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Lucas Cranach II (Wittenberg 1515-1586 Weimar)
Property formerly from the Collection of Jakob and Rosa Oppenheimer
Lucas Cranach II (Wittenberg 1515-1586 Weimar)


Lucas Cranach II (Wittenberg 1515-1586 Weimar)
signed with the artist's serpent device (upper right)
oil on panel, marouflaged
22½ x 13 5/8 in. (57.2 x 34.7 cm.)
with Galerie van Diemen & Co, Berlin; their forced liquidation sale, Paul Graupe, Berlin, 26-27 April 1935, lot 17.
Anonymous sale; Lempertz, Cologne, 8 May 1969, lot 19.
Private collection, New York.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New York, 13 October 1989, lot 54 ($40,000). Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 10 December 1993, lot 297 (withdrawn).
Acquired at the Sotheby's New York 1989 sale by the current owner and now offered in settlement with the Oppenheimer heirs.
M.J. Friedländer and J. Rosenberg, Die Gemälde von Lucas Cranach, Berlin, 1932, p. 90, no. 329g.
M.J. Friedländer and J. Rosenberg, The Paintings of Lucas Cranach, London, 1978, p. 151, no. 409g.

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Clemency Henty
Clemency Henty

Lot Essay

According to Livy, Lucretia, the virtuous wife of a Roman nobleman, was blackmailed and subsequently violated by Sextus, the son of the Roman tyrant Tarquinius. When she resisted, he threatened to 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. Shamed by the loss of honour she would suffer, she took her own life, having first informed her family of what had happened. The family's subsequent revenge and rebellion resulted in the formation of the Roman republic.

The present painting is one of several known treatments of this subject by Lucas Cranach the Elder, his workshop and Lucas Cranach the Younger (see D. Koepplin and T. Falk, in the catalogue of the exhibition, Lukas Cranach: Gemälde-Zeichnungen-Druckgraphik, Kunstmuseum, Basel, 1974, I, pp. 660ff. nos. 576-91).

First published by Friedländer and Rosenberg in 1932 (loc. cit.) as 'likely to be by Lucas Cranach the Younger', the attribution has subesquently been confirmed by both Dr. Dieter Koepplin (18 October 1991), and more recently by Dr. Werner Schade (21 October 2010).

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