, [Rome, Galleria Borghese 15 ottobre 2010 - 13 febbraio 2011]
Place of PublicationMilan
Year of Publication2010
Exhib. Cat. Hamburg 2003 83, 170, 171 026 Pl. 26
EditorBucerius Kunst Forum, Werner Schade
TitleLucas Cranach. Glaube, Mythologie und Moderne [Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg]
Place of PublicationOstfildern-Ruit
Year of Publication2003
Foister 2003 120
AuthorSusan Foister
TitleCranachs Mythologien. Quellen und Originalität
Publicationin Heinz Spielmann, Werner Schade, eds., Lucas Cranach. Glaube, Mythologie und Moderne, Exhib. Cat. Hamburg 2003
Place of PublicationOstfildern-Ruit
Year of Publication2003
Pages116-129
Koepplin 2003 C 147, 148, 151 Fig. 39
AuthorDieter Koepplin
TitleEin Cranach-Prinzip
Publicationin Heinz Spielmann, Werner Schade, eds., Lucas Cranach. Glaube, Mythologie und Moderne, Exhib. Cat. Hamburg 2003
Place of PublicationOstfildern-Ruit
Year of Publication2003
Pages144-165
Kolind Poulsen 2003 143, Fn. 39
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
Spielmann 10
AuthorHeinz Spielmann
TitleCranach als Parameter
Publicationin Heiz Spielmann, Werner Schade, eds., Lucas Cranach Glaube Mythologie und Maderne , Exhib. Cat. Hamburg 2003
Place of PublicationOstfildern-Ruit
Year of Publication2003
Pages6-11
Exhib. Cat. Copenhagen 2002
AuthorHanne Kolind Poulsen
TitleCranach [Statens Museum for Kunst , Copenhagen]
Place of PublicationCopenhagen
Year of Publication2002
Exhib. Cat. Stockholm 1988 43 No. 21 Fig.
EditorNationalmuseum, Stockholm
TitleCranach och den tyska renässancen
Place of PublicationStockholm
Year of Publication1988
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979 No. 276
AuthorMax J. Friedländer, Jakob Rosenberg
EditorG. Schwartz
TitleDie Gemälde von Lucas Cranach
Place of PublicationBasel, Boston, Stuttgart
Year of Publication1979
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932 227
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
  • Melancholy, 1532

Images

Compare images
  • overall
  • overall
  • overall
  • reverse
  • x_radiograph
  • x_radiograph
  • x_radiograph
  • x_radiograph
  • x_radiograph
  • x_radiograph
  • uv_light

Technical studies

2013Technical Examination

  • reverse
  • uv_light

Support

The wooden support of the painting is about 14 mm thick.

The support is not oak, but has a light colour and a more soft texture. The panel consists of four planks with horizontal grains and they are joined together with glue.

The top joint on the back is reinforced with fibres in a greyish matrix over part of its length.

All four sides of the back of the panel has non-original bevels and the panel appears to have been cut all around – at the top edge this has made a mini-rebate, which is probably accidental.

The panel has a convex warp and extensive woodworm damage (not active).

Ground and Imprimatura

Transparent layer of flesh tone colour (warm) seems to be throughout the painting.

The edges around the child figures and the background show the imprimatur.

Underdrawing

There is a red chalk underdrawing.

Changes were made from the incisions in the architecture. The initial red chalk underdrawing indicates these changes.

Paint Layers and Gilding

The painting is thinly painted with oil paint.

The flesh colours are extremely thin/transparent, imprimatur used in the children. Melancholy has lighter skin, the paint layer has become semi-transparent over the years and some underdrawing is somewhat visible.

The paint layer in the dress (orange) seems slightly thicker as well as the blue/grey parts. The green glazes in the background landscape are also slightly thicker.

The imprimatur is used by the artist through various thicknesses of the paint layers. The warmth of the imprimatur is tones by the thickness of the upper cooler layer (mountain, sky etc.).

Most of the paint layers are applied in thin glazes, using the imprimatur as under modelling.

The thicker paint layer in the blue/grey areas of Melancholy’s dress is applied with a broader brush, maybe even fingers. This bluish layer is significantly different due to thickness.

The finishing touch of the painting is the details such as hair, threes etc. They were painted with a very fine brush and some areas on the painting were drawn up (to clarify) e.g. lips on child figures.

Framing

The frame is painted black and partly gilded and with wave moulding. The frame has lots of losses, dents, abrasions and scratches along the outer edges.

Unknown whether the frame is the original.

[Mette Kokkenborg, Statens Museum for Kunst, 2013]

23.08.2007Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • UV-light photography
  • uv_light
  • photographed by Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

19.07.2006Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Infrared reflectography
  • photographed by Rachael Billinge
  • Micro-sampling / cross-sections

- no examination or analysis results

  • X-radiography
  • x_radiograph
  • x_radiograph
  • x_radiograph
  • x_radiograph
  • x_radiograph
  • created by Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

Condition Reports

Date17.09.2010

  • examined by Karen-Marie Henriksen

Date17.09.2007

  • examined by Loa Ludvigsen

Date14.09.2007

  • examined by Loa Ludvigsen

Date12.09.2007

Date25.03.2003

  • examined by Henrik Bjerre

Date01. 1966

  • examined by Ole Alkærsig

Citing from the Cranach Digital Archive

Entry with author
<author's name>, 'Melancholy', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DK_SMK_KMSsp722/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})
Entry with no author
'Melancholy', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document, entry or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DK_SMK_KMSsp722/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})

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