Portrait of the Emperor Charles V

Portrait of the Emperor Charles V

Title

Portrait of the Emperor Charles V

[Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, revised 2012]

Painting on beech wood

Medium

Painting on beech wood

[Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, revised 2012]

Cranach executed various portraits of the Emperor Charles V, the first when the sitter was aged only eight and was Archduke at the court of Margaret of Austria, now lost. In the present portrait the Emperor is depicted bust-length, his body outlined against the green background. The depiction of the

Cranach executed various portraits of the Emperor Charles V, the first when the sitter was aged only eight and was Archduke at the court of Margaret of Austria, now lost. In the present portrait the Emperor is depicted bust-length, his body outlined against the green background. The depiction of the face is not idealised and reproduces Charles' distinctive features with his prominent jaw and bulging lower lip. The only element that refers to his royal status is the emblem of the Golden Fleece hanging from the chain that he wears.

[Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, revised 2012]

Attribution
Lucas Cranach the Elder

Attribution

Lucas Cranach the Elder

[Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, revised 2012]

Production date
1533

Production date

1533

[dated]

Dimensions
Dimensions of support: 51.2 x 36 cm

Dimensions

  • Dimensions of support: 51.2 x 36 cm

  • Dimensions including frame: 72.5 x 58 x 6 cm

  • [Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, revised 2012]

Signature / Dating
Artist's insignia on the right in the centre: winged serpent with elevated wings facing left between the date '1533'; in yellow paint

Signature / Dating

  • Artist's insignia on the right in the centre: winged serpent with elevated wings facing left between the date '1533'; in yellow paint

Inscriptions and Labels
Reverse of the panel: label and seal 'Coll. Goudsticker', nº 2814 with an older ink inscription 'Ein wahres Original von …

Inscriptions and Labels

Stamps, Seals, Labels:

  • Reverse of the panel:
  • label and seal 'Coll. Goudsticker', nº 2814 with an older ink inscription 'Ein wahres Original von Lucas Cranach' (a genuine original by Lucas Cranach).
  • [Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, revised 2012]
Owner
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Repository
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Location
Madrid
CDA ID
ES_MTB_112-1933-7
FR (1978) Nr.
FR345
Persistent Link
https://lucascranach.org/en/ES_MTB_112-1933-7/

Provenance

  • Von Wallenberg Collection, Illnisch
  • 1932 J. Rosenbaum, Frankfurt
  • Gallery J. Goudstikker (art dealer), Amsterdam
  • 1933 Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Lugano
  • 1992 on deposit in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
  • 1993 aquired for the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

[Museo Thyssen-Bormemisza, revised 2012]

Exhibitions

Dresden 1899
London 1961, No. 35
Basel 1974, No. 197
Bonn 1998, No. 75
Gante 1999, No. 116
La Coruña 2000, No. 2
Toledo 2000, No. 111
Bilbao 2005
Madrid 2007, No. 126
Rotterdam 2008, No. 46
Rom 2010, No. 14
Madrid 2011

Literature

Reference on page Catalogue Number Figure / Plate
Heydenreich 2015 122 Fig. 5f
AuthorGunnar Heydenreich
TitleHans Cranach. Auf der Suche nach seinem verlorenen Oeuvre
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/5415/6232/3883/Heydenreich_2015_-_Hans_Cranach.pdf
Pages116 -127
Exhib. Cat. Madrid 2011 168-169
EditorFernando Checa
TitleLa Orden del Toisón de Oro y sus soberanos (1430-2011) [Madrid, Fundación Carlos de Amberes]
Place of PublicationMadrid
Year of Publication2011
Borggrefe 2010 63 Fig. p. 62
AuthorHeiner Borggrefe
TitleLucas Cranach vs. Tiziano. Il ritratto nell'ambito della politica europea; Lucas Cranach vs. Titian. Portraiture and European Politics
Publicationin Anna Coliva, Bernhard Aikema, eds., Cranach l'altro rinascimento, a different Renaissance, Exhib. Cat. Rome
Place of PublicationMilan
Year of Publication2010
Pages62 - 73
Exhib. Cat. Rome 2010 173 - 175 No. 14 Pl. p. 175
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
Manfredi 2010 141 Fig. 25
EditorAntonio Manfredi
TitleOrigini della Biblioteca Vaticana Tra Umanesimo e Rinascimento (1447-1534)
SeriesStoria della Biblioteca apostolica vaticana
Place of PublicationVatican City/Rome
Year of Publication2010
Agati 2009 164, 165, 324
AuthorSalvatore Agati
TitleCarlo V e la Sicilia. Tra guerre, rivolte, fede e ragion di Stato
Place of PublicationCatania
Year of Publication2009
Cat. Madrid 2009 264 Fig.
EditorMar Borobia, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
TitleMuseo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Pintura Antigua
Place of PublicationMadrid
Year of Publication2009
Exhib. Cat. Madrid 2008 108 No. 21 Fig. 39
EditorMuseo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
TitleOtto Dix. Retrato de Hugo Erfurth. Técnicas y secretos [Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza]
Place of PublicationMadrid
Year of Publication2008
Exhib. Cat. Rotterdam 2008 131-135, 147 No. 46
EditorPeter van der Coelen
TitleImages of Erasmus [Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen]
Place of PublicationRotterdam
Year of Publication2008
Exhib. Cat. Madrid 2007/2008 395, 400-401 No. 126 Fig. p. 439
EditorFernando Checa
TitleDurero y Cranach. Arte y Humanismo en la Alemania del Renacimiento [Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza]
Place of PublicationMadrid
Year of Publication2007
Exhib. Cat. Bilbao 2005
EditorGuggenheim Museum Bilbao
TitleEl Imperio Azteca [Bilbao, Museo Guggenheim Bilbao]
Place of Publication[Bilbao]
Year of Publication2005
Pérez-Jofre 2001 147, 150 Fig.
AuthorTeresa Pérez-Jofre
EditorMuseo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
TitleGrandes obras de arte
Place of PublicationCologne
Year of Publication2001
Exhib. Cat. La Coruña 2000 No. 2
EditorFernando A. Martín García
TitleEl arte de la plata y de las joyas en la España de Carlos V [La Coruña, Palacio Municipal de Exposiciones Kiosko Alfonso]
Place of Publication[Madrid]
Year of Publication2000
Exhib. Cat. Toledo 2000 No. 111
EditorFernando Checa
TitleCarolus [Toledo, Museo de Santa Cruz]
Place of Publication[Madrid]
Year of Publication2000
Exhib. Cat. Ghent 1999 No. 116
AuthorHugo van de Wiele, Johan Soly
TitleCarolus. Charles Quint 1500-1558 [Ghent, Kunsthal De Sint-Pietersabdij]
Place of PublicationGhent
Year of Publication1999
Exhib. Cat. Bonn 1998 No. 75
Authorn. a.
TitleHoch Renaissance im Vatikan (1503-1534). Kunst und Kultur im Rom der Päpste I [Bonn, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland]
Place of PublicationVatican/Rome
Year of Publication1998
Hinz 1994 A 50-52 Fig.
AuthorBerthold Hinz
TitleLucas Cranach d. Ä. und seine Bildermanufaktur. Eine Künstlersozialgeschichte
Place of PublicationMunich
Year of Publication1994
Cat. Madrid 1992 296, 672 No. 112
AuthorMar Borobia, Pita Andrade, José Manuel
EditorMuseo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
TitleMaestros Antiguos del Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
Place of PublicationBarcelona
Year of Publication1992
Lübbeke 1991 210-213 No. 48 Fig.
AuthorSammlung Thyssen-Bornemisza, Isolde Lübbeke
TitleThe Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection. Early German painting 1350-1550
Place of PublicationLondon
Year of Publication1991
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979 No. 345
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 285, 302-303 No. 197 Fig. 164
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
Cat. Lugano-Castagnola 1971
AuthorJohann Ebbinge-Wubben, Charles James Sterling, Christian A. zu Salm
EditorRudolf Heinemann, Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection
TitleSammlung Thyssen-Bornemisza
Volume1, 2
Place of PublicationZurich
Year of Publication1971
Cat. Lugano-Castagnola 1969 88 (vol. 1) No. 79 Fig. 61 (vol. 2)
AuthorJohann Ebbinge-Wubben, Charles James Sterling, Christian A. zu Salm
EditorRudolf Heinemann, Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection
TitleThe Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection
Volume1, 2
Place of PublicationLugano-Castagnola
Year of Publication1969
Cat. Lugano-Castagnola 1964
EditorRudolf Heinemann, Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection
TitleCollection Chateau de Rohoncz
Place of PublicationLugano
Year of Publication1964
Exhib. Cat. London 1961 No. 35
EditorThe National Gallery, London
TitleFrom Van Eyck to Tiepolo. An Exhibition of Pictures from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection [London, The National Gallery]
Place of PublicationLondon
Year of Publication1961
Cat. Lugano-Castagnola 1958 No. 107
AuthorRudolf Heinemann
EditorThyssen-Bornemisza Collection
TitleStiftung Sammlung Schloss Rohoncz
Place of PublicationLugano-Castagnola
Year of Publication1958
Exhib. Cat. Lugano 1949 26 No. 68
AuthorRudolf Heinemann, Adolf Feulner
EditorThyssen-Bornemisza Collection
TitleAus dem Besitz der Stiftung Sammlung Schloss Rohoncz [Lugano-Castagnola, Villa Favorita]
Place of PublicationLugano-Castagnola
Year of Publication1949
Cat. Lugano-Castagnola 1937 38-39 107 Pl. 52 (vol. 2)
AuthorRudolf Heinemann
EditorThyssen-Bornemisza Collection
TitleStiftung Sammlung Schloss Rohoncz
Volume2 vols
Place of PublicationLugano-Castagnola
Year of Publication1937
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932 80 279 Fig. 279
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
Hugelshofer 1930
AuthorWalter Hugelshofer
TitleDie altdeutschen Bilder der Sammlung Schloss Rohoncz
JournalDer Cicerone
IssueVol. 22
Year of Publication1930
Pages410-412
Exhib. Cat. Dresden 1899 53
EditorKarl Woermann
TitleDeutsche Kunstausstellung Dresden 1899. Abteilung Cranach-Ausstellung. Wissenschaftliches Verzeichnis der ausgestellten Werke
Place of PublicationDresden
Year of Publication1899
Link http://resolver.staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/SBB00002A2400000000

Research History / Discussion

Cranach painted his first portrait of Charles V (Ghent, 1500–Yuste, 1558) in 1508 during a trip to the Low Countries that he made in the autumn of that year. Little is known of that work, which has not survived, in which the artist depicted the eight-year old future emperor when he was Archduke at the court of Margaret of Austria. The second meeting between the painter and Charles took place in 1547 after the battle of Mühlberg when Cranach interceded before the monarch for John Frederick of Saxony who had been taken prisoner during the battle and condemned to death.

Charles is depicted bust-length against a plain green background with the light falling from the left, his head turning towards the viewer. The only indication of the rank of the sitter, who is easily identifiable from his physical characteristics, is the chain with the emblem of the Order of the Golden Fleece. The chain is formed from alternating flame and flint-shaped links with the Fleece hanging from the centre. Charles is depicted in numerous portraits with this symbol of power but with variations in the two elements, the chain and Fleece, of which it is comprised. The colour range in this portrait is a limited one, consisting of the black of the clothing and the cap — an accessory used in other portraits of the Emperor — and the chestnut tone of the hair, beard and fur collar of the coat.

In this panel Cranach used a format that he had developed and widely used in his court portraits, depicting the Emperor without any type of idealisation. Thus we see the long face with its protruding jaw, partly hidden by the beard, as well as the large nose and fleshy lower lip. This realistic approach contrasts with official portraits of Charles by Titian in which the Venetian artist placed less emphasis on the sitter’s physical defects.

The fact that the Emperor looks to the left has led to the suggestion that this image formed part of a pair. However, the sitter’s rank would make it unlikely that he would be located on the right side, which was traditionally the less important side, and the only figure who could occupy the other side would be his grandfather, Maximilian I. It has also been suggested that the panel formed part of a series of portraits of sovereigns commissioned by the Reformers as a present for the Emperor.

[Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, revised 2012]

  • Portrait of the Emperor Charles V, 1533

Images

Compare images
  • overall
  • irr
  • x_radiograph
  • detail
  • detail
  • detail
  • other

Technical studies

09.01.2013Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Micro-sampling / cross-sections
  • Instrumental material analysis

Cross-sections; pigment analysis; medium analysis:

Summary translation from the spanish text [ES_MTB_112-1933-7_FR345_2013_Document-001.pdf]

CROSS-SECTION 1:

Sample location: Golden Fleece around the sitter's neck

Brief description:

1. ground: calcium carbonate

2. lead white, earth pigments and scant carbon black pigment particles

3. bright yellow layer: large quantities of lead tin yellow, lead white, calcium carbonate

Medium: linseed oil

Varnish: rosin

CONCLUSION:

An initial ground application containing calcium carbonate is followed by a dark layer (lead white, earth pigments and scant quantities of carbon black) which corresponds with the pendant on the chain. Subsequently a bright yellow layer consisting of a mixture of lead white, calcium carbonate and large quantities of lead tin yellow was applied. The binding medium is linseed oil and the present varnish is a rosin resin.

  • analysed by Andrés Sánchez Ledesma
  • analysed by Laboratorio de análisis Museo Thyssen Bornemisza

2012Technical examination / Scientific analysis

Support

- beech

- the support is used with the grain running horizontally

- front and back have been separated and reinforced by insertion of a wooden board.

- the paint surface is probably in the original format.

Underdrawing

- the sparse underdrawing is hardly more visible with infra-red reflectography than with the naked eye

[Museo Thyssen Bornemisza, revised 2012]

  • written by Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

2012Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Infrared reflectography
  • irr

Underdrawing

DESCRIPTION

Tools/Materials:

- dry drawing material, dark chalk (in the face) in combination with a fluid black medium and a brush

Type/Ductus:

- possibly delicate, fine copied lines (visible in the face)

- thin (executed with a brush?) lines for the contours of the hat

Function:

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

Deviations:

- minor alterations made during the painting process to clearly define form

INTERPRETATION

Attribution:

- not possible

Comments:

- possibly transferred from a pre-existing design and reinforced with lines employing a brush

[Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2013]

  • photographed by Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

2006Technologische Untersuchung / Naturwissenschaftliche Materialanalyse

  • X-radiography
  • x_radiograph
  • created by Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

Condition Reports

Date2012

Retouches and losses on the right in the area of the fur collar; cracking, where the panel was damaged by stabbing in the region of the emperor's heart.

[Museo Thyssen Bornemisza, revised 2012]

  • written by Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

Citing from the Cranach Digital Archive

Entry with author
<author's name>, 'Portrait of the Emperor Charles V', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/ES_MTB_112-1933-7/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})
Entry with no author
'Portrait of the Emperor Charles V', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document, entry or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/ES_MTB_112-1933-7/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})

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