'Cranach Inc.' A Case Study Determining the Nature and Extent of Lucas Cranach the Elder's Involvement in his Industrious Workshop using Image Processing

Ruth Lubashevsky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Lucas Cranach the Elder (LCE) (1472-1553) maintained an organized and highly efficient workshop, served as councilor in Wittenberg from 1519-1544, established a publishing house in 1520, held a pharmacy from 1520, and served as mayor of Wittenberg from 1537 to 1543. He was known as the 'swiftest of painters,' resulting in 1,000 surviving panel paintings, canvas paintings, drawings, and etchings in a career that spanned 53 years (1500-1553). Facing this astoundingly enormous oeuvre, the question that this paper seeks to answer is unavoidable: what was LCE's involvement in this oeuvre, which most is still attributed to him, in light of his many other time-consuming engagements? To answer this question, this paper becomes a study of stylistic comparisons of LCE's oeuvre, in order to assess, analyze and identify his style to determine whether all of the works attributed to him were indeed his own handiwork. Classifying LCE's style, together with the fact that he ran his workshop in factory-like conditions, supplying his apprentices with pigments, designs they could trace, copies, modelling versions, and patterns, making him an artist turned businessman, LCE becomes an artist who turned art into an industrial operation, earning the title 'Cranach Inc.' The conclusion of this paper will be based inter-alia on comparisons between Infra-red images and the visible paintings, in order to undermine the established attributions made to LCE.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology V
EditorsLuca Pezzati, Piotr Targowski
PublisherSPIE
ISBN (Electronic)9781628416879
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
EventOptics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology V - Munich, Germany
Duration: 24 Jun 201525 Jun 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume9527
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X

Conference

ConferenceOptics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology V
Country/TerritoryGermany
CityMunich
Period24/06/1525/06/15

Keywords

  • Art History
  • Attribution
  • Connoisseurship
  • Image Processing
  • Lucas Cranach the Elder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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