General Questions

What can I find on this website?

The Cranach Digital Archive (cda) is an interdisciplinary collaborative research resource, providing access to art historical, technical and conservation information on paintings by Lucas Cranach (1472 - 1553), his sons and his workshop.

What is the goal of Cranach Digital Archive?

The project aims to develop new methodologies for sharing documentation between institutions and across international borders, and to create new research tools to facilitate online study. 
For the first time high-resolution images of Cranach paintings and detailed results of profound interdisciplinary art historical and scientific research are made accessible to the public. Digital X-radiographs and Infrared-reflectograms provide insight into the making of the paintings and conservation documentation informs about changes in condition. The rich body of material that has been gained over years by collaborative efforts of art historians, conservators and scientists and by application of up-to-date analytical instrumentation in the partner museums will be shared in the internet bases on open source technology. The cda also encourages new forms of interdisciplinary scholarly research and teaching and enables professionals and the public to gain a deeper understanding of Cranach’s art.

For whom is the Cranach Digital Archive intended?

The Cranach Digital Archive is primarily directed at a professional and students target group (i. a. art historians, conservators, historians, scientists), but the website is freely accessible by anyone who is interested in the art of Lucas Cranach.

Who developed the Cranach Digital Archive?

The Cranach Digital Archive is a joint initiative of the Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, and Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences / Cologne University of Applied Sciences in collaboration with nine founding partner institutions, and numerous associate partners and project contributors. The project is under the direction of Prof. Dr. Gunnar Heydenreich und is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation since 2009. 

Who maintains the Cranach Digital Archive?

With the cda team members and in collaboration with the Digital Art Archive Düsseldorf (d:kult) a data model and standards for data registration and exchange were developed. The collection management system (TMS) was customized as an interim data repository. Here all the information provided by the partner museums as well as the results of new research by the cda team are gathered and maintained in dialogue with the partners. The data is exported periodically from the collection management system to an open source SQL database and the IIPImage client server system.

Which institutions contribute to the Cranach Digital Archive?

See Founding Partners, Associated Partners and Contributors.

What are the selection criteria for the paintings presented on this website?

The Cranach Digital Archive is a constantly growing research source, aiming for a scientific documentation and gaining of access of paintings from Cranach, his sons and his workshop. Whereas the cda previously focused on paintings from museum collections, a comprehensive presentation of the oeuvre is sought in the future. The cda presents paintings which can be attributed to Lucas Cranach the Elder, his sons or workshop on the basis of art historical, technical or documentary evidence. Furthermore it contains contemporary or later copies of Cranach paintings. Past and present attributions are both given.

Does the database also contain paintings by Cranach’s workshop and followers?

See ‘What are the selection criteria for the paintings presented on this website?’

Does the Cranach Digital Archive include drawings and prints?

As yet no drawings or prints are included.


Are the images/texts under copyright?

Please see our Terms of Use.

May I use images from the Cranach Digital Archive?

Please see our Terms of Use.

Where can I see the original documents?

The database states the location of each document mentioned. Access to the original documents may be obtained by contacting the relevant institutions.

Working with the cda

How do I find a particular work by Cranach?

Enter term in search or advanced search boxes. Some search results can be narrowed by using filtered search either in combination with the full-text-search option or alone. To view the full data record for a desired object, click on the small image thumbnail. A descriptive data window will open.

How do I find a specific group of works?

Using the search filter you can filter results by Attribution, Dating, Collection or by one of the four cda classifications Component PartsFormFunctionSubject. Additionally you may use the categories TitleFriedländer/Rosenberg (1978)Location and CDA-ID/Inventory Number (see mouseover for a brief explanation of each category).

How do I view the data of a specific object and how is this information displayed?

To view the full data record for a desired object, click on the small image thumbnail. A descriptive data window will open. 
Page layout: 
Top left: selected object
Bottom left: further images in regard to this object
Centre: text data and classifications
Top right: image viewer
Bottom right: metadata for the selected image

Why do many categories like title, dating or attribution contain varying data/information?

It is not always known who painted a picture or when it was painted. An attribution is an assessment of who was responsible for creating a particular work. The dating is an assessment of when it was created. Attributions and dating are made with different degrees of certainty, depending on factors such as style and documentary and scientific evidence. Similarly many paintings have been given alternative titles depending on the interpretation of the represented subject matter. The cda presents all attributions, dates and titles past and present, which have been published (and are in part still debated) with an acknowledgment of the source.

Why is some information contained within square brackets?

Square brackets are mainly used to enclose sources references, explanatory missing material.
[dated]: if the object bears a date executed by the artist
[predella]; [wing panel, left]; [verso]: supplementary descriptive information to define parts of a work with multiple images 
[…] or [in the painting]: if information from a quoted text has been omitted or added
[Cat. New York 2013, 63, No. 14]: published source
[Kunsthistorisches Museum, revised 2011]: direct communication or confirmation of text content (usually by staff of the cda or participating institution)

Where can I find explanations for each category?

Mouseovers provide additional information to explain each category.

Where do I find the bibliographical reference for each object?

The category 'Publication/Sources' in the navigation bar shows a bibliographical list of works containing references to the object. By clicking on each short title the full data record will be shown. Use the two arrows top right to browse the full records one by one or use the 'List'-icon to return to the short titles.

May I make additions to the Cranach Digital Archive?

If you notice a mistake, have additional information or wish to comment on the documents or information on this website, you can send us an e-mail. We will contact the institution that provided the information in the first place and consult with them about updating the database.

May other institutions or researchers participate on the Cranach Digital Archive?

We look forward to cooperating with you. Please send us an e-mail.

What can I do if my question was not answered?

Please check our User Guide for a comprehensive help or please contact us so we can answer you by e-mail and up-date this FAQ list.