The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 18, 2018

Hunting near Hartenfels Castle, 1540

oil, originally on wood, transferred to masonite, Framed: 133 x 185.5 x 7.3 cm (52 5/16 x 73 x 2 13/16 in.); Unframed: 116.8 x 170.2 cm (45 15/16 x 67 in.). John L. Severance Fund 1958.425

The Protestant rulers of Saxony commissioned this animated hunt scene, set near their residence seen in the background, Hartenfels Castle (now in eastern Germany). John Frederick the Magnanimous, in the bottom left corner, wears dark green hunting attire; he spans his crossbow and waits for his courtiers and dogs to chase a stag across the river. His wife, the Electress Sibylle, stands at right, poised to take the first ceremonial shot. The prince electors of Saxony were passionate practitioners of hunting with dogs—elaborate, highly rehearsed occasions, coordinated by the use of signals from hunting horns.

Cranach dated this work and his signature is the winged snake at lower right. 1577 in the right corner is an inventory number.

Signed lower right on boat with a winged serpent, and dated: 1540 [inventory number, lower right: 1577]

Berlin, Staatliche Museen (duetsches Museum), 1937: "Lucas Cranach d. A und Lucas Cranach d. J." ct. no. 122 (as Lucas Cranach the Younger).
CMA, December 1959: "Year in Review," p. 230 Bull., Dec. 1959.
CMA, 1965: "Juxtapositions," (no catalogue).
CMA, October 14-December 9, 1981: "A Cleveland Bestiary," cat. no. 3, repr. p. 9.
CMA, February 17-March 21, 1982: "Visions of Landscape: East and West," (no catalogue).
Augsburg, Germany, Bayerische Staatskanzlei, Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte, Fortress of Rosenburg in Kronach, May 17-August 12 1994: "Lucas Cranach Ein maler-Unternehmer aus Franken," cat. # Leipzig, Germany, Museum der Bildendenden Kunste, Sept 9- Nov. 6, 1994.
Hartenfels Castle, Torgau, Germany (5/24/2004 - 10/10/2004): "Faith and Power: Saxony in the Europe of the Reformation Era"
Bavarian Nationalmuseum, Munich (5/10/2007 - 9/16/2007) and the J. Paul Getty Musuem, Los Angeles (10/30/2007 - 1/20/2008): "Sacred Gifts and Worldly Treasures: Medieval Masterworks from the Cleveland Museum of Art"
The Cleveland Museum of Art (02/24/2008 - 06/01/2008); "Arms and Armor from Imperial Austria"
Galleria Borghese, Rome (10/13/2010 - 3/3/2011): "Lucas Cranach. L'altro rinascimento," cat. no. 2, p. 134-135.
Schloss Hartenfels, Torgau, Germany (5/15/2105 - 11/1/2015)"Luther and the Princes: The Ruler's Image and Concept in the Age of Reformation"

1540-1950s Royal Collection of Saxony, Schloss Hartenfels and Schloss Moritzburg, consigned to M.H. Drey1
Until 1958 (M.H. Drey, London, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art)
1958- The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio


1On October 4, 1543, Cranach was paid 123 florins, 10 groschen, and 8 pfennig for various works (Staatsarchiv, Weimar Reg. Bb. 4551, Bl. 24b (Schuchardt [1851] 162ff.), including a hunting picture presented to Duke Maurice of Saxony [1521-1553], presumably the Cleveland painting. Cranach had been appointed court painter to the Electors of Saxony in 1505 by Frederick the Wise. A House of Saxony inventory number (1577) is inscribed in the lower right corner of the painting. The painting remained at Schloss Hartenfels, Torgau for generations, and with the Dukes of Saxony at Schloss Moritzburg until the 1950s.


Cranach-Ausstellung: Lucas Cranach d. Ä., und Lucas Cranach d. J., Gemälde, Zeichnungen, Graphik, april-juni 1937 im Deutschen Museum Berlin. Berlin: Staatliche Museen, 1937.

Margaret H. Drey, letter to Henry Sayles Francis, April 9, 1959, in CMA curatorial file.

Margaret H. Drey, letter to Henry Sayles Francis, March 18, 1959, in CMA curatorial file.

Schade, Werner, Lucas Cranach, Lucas Cranach, and Hans Cranach. Cranach, a Family of Master Painters. New York: Putnam, 1980.

Schuchardt, Christian. Lucas Cranach des Aeltern leben und werke. Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus, 1851.

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