A Real Cranach in Bettbrunn, Germany ?

Thursday, June 22, 2023
A Real Cranach in Bettbrunn, Germany ?

A Christ painting from the Church of St. Salvator in Bettbrunn could possibly be by Lucas Cranach the Younger. Now, experts from the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation (BLfD) are using the latest technology to search for evidence.

"L. C." - that's what is written in fine letters above the head of the depiction of Christ. The monogram could be interpreted as the signature "Lucas Cranach." However, it cannot be definitively determined at this time whether the painting from 1570 is indeed an "authentic" Cranach. The exceptional artistic quality would be an indication of the master's artistic style. Restorers from the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation now aim to unravel the mystery of its authorship. Through extensive art technological and art historical examinations, they hope to shed light on the painting's over 450-year history. In addition, the experts will develop a conservation and, if necessary, restoration concept. They will also explore future object-compatible storage methods to ensure the artwork remains preserved for as long as possible.

Cranach der Jüngere Infrarot Aufnahme mit Signatur BLFD

"We are curious to see if the Cranach body of work will soon have one more artwork. Thanks to state-of-the-art technologies available to us today, with UV, X-ray, and infrared examinations, we may soon be able to add a chapter to art history," says Prof. Mathias Pfeil, General Conservator and Head of the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation.

The image motif depicts Christ as the "Salvator Mundi," while Christ has his right hand raised in blessing, he holds a transparent orb in his left hand, symbolizing worldly power. The inscription in the upper half of the painting presents a Latin motto and includes the year 1570, the year of its creation, as well as the possible monogram of the painter: "L. C."

Lucas Cranach the Younger was born in 1515 in Wittenberg as the son of Lucas Cranach the Elder. He soon followed in his father's footsteps, learning the art of painting before taking over his father's workshop in 1550 after over 20 years of collaboration. He created a variety of works, including panel paintings with religious and secular themes, portraits, and prints. Lucas Cranach the Younger is considered a painter of the Reformation and played a significant role among German portraitists of the Late Renaissance and Mannerism.

Image on top : Gemälde Cranach der Jüngere I BLFD

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