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    Sale 7743

    Old Masters & 19th Century Art Evening Sale

    7 July 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 11

    Lucas Cranach II (Wittenberg 1515-1586 Weimar)


    Price Realised  


    Lucas Cranach II (Wittenberg 1515-1586 Weimar)
    signed with the artist's serpent device (lower left)
    oil on panel, unframed
    30 x 21¾ in. (76.2 x 55.4 cm.)

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    Previously considered to be by Cranach the Elder and datable after 1537, this beguiling composition has recently been confirmed by Dieter Koepplin, after inspection of the original, as by his son, Lucas the Younger (written communication 23 April 2009).

    Koepplin considers this to be an 'outstanding' work by the artist, datable to the 1540s and with the serpent device signature that he used from 1537. The picture is listed by Friedländer and Rosenberg (loc. cit) and is similar to another of the same subject (op. cit., no. 240H, where dated too early according to Koepplin). There exists another unsigned version, sold at Christie's, New York, 24 January 2003, lot 33, and a further version in the Graz Museum.

    According to Livy, Sextus, the son of the Roman tyrant Tarquinius, raped Lucretia, a virtuous Roman noblewoman. He told her that if she did not bend to his will, he would kill her and place her dead body next to that of a slave to make it appear as though she had committed adultery with him. In the face of this, Lucretia took her own life. Here she indicates her shame by drawing a veil over her face.

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    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Berlin, Fräulein Basch, 1911.
    Count Einsiedel; Berlin, November 1901, lot 98.
    Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 19 April 1996, lot 239, as 'Lucas Cranach I', when acquired by the present owner.

    Saleroom Notice

    Please note the following additional exhibition history for this lot:

    Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Durero y Cranach. Arte y Humanismo en la Alemania del Renacimiento, 9 October 2007-6 January 2008, no. 71.

    This lot is sold unframed. We are grateful to Arnold Wiggins and Sons for the loan of this frame. For further information please contact a member of the department.

    Pre-Lot Text



    M.J. Friedländer and J. Rosenberg, The Paintings of Lucas Cranach, London, 1978, no. 358B, as 'After 1537' and 'Probably by the younger Lucas'.