Das Gemälde „Fürstin mit ihrem Sohn“ aus dem Besitz der britischen Königin befand sich bis zuletzt in einem schlechten Zustand. Unter anderem war die Holztafel zerbrochen . Es gelangte 1840 nach London. Der aus Gotha stammende Prinz Albert kaufte es im Auftrag seiner Frau – Queen Victoria. Sie schenkte es ihm dann zu Weihnachten.
Nun stellte sich heraus, dass das Portrait das verschollen geglaubte Orginal ist, Prof Heydenreich der TH Köln hat dies mit den neusten Mitteln feststellen können. Nach der Restaurierung war das Doppelportrait zuletzt im Düsseldorfer Kunstpalast zu sehen, die dortige Ausstellung vereinte rund 200 Cranach-Werke aus internationalen Sammlungen. Ab November ist der Cranach nun in Windsor Castle zu sehen….in neuem Glanz, wie zu erkennen!
Queen Victoria’s| 1840 Christmas Gift
The Royal Collection presented:
Newly attributed portrait by Lucas Cranach the Elder goes on display at Windsor Castle
The painting Portrait of a Lady and her son , c. 1510 – 40, recently discovered to be by the German master Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472 – 155 3) and his workshop goes on public display at Windsor Castle from Tuesday , 14 November
The painting was a Christmas gift from Queen Victoria to Prince Albert in 1840 and is part of the Royal Collection . The double portrait shows an unidentifie d consort of a Prince – electress of the Holy Roman Empire and her son, their hands clasped together. Although acquired by Queen Victoria as a work by the Renaissance artist, by the early 20th century the painting was considered to be the work of Franz Wolfgang Rohrich (1787 – 1834)
The composition has an intimacy which was thought to have been Rohrich’s invention and uncharacteristic of Cranach’s style. Rohrich was a prolific imitator of Cranach and p roduced over 40 versions of th is portrait . He sold them as original works by Cranach, and they can be found in collections all over Europe .
In collaboration with TH Köln ( the University of Applied Sciences, Cologne ) , Royal Collection Trust’s conservators and curator s examined the work ahead of its loan to the major exhibition Cranach der Alterer: Meister Marke Moderne at the Museum Kunstpalast , Düsseldorf in spring 2017.
Infrared reflect ography was used to look beneath the paint surface , revealing preliminary under drawing typical of Cranach’s work . Analysis o f the pigments, metal leaf and the application of paint provided further evidence that the portrait was a work of the 16th century.
Finally an x – ray of the painting revealed that a fibrous material had been used in the preparation of the panel. Analys is of similar fibres on other works by Cranach has identified them as tendons, and in one instance DNA analysis ha d shown them to be pigeon tendons. Sixteen th – century glue recipes often include d pigeon tendons to strengthen the mixture and counteract the n atural warping and splitting of the wood.
The evidence was reviewed by Professor Dr Gunnar Heydenreich of TH Köln , an expert on Lucas Cranach the Elder, who confirmed that the painting was an original work by the master from which it appears all later ve rsions derive. Court artist to the Saxon electors in Wittenberg, Lucas Cranach the Elder was one of the most important painter s of the German Reformation , a period marked by chang es in religion, philosophy, s cience and art .
Prince Albert was particularly interested in his work , and twelve paintings by Cranach and his workshop in the Royal Collection were acquired by the Prince Consort, several as gifts from Queen Victoria.