The Virgin with Child with a Bunch of Grapes

The Virgin with Child with a Bunch of Grapes

Title

The Virgin with Child with a Bunch of Grapes

[Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, revised 2012]

Painting on beech wood (laminated onto a pine wood board)

Medium

Painting on beech wood (laminated onto a pine wood board)

[Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, revised 2012]

In this work the artist depicts the Virgin in the foreground, using a delicate sfumato derived from Italian art. Cranach's most characteristic style, however, cannot be described as Italian, and he developed the classic female prototype within German Renaissance art. In the present painting the Christ Child, seated on Mary's

In this work the artist depicts the Virgin in the foreground, using a delicate sfumato derived from Italian art. Cranach's most characteristic style, however, cannot be described as Italian, and he developed the classic female prototype within German Renaissance art. In the present painting the Christ Child, seated on Mary's lap, has a surprisingly unattractive face. The grape, which he takes from the bunch that his mother holds, refers to the Eucharist and to his role as Redeemer. Cranach depicts a forest in the background with a fortress on the right and a path leading up to it with a figure that has been identified as Saint Joseph. The fortress and the pine tree on the left are recurring elements in Cranach's religious compositions. This panel is notable for the exquisitely detailed treatment of the landscape, which contrasts with the monumental figure style. Painted in oil, it is signed on the low wall behind the Virgin with Cranach's usual symbol of the winged serpent.

[Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, revised 2012]

Attribution
Lucas Cranach the Elder

Attribution

Lucas Cranach the Elder

[Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, revised 2012]

Production date
about 1509 - 1510

Production date

about 1509 - 1510

[Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, revised 2012]

Dimensions
Dimensions of support: 71.5 x 44.2 cm

Dimensions

  • Dimensions of support: 71.5 x 44.2 cm

  • Dimensions including frame: 88 x 63 cm

  • [Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, revised 2012]

Signature / Dating
Artist's insignia on the illuminated surface of the wall behind the Virgin: winged serpent with elevated wings facing left

Signature / Dating

  • Artist's insignia on the illuminated surface of the wall behind the Virgin: winged serpent with elevated wings facing left

  • [Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, revised 2012]

Inscriptions and Labels
None

Inscriptions and Labels

Inscriptions, Badges:

  • None
Owner
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Repository
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Location
Madrid
CDA ID
ES_MTB_114-1936-1
FR (1978) Nr.
FR030
Persistent Link
https://lucascranach.org/en/ES_MTB_114-1936-1/

Provenance

  • R. Langton Douglas, London
  • R. Ederheimer, New York
  • Schniewind Collection, New York
  • 1936 Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Lugano
  • in 1992 on deposit in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
  • in 1993 aquired by the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
    [Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, revised 2012]

Exhibitions

Rotterdam 1959/Essen 1960, no. 11
London 1961, no. 33
Basel 1974, no. 372
Washington (DC), Detroit (MI), Minneapolis (MN), Cleveland (OH), Los Angeles (CA), Denver (CO), Fort Worth (TX), Kansas City (MO), New York (NY) 1979 - 1981, No. 30
Paris 1982, No. 32
St Petersburg 1987, No. 12
Stuttgart 1988, No. 16
Madrid 2007, No. 154
Rome 2010, No. 48

Literature

Reference on page Catalogue Number Figure/Plate
Luca 2017 43
AuthorFrancesca de Luca
TitleI volti della Riforma nelle collezioni granducali
Publicationin Francesca de Luca, Giovanni Maria Fara, eds., I volti della Riforma. Lutero e Cranach nelle collezioni medicee , Exhib. Cat. Florence, 2017
Place of PublicationFlorence, Milan
Year of Publication2017
Pages42-47
Exhib. Cat. Rome 2010 277 - 279 No. 48 Pl. p. 279
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
Cat. Madrid 2009 258-259 Fig.
EditorMar Borobia, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
TitleMuseo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Pintura Antigua
Place of PublicationMadrid
Year of Publication2009
Evans 2007 55, 56 10
AuthorMark Evans
Title"Die Italiener, sonst so ruhmsüchtig, bieten Dir die Hand": Lucas Cranach und die Kunst des Humanismus
Publicationin Bodo Brinkmann, ed., Cranach der Ältere, Exhib. Cat. Frankfurt
Place of PublicationOstfildern
Year of Publication2007
Pages49-61
Exhib. Cat. Madrid 2007/2008 323-325 No. 154 Fig. p. 351
EditorFernando Checa
TitleDurero y Cranach. Arte y Humanismo en la Alemania del Renacimiento [Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza]
Place of PublicationMadrid
Year of Publication2007
Heydenreich 2007 B 38
AuthorGunnar Heydenreich
Title"... dass Du mit wunderbarer Schnelligkeit malest". Virtuosität und Effizienz in der künstlerischen Praxis Lucas Cranachs d. Ä.
Publicationin Bodo Brinkmann, ed., Cranach der Ältere, Exhib. Cat. FrankfurtA
Place of PublicationOstfildern
Year of Publication2007
Pages29-47
Pérez-Jofre 2001 146-147 Fig.
AuthorTeresa Pérez-Jofre
EditorMuseo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
TitleGrandes obras de arte
Place of PublicationCologne
Year of Publication2001
Cat. Madrid 2000 64-65 Fig.
AuthorMar Borobia, Paloma Alarcó, Tomàs Llorens
EditorMuseo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
TitleObras maestras. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
Place of PublicationMadrid
Year of Publication2000
Heydenreich 1998 A 190
AuthorGunnar Heydenreich
TitleHerstellung, Grundierung und Rahmung der Holzbildträger in den Werkstätten Lucas Cranachs d.Ä.
Publicationin Ingo Sandner, Wartburg-Stiftung Eisenach and Fachhochschule Köln, eds., Unsichtbare Meisterzeichnungen auf dem Malgrund. Cranach und seine Zeitgenossen, Exhib. Cat. Eisenach
Place of PublicationRegensburg
Year of Publication1998
Pages181-200
Schade, Schuttwolf 1994 17, 18
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
Cat. Madrid 1992 296-297, 672 No. 114 Fig.
AuthorMar Borobia, Pita Andrade, José Manuel
EditorMuseo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
TitleMaestros Antiguos del Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
Place of PublicationBarcelona
Year of Publication1992
Lübbeke 1991 190-193 No. 42 Fig.
AuthorSammlung Thyssen-Bornemisza, Isolde Lübbeke
TitleThe Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection. Early German painting 1350-1550
Place of PublicationLondon
Year of Publication1991
Cat. Lugano-Castagnola 1989 89 Fig.
AuthorCaroline de Watteville
EditorThyssen-Bornemisza Collection
TitleThe Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection. Guide to the Exhibited Works
Place of PublicationMilan
Year of Publication1989
Exhib. Cat. Stuttgart 1988 No. 16
AuthorAlbert Boesten-Stengel
EditorThyssen-Bornemisza Collection
TitleMeisterwerke der Sammlung Thyssen-Bornemisza. Gemälde des 14 - 18 Jahrhunderts [Stuttgart, Staatsgalerie]
Place of PublicationStuttgart
Year of Publication1988
Exhib. Cat. Moscow, St Petersburg 1987 No. 12
Authorn. a.
TitleŠedevry zapadnoevropejskoj živopisi XIV-XVIII vv iz sobranija Tissen-Bornemisa [Moscow, Puškina; Leningrad, Gosud. Muzej Ermitaz]
Place of PublicationMilan
Year of Publication1987
Cat. Lugano-Castagnola 1986 86 No. 77 Fig.
EditorGertrude Borghero, Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection
TitleThyssen-Bornemisza Collection. Catalogue raisonné of the exhibited works of art
Place of PublicationMilan
Year of Publication1986
Exhib. Cat. Paris 1982 No. 32
AuthorAllen Rosenbaum
EditorThyssen-Bornemisza Collection
TitleCollection Thyssen-Bornemisza. Maîtres Anciens
Place of PublicationParis
Year of Publication1982
Exhib. Cat. Washington 1979 No. 30
AuthorAllen Rosenbaum
TitleOld Master Paintings from the Collection of Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza [Washington (DC), National Gallery of Art]
Place of PublicationWashington
Year of Publication1979
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1979 No. 30
AuthorMax J. Friedländer, Jakob Rosenberg
EditorG. Schwartz
TitleDie Gemälde von Lucas Cranach
Place of PublicationBasel, Boston, Stuttgart
Year of Publication1979
Sutton 1979 13, 19 Fig. 31
AuthorDenys Sutton
TitleRobert Langton Douglas, Part IV. A fresh start
JournalApollo
IssueVol. 110, No. 209
Year of Publication1979
Strieder 1975 170
AuthorPeter Strieder
TitleLucas-Cranach-Ausstellung in Basel (Ausst. Besprechung)
JournalKunstchronik
IssueJg. 28, Heft 5
Year of Publication1975
Pages165-171
Exhib. Cat. Basel 1974/1976 524-526 No. 372 Figs. 280, 281
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
Schade 1974 41, 60
AuthorWerner Schade
TitleDie Malerfamilie Cranach
Place of PublicationDresden
Year of Publication1974
Link http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/schade1974
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 87 (vol. 1) No. 77 Fig. 59 (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. 33
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
Exhib. Cat. Essen 1960 No. 11
Authorn. a.
TitleSammlung Thyssen-Bornemisza (Schloss Rohoncz). 110 Meisterwerke der europaischen Malerei des 14. bis 18. Jahrhunderts [Essen, Museum Folkswang]
Place of PublicationEssen
Year of Publication1960
Exhib. Cat. Rotterdam 1959 No. 11
Authorn. a.
TitleCollectie Thyssen-Bornemisza (Schloss Rohoncz).110 meesterwerken Europese schilderkunst van de XIVe-XVIIIe eeuw [Rotterdam, Museum Boymans-Van Beuningen]
Place of PublicationRotterdam
Year of Publication1959
Cat. Lugano-Castagnola 1958 No. 105
AuthorRudolf Heinemann
EditorThyssen-Bornemisza Collection
TitleStiftung Sammlung Schloss Rohoncz
Place of PublicationLugano-Castagnola
Year of Publication1958
Exhib. Cat. Lugano 1949 26 No. 67
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 38 105 Pl. 50 (vol. 2)
AuthorRudolf Heinemann
EditorThyssen-Bornemisza Collection
TitleStiftung Sammlung Schloss Rohoncz
Volume2 vols
Place of PublicationLugano-Castagnola
Year of Publication1937
Exhib. Cat. Cambridge, Mass. 1936 35 No. 75 Plate 17, Fig. 75
AuthorCharles L. Kuhn
EditorGermanic Museum, Cambridge, Mass.
TitleCatalogue of the Germanic Museum exhibition of German paintings of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Lent from American collections
Place of PublicationCambridge Mass.
Year of Publication1936
Kuhn 1936 35 075 pl. XVII
AuthorCharles L. Kuhn
TitleA Catalogue of German Paintings of the Middle Ages and Renaissance in American Collections
Place of PublicationCambridge, Mass.
Year of Publication1936
Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932 35 29 Fig. 29
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

Description/ Interpretation/ Comments

'The Venus in St Petersburg from 1509 (No. 21) is a very similar in style.'

[Friedländer, Rosenberg 1932, 35, No. 29]

Cranach’s religious paintings were extremely well received in his day. This was undoubtedly due in part to certain characteristic features that are to be found in this Virgin and Child, which is generally dated to the first decade of the 16th century. The Virgin’s face, which is softly outlined and modelled, recalls Leonardo’s technique of sfumato. Such features, which made Cranach’s figures particularly sweet and gentle, are to be found in his work of around 1509 and 1510 following a trip to the Low Countries during which he may have had the chance to study Italian art at the court of Margaret of Austria. In addition, a similar approach to volume is to be found in two important works of this period: Salome, in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in Kronach, and Venus and Cupid in The Hermitage, St. Petersburg. The present panel has been compared to those two works with regard to its date. Despite the softness evident in the two figures, whose heads are crowned with delicate, almost invisible, glowing haloes, the face of the Infant Christ is less pleasing with regard to its features and handling than Mary’s beautiful, rounded countenance.

The present panel has a landscape background, an element that was always crucial in Cranach’s compositions from the outset of his career and which contained elements that would subsequently be developed by the Danube School artists. This landscape, depicted from a high viewpoint, is organized around a large expanse of woodland that terminates in a chain of mountains painted in striking tones of blue, which leads the eye into the distance. The fortress on the top of the mountain on the right and the pine tree on the left are recurring motifs in Cranach’s compositions and are to be found in his Virgin and Child groups of around 1518. Lübbeke drew attention to the particular treatment that the artist gave to both the figures and the landscape in the present panel. In the landscape Cranach included the most minute details on a tiny scale such as the delicate branches of the trees, the shrubs and the fortress on the right. We can also make out a tiny figure who has been identified as Saint Joseph climbing up the steep path to the fortress. The precision in the depiction of the background contrasts with the brushwork and sense of monumentality of the foreground, occupied by the two figures. They are imbued with a sense of melancholy which is expressed in the Virgin’s gaze and in the Infant Christ’s self-absorption.

The fact that the composition includes a bunch of grapes held by the Virgin and which the Christ Child is eating has suggested a reference to the Eucharist and to Christ’s future role as Redeemer. The panel is signed with the winged serpent on the ledge on the left. Cranach derived this element from the coat-of-arms granted to him by the Elector of Saxony in 1508. On the death of his son Hans the artist modified the wings.

[Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, revised 2012]

  • The Virgin with Child with a Bunch of Grapes, about 1509 - 1510

Images

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

Technical studies

2012Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Infrared reflectography

Support

- beech wood

- the panel c. 4-6 mm thick is glued to a conifer board

- format is the original; probably slightly trimmed on the sides and minimally at the top: lower edge probably original

Underdrawing

- very sparse underdrawing visible with infra-red reflectography

[Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, revised 2012]

2008Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Infrared reflectography
  • irr

Underdrawing

DESCRIPTION

Tools/Materials:

- fluid black medium and brush

Type/Ductus:

- freehand underdrawing

- thin lines; in part slightly broader (in the robes)

Function:

- relatively binding for the final painted version; lines delineate contours; no representation of volume

Deviations:

- minor alterations made during the painting process to clearly define form; small changes (e.g. Christ’s head)

INTERPRETATION

Attribution:

- Lucas Cranach the Elder

[Smith, Sandner, Heydenreich, cda 2013]

  • photographed by Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

2007Technical examination / Scientific analysis

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

Condition Reports

Date2012

  • the panel c. 4-6 thick is glued to a conifer board

  • format is the original; probably slightly trimmed on the sides and minimally at the top: lower edge probably original

  • on the right edge some paint losses and fillings

  • vertical crack in the middle

[Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, revised 2012]

Citing from the Cranach Digital Archive

Entry with author
<author's name>, 'The Virgin with Child with a Bunch of Grapes', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/ES_MTB_114-1936-1/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})
Entry with no author
'The Virgin with Child with a Bunch of Grapes', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document, entry or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/ES_MTB_114-1936-1/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})

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