Lucas Cranach the Elder, follower of - MARTYRDOM OF SAINT CATHERINE
Lucas Cranach the Elder, follower of
MARTYRDOM OF SAINT CATHERINE
Oil on panel. 93,5 x 61.
Commissioned by Stanislaus Thurzo (1470-1540), who in 1496 had been appointed Bishop of Ölmutz, Lucas Cranach the Elder painted in1515 a pair of paintings depicting the “Beheading of John the Baptist” and the “Beheading of St. Catherine.” They probably were intended as the inner panels of a winged altar. This scene of St. Catherine's martyrdom, set in a rocky landscape, shows the executioner, keenly observed by the Emperor Maxentius, removing the hair from the kneeling saint's neck. In the background is the miraculous destruction of the wheel, studded with blades and nails, with which she was to have been put to death. In the upper composition are the hovering angels who will transport the saint's corpse to Mount Sinai. The panel, which measures 84 x 58 cm and is still preserved in Olmütz, was admired very early, as demonstrated by two work shop copies, in the German National Museum in Nuremburg and 1922 on the Viennese art market. The present sixteenth century painting, which duplicates the original in detail, undoubtedly was painted directly after the orginal's completion.
Pirvate collection, South Germany.
For the original painting by Lucas Cranach and the copies of his studio, cf. Max J. Friedländer, Jakob Rosenberg: The paintings of Lucas Cranach, London 1978, p. 84, no. 74 illustrated. - Exhibtion catalogue: Cranach der Ältere, ed. Bodo Brinkmann, Ostfildern 2007, p. 159-161, no. 21, illustrated.