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Lot n° 1

LUCAS CRANACH THE ELDER (1472...

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LUCAS CRANACH THE ELDER
(1472 Kronach-1553 Weimar).
David and Abigail, 1509.
Xylograph on laid paper (fragment of fleur-de-lys watermark).
H. 246 mm × W. 174 mm at the line, H. 250 mm × W. 178 mm at the leaf.
Without the explanatory inscription and the twelve verses in German in the upper and lower margins. Late printing, the presence of the fragment of the fleur-de-lys watermark, a very common motif in France as well as in Italy, does not allow for a precise dating of the print. Freckles, a brown spot under the monogram, weakness in the blacks, traces of an old mounting through three points of glue. On verso, presence of annotations in pencil in German "ausserordentlich Selten/ B 122" ("rarissime/ Bartsch 122"). Holl. 3, B. 122, Sch. 121, Pass. 157.
Bibliography: Giulia Bartrum, German Renaissance Prints 1490-1550, london, British Museum Press, p.166-178.
Interesting print in which we find the monogram of the artist enriched with the winged serpent, coat of arms granted by Frederick of Saxony in 1508 to the artist and that we find in The Penance of Saint John Chrysostom also dated 1509. The work represents Abigail offering food to David for his troops. She has come to ask forgiveness from King David for the affront her husband Nabal has caused him by refusing to help him. We see Abigail, a woman described as beautiful and intelligent, sitting at the foot of a tree, giving a gourd to David. A tray filled with food is shown on the ground with two hands at her side, also on the ground. This can be interpreted as an allusion to Nabal's refusal, to whom David had his servants say, "Please give your servants and your son David whatever your hand can find" (25:8). The dog represents the fidelity that Abigail will show to her future husband David whom she will marry after Nabal's death.

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