Portrait of the Elector of Saxony, Friedrich III the Wise

Lucas Cranach the Elder - workshop

Lucas Cranach the Elder -  workshop - Portrait of the Elector of Saxony, Friedrich III the Wise
Cranach and his workshop supplied official portraits of the Electors and other exponents of the Reformation in large quantities. Portraits with the depiction of Friedrich III the Wise (1463-1525) often formed part of a triptych or diptych together with portraits of Johann I the Loyal (1468-1532) and Johann Friedrich I (1503-1554). The Prague portrait, dated 1532, is posthumous; Friedrich III the Wise dies seven years before it was painted. It shows the Elector slightly turned, in his typical clothing - white shirt, black sheepskin with fur collar and a beret on his head. The need to produce a large quantity of these portraits also called for fast and organised workshop work - on a number of the portraits of Electors signs of tracings were found with the aid of infrared reflectography, i.e. a technique, which enabled the transfer of one drawing (contour) to several panels provided with ground. On the Prague example no signs of tracing were found, but this does not mean, of course, that this mechanical aid was not used, just that the traces are not evident. The Prague portrait undoubtedly originated in the workshop, Cranach's signature can be seen as a "trademark" guaranteeing the supervision of the Master. The inscriptions borne on the painting are, with slight deviations, also to be found on other known examples - this is a celebratory poem praising the merits of the person portrayed.
measurements: height 20 cm
width 14 cm
material: beech wood
technique: oil
inventory number: DO 4573
gallery collection: Collection of Old Masters

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