From a Prince, to Hermann Göring, to the Mauritshuis

The Provenance History of Virgin and Child by Lucas Cranach the Elder

  • Emma van Benthem (Autor/in)

Identifier (Artikel)


When between April and June 1945 the Allies searched Carinhall, Hermann Göring’s (1893-1946) country house at Schorfheide, they found a vast number of artworks. One of the artworks found was the panel painting Virgin and Child by the German Renaissance artist Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553). Today, the painting can be viewed at the Mauritshuis in The Hague, the Netherlands. When I started my research on the provenance of Virgin and Child, a provenance reconstruction of the panel painting was published online by the Mauritshuis. However, the information provided was incomplete and left room for multiple questions. Using the back of the panel in combination with information found in databases such as the Munich Central Collecting Point, archival documents from the Stichting Nederlands Kunstbezit, and other sources, I was able to verify and expand on the information provided by the Mauritshuis, as well as dismiss some false information. Through my research on Virgin and Child I was able to trace is provenance from the early 20th century until the present. My research also offers a hypothesis for what happened to the panel between June 1940 and 1946 – a period of the object history previously clouded in mystery.

Keywords: Provenance research; Hermann Göring; Carinhall; Lucas Cranach the Elder; Mauritshuis


Provenance research, Hermann Göring, Carinhall, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Mauritshuis