upper left: 1522; below date, the artist's device, a serpent with upright wings holding a ring in its mouth, facing right
Dr. Friedrich Campe [1777-1846], Nuremberg, by 1844. Bernhard von Lindenau, Altenburg; by inheritance to his niece, Mrs. von Watzdorf-Bachoff, Altenburg. (Paul Cassirer, Berlin, by 1921). Private collection, possibly von der Heydt. August and Serena Lederer, Vienna, possibly by 1923, but certainly before 1932; Lederer family; sold by 1954 to (Rosenberg & Stiebel, Inc., New York); purchased January 1954 by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; gift 1959 to NGA.
- Paul Cassirer Gallery, Berlin, 1921.
- Lucas Cranach: Ein Maler-Unternehmer aus Franken [Lucas Cranach: Painter-Entrepeneur from Franconia], Festung Rosenberg, Kronach, Germany; Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig, Germany, 1994, no. 157, figs. A6 and A7, repro.
- Cranach der Ältere, Städel Museum, Frankfurt; Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2007-2008, no. 70, repro.
- Scheffler, Karl. "Kunstausstellungen." Kunst und Künstler 19 (1921): 298, repro. 270.
- Glaser, Curt. Lukas Cranach. Leipzig, 1923: 179, 238, fig. 101.
- Friedländer, Max J. and Jakob Rosenberg. Die Gemälde von Lucas Cranach. Berlin, 1932: 53-54, no. 123, repro. English rev. ed., Amsterdam, 1978: 99, no. 145, repro.
- Mayer, August L. "Lukas Cranach D.Ä." Pantheon/Der Cicerone 6, no. 4 (April 1933): 270, 298, repro.
- Winkler, Friedrich. Altdeutsche Tafelmalerei. Munich, 1944: repro. 151.
- Paintings and Sculpture from the Kress Colllection Acquired by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation 1951-56. Introduction by John Walker, text by William E. Suida and Fern Rusk Shapley. National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1956: 56, 58, no. 18, repro. 57.
- Paintings and Sculpture from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1959: 310, repro.
- Richardson, E. P., ed. "Accessions of American and Canadian Museums, April-June 1959." The Art Quarterly 22, no. 3 (Autumn 1959): 275, 277, repro.
- Broadley Hugh T. German Painting in the National Gallery of Art (Booklet no. 9 in Ten Schools of Painting in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC). Washington, 1960: 7, 30-31, color repro.
- Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1963 (reprinted 1964 in French, German, and Spanish): 305, repro.
- Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 33.
- European Paintings and Sculpture: Illustrations (Companion to the Summary Catalogue, 1965). Washington, 1968: 27, no. 1371, repro.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 86, repro.
- Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1975: 165, no. 184, repro. 164.
- Eisler, Colin. Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: European Schools Excluding Italian. Oxford, 1977: 23-24, fig. 24.
- Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 165, no. 178, color repro.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 105, repro.
- Hand, John Oliver, with the assistance of Sally E. Mansfield. German Paintings of the Fifteenth through Seventeenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, 1993: 40-44, color repro. 42.
- Löcher, Kurt. Review of German Paintings of the Fifteenth through Seventeenth Centuries, by John Oliver Hand with the assistance of Sally E. Mansfield. Kunstchronik 43 no. 1 (January 1995): 15.
- Hand, John Oliver. National Gallery of Art: Master Paintings from the Collection. Washington and New York, 2004: 134-135, no. 101, color repro.
- Proske, Mirela. Lucas Cranach the Elder. Translated by Paul Aston. Munich, 2007: 30, color fig. 19.
The painting is composed of two boards with grain running horizontally. Dendrochronological examination by Peter Klein provided dates of 1356-1516 and 1398-1514 for the boards. A barbe is present along all four edges, suggesting that the panel was painted in an engaged frame. The panel has been thinned and an auxiliary support, estimated to be mahogany, was added prior to the addition of the cradle. Examination with infrared reflectography did not disclose underdrawing. The background is built up in layers and consequently is thicker than other areas of the painting. It appears that a brown layer was applied over the ground throughout, visible in the upper left under the artist's serpent device. The background consists of additional green-yellow and green-blue layers as well as a glaze layer to create areas of shadow.
The painting is in very good condition, with only small areas of retouching scattered throughout.
 The wood was indentified by Peter Klein, examination report, 10 April 1987, in NGA curatorial files, and by the National Gallery's scientific research department.