Portrait of Johannes Feige

Inscriptions on the reverse of the panel identify the sitter as Franz von Sickingen or, alternatively, a member of the Luther family. The left-hand coat of arms, however, closely resembles that of Johannes Feige, Chancellor of Hesse (1482?– 1543); the upper section features three figs, and ‘Feige’ is the German word for fig. It has been suggested that the arms in the upper right may represent those of his mother, Margaret Mehrgart.

An insignia of a winged serpent, which Cranach used as his signature, can be seen under the left-hand shield.

Key facts

Artist dates
1472 - 1553
Full title
Portrait of Johannes Feige
Date made
possibly early 1530s
Medium and support
Oil on limewood
40.7 x 26.1 cm
Inscription summary
Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit
Presented by John P. Heseltine, 1903
Inventory number
Location in Gallery