Venus, Lucas Cranach the Elder
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Venus
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Dimensions
37.7 x 24.5 x min. 0.5 cm
maximum depth
0.5 cm
Physical Description
Mixed technique on beech
Inventory Number
1125
Acquisition
Acquired in 1878 as a gift from Moritz Gontard
Status
On display

Texts

About the Work

Cranach rarely staged Venus alone; she is usually accompanied by her son, Cupid. On this small panel, however, the maternal role has been omitted. The Olympian goddess instead uses her ethereal beauty for the purpose of seducing the viewer, before whose eyes she seems to be pausing momentarily from her dance with the veil. The most likely setting for such an intimate relationship between painting and viewer would have been the privacy of an art chamber belonging to a collector with a humanist education.

About the Donation

The Gontard family property ‘Zum weissen Hirsch’ was situated on Grosser Hirschgraben in Frankfurt, near the Goethe and Passavant family residences. The businessman and art collector Moritz von Gontard (1826–1886) was chairman of the administrators of the Städelsches Kunstinstitut for many years. He made two gifts to the museum. On the occasion of the opening of the new building on Schaumainkai, completed in 1878, he donated Lucas Cranach’s ‘Venus’. Upon his death eight years later, he left the Städel thirty-three works of the Dutch and Flemish Baroque.

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Work Data

Basic Information

Title
Venus
Painter
Period Produced
School
Object Type
Physical Description
Mixed technique on beech
Material
Technique
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Datiert unten rechts: 1532, darunter das Schlangenzeichen mit aufgestellten Flügeln

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Picture Copyright
© Städel Museum
Acquisition
Acquired in 1878 as a gift from Moritz Gontard

Work Content

Motifs and References

Iconclass

Primary
  • 92C472 Venus Vulgaris
  • 31AA the (nude) human figure; 'Corpo humano' (Ripa) - AA - female human figure
  • 41D9 (showing oneself) undressed, quasi-nude
Secondary

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Last import

06.08.2019