1 Jan 2013

Cranach - Four takes at Melancholy

Further to my favourite study of Big M:
Here is the little lightbox of images of Melancholia.
Apparently Lucas Cranach, the Elder created four versions of Melancholy - shown below from various sources.
Two images are the bottom are coming from the Flickr site, uploaded by pertrus.agricola.
He includes an amazing close-up of one of the paintings.

At a first glance I have no idea what the paintings are all about and what's it got to do with Melancholy. For my money, having so many naked babies around me playing with spheres and arrows, dogs and partridge running loose around the kitchen - I don't know anyone who wouldn't get melancholic in the face of that disaster.
I know, I am getting a little..... overwhelmed.

The works are obviously veiled and rather crypted.
I am yet to learn terribly a lot, armed with a copy of the Klibert, Panofsky, Saxl, book  Melancholy I.
This book became my little Christmas wish, I found it online and it is on its way...

At the moment, it seems that the eyes of the lady, especially in the versions from 1528 and 1532 may be those of Katherina von Bora, the wife of Martin Luther.
They new each other and Cranach was a close friend of the family, something I had read pointed to those eyes of the model.
There was something I had read about the this painting --->

Madonna under the fir tree (1510), Archdiocesan Museum, Wrocław. One of the most distinguished and elaborated of the Cranach's Madonnas.

Or maybe poor old Luc Cranach who knew Katherina from before she got married to Luther (I think so) and once he saw her with her babies thought holly crap, poor Kate...
something like this. I don't know. Maybe she was getting, like --- depressed....

I cannot see the eyes in the first two pics - they are too blurry so the search continues....

Melancholia - Lucas The Elder Cranach


There is a really interesting post and related comment on newly found blog:
I just read a bit of this blog and it is absolutely fabulous read for those husky golden retrievers as I...

It is the source of this pic --->
Lucas Cranach, the Elder
(1532) Oil on panel. 51 x 97 cm.
Copenhaguen, Statens Museum for Kunst)


Lucas Cranach the Elder
The Melancholy
One of four version, that Cranach painted with that topic.
Private Collection, on loan to the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburg

Lucas Cranach the Elder 
The Melancholy, detail [1532]
One of four version, that Cranach painted with that topic.
Colmar Musée d'Unterlinden


A fortified castle "on the rocks"
Lucas Cranach the Elder 
The Melancholy, detail [1532]
Copenhagen National Art Museum (Statens Museum)
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