Gerson Digital : Germany I


1.1 North-German Artists in Holland

Now let us turn to the ‘German-Dutchmen’. For many artists in Germany, peaceful Holland – peaceful in comparison to the misery of the Thirty Years War – was not only the School, about which we will talk later, but also the breeding ground on which their art thrived. The border areas made the largest contribution to the number of artists who left their homeland to find a new one in Holland. Naturally, the attraction of the Netherlands was at its strongest near the border and in those areas that actively traded with the neighbouring country.

From Emden came Jan van Teylingen (c. 1597-1654),1 Frederick Meyeringh (c. 1608-1669), father of the painters Hendrick and Albert Meyering,2 Jacob Muller (before 1628-1673),3 who settled in Utrecht, and Ludolf Bakhuizen (1630-1708) [1-3], who came to Amsterdam as a clerk, then became a calligrapher, but soon exchanged the pen for the brush.4 Furthermore: Frederik de Moucheron (1633-1686) [4], son of a Huguenot, whose family settled in Holland,5 Hendrick Helmersz, Willem Jansz and Jan Jansz. Loermans (c. 1631/33-1714).6 The well-known portrait painter Jan de Baen (1633-1702), who was born in Utrecht, came from a family of Emden. There he received his first training from his uncle Hindrick Pijman (c. 1580-after 1647).7 Most of the others probably travelled to the Netherlands as youngsters to learn to paint, although there was a painting school dating back to the 16th century in Emden as well.8

Ludolf Bakhuizen
View of the Emden castle, dated 1686
paper, pen in brown ink, brown wash 156 x 276 mm
lower left : 1686. : Bakhuizen
Emden (Germany), Ostfriesisches Landesmuseum

Ludolf Bakhuizen
The harbour of Emden, dated 1698
paper, pen in grey ink, grey wash 116 x 188 mm
lower right : BAKHUIS 1698
Chantilly (Oise), Musée Condé, inv./ DE 1087 (365)

Ludolf Bakhuizen
Dutch ships on the roads near Emden, dated 1698
canvas, oil paint 64,4 x 93 cm
center : L.BACKHU...
Emden (Germany), Johannes a Lasco Bibliothek

Frederik de Moucheron
Rheine at the Ems, ca. 1665
paper, pen in brown ink, brush in grey 294 x 420 mm
Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, inv./ Atlas Van der Hem, Bd. 46:17, fol. 24-25, (17)

If we follow the coastline, we come across a certain Jan Janz. Hulsman9 and a Martinus Saeghmolen (c.1620-1669) in Oldenburg, who settled around 1640 alternately in Amsterdam and Leiden [5-6].10 Also from Oldenburg came Johann Liss (c. 1597-1631), who has been considered to be a Dutchman for a long time, not only through being misled by Houbraken, who indicated that he was born in Hoorn,11 but also because the German origin is no longer visible in his art.12 Liss was in Amsterdam and around 1605-1610 in Haarlem, where Goltzius was his model (according to Sandrart), before he went to Italy [7]. Otherwise, as already Rudolf Oldenbourg stated correctly, Liss belongs to the Venetian and not to the Dutch or German art history.13

Martinus Saeghmolen
Apollo and Marsyas, dated 1658
canvas, oil paint 115,4 x 101,5 cm
Christie's (Paris) 2016-09-14, nr. 32

Johann Liss (II)
The death of Cleopartra, c. 1622-1624
canvas, oil paint 97,5 x 85,5 cm
Munich, Alte Pinakothek, inv./ 13434

attributed to Martinus Saeghmolen
Moses and the brazen serpent,
canvas, oil paint 142,2 x 107,9 cm
London, art dealer Appleby Bros.

Hailing from Hamburg were Abraham Vinck (c. 1580-1619),14 the cartographer Frans Koerten (c. 1600-1668), the unknown Frans Ram (born c. 1601) and Johannes Jansz. (c. 1629-c.1664),15 Juriaen Jacobsz (1624-1685) [8-9],16 his pupil David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl (1628-1698),17 Ernst Stuven (c. 1657-1712) and Philip Tideman (1657-1705). None of them returned to their native country. Juriaen Jacobsz and Ehrenstrahl are only to be mentioned here with a certain limitation. Jacobsz first went to Antwerp, where he became a pupil of Frans Snijders.18 When he settled in Amsterdam in the late 1650s, probably after the death of Snijders in 1657, he held on to the themes and perception of his teacher for a while. Incidentally, he had the ability to adjust himself quickly to the ruling style in Dutch portraiture, for which he absolutely had a talent. The large group portrait of Admiral Michiel Adriaensz de Ruyter and his family of 1662 (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum) [10]19 could hardly have been painted and composed better by Bartholomeus van der Helst.

David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl spread the Dutch portrait style in Sweden, where we will meet him later.20 Stuven seems to have enjoyed his first training in Hamburg.21 Also thought to have come from Hamburg is Christopher Paudiss (1625-1666),22 one of Rembrandt’s pupils, who we will encounter soon in Dresden and Vienna.23

Juriaen Jacobsz
Portrait of Michiel Adriaensz. de Ruyter (1607-1676) and his family, dated 1662
canvas, oil paint 269 x 406 cm
: J. Jacobson fec. 1662
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, inv./ SK-A-2696

Juriaen Jacobsz
Portrait of a gentleman, dated 1649
canvas, oil paint 121 x 89 cm
upper right : J Jac [...] en f/ 1649
Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, inv./ 160

Juriaen Jacobsz
Portrait of a lady, dated 1649
canvas, oil paint 121 x 88,2 cm
upper right : j Ja [...] en f/ 1649
Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, inv./ 161

Bremen has not contributed anything important. A painter named Adriaen Ruts (1569/1570-1616) from Bremen married in Amsterdam in 1593, and a Willem Jansz. Coster († 1679) did so in 1650.24 Like many of the aforementioned artists, they are also unknown quantities, of whom no artworks have survived. From the North-German area we supplement the list of names with Antony Ketteling (born c. 1611) from Münster, portrait painter in Groningen in 1671,25 Dirk Jurriaensz, painter from Dithmars – he married in 1669 in Amsterdam26 – and Laurens Mauritz. Hellewich (c. 1593-in or after 1632), born in ‘Sorelant in ‘t Lant van Meecklenburg’, who was a pupil of Jan Tengnagel in Amsterdam in 1613-1615.27 With these two we arrive already in Danish territory, and it is not impossible that this Hellewich was a relative of the well-known Danish engraver Albert Haelwegh.28


1 [Gerson 1942/1983] Gonnet 1920. [Van Leeuwen 2017] Blanken et al. 2016, p. 168-173.

2 [Van Leeuwen 2017] Frederick Meyeringh was a pupil of Martin Faber in Emden in 1620 (Stracke 1974/1975, p. 33). On Martin Faber: § 2.1. On Albert Meyering: § 2.5.

3 [Gerson 1942/1983] Swillens 1934. [Van Leeuwen 2017] Huys Janssen 1985.

4 [Gerson 1942/1983] A view of his hometown of 1686 was in the auction Leipzig 1931-04-29, no. 11. [Van Leeuwen 2017] Now in the Ostfriesisches Landesmuseum, Emden;  another drawing of Emden by Bakhuizen is dated 1698 (Musée Condé, Chantilly); the same date appears on a painting by Bakhuizen with Dutch ships on the roads near Emden, since 2006 in the Johannes a Lasco Bibliothek, Emden (all illustrated here). Scheele/Kanzenbach 2008, p. 114-117, no. 12, ill.

5 [Gerson 1942/1983] Gerson 1942/1983, p. 51.

6 [Gerson 1942/1983] Scheltema 1879-1880; Van der Willigen 1870, p. 36; Hofstede de Groot 1891, p. 295-295. [Van Leeuwen 2017] Marten Jan Bok identified Jan Jansz. with Jan Janz. Loermans, who ran a successful art gallery in Amsterdam, where he sold his own works as well (Ecartico database; Groenendijk 2008).

7 [Van Leeuwen 2017] In 1642 Pijman was deacon of the 'Vreembden Nederduitschen Armen', indicating that he was not from Emden himself (Stracke 1899, p. 169, note 1). Since his paintings were in the style of Jan Brueghel I, he possibly came from the Southern Netherlands. More on Hindrick Pijman in § 2.1.

8 [Van Leeuwen 2017] On painters in Emden: Stracke 1974/1975.

9 [Gerson 1942/1983] Not identical with Johannes Hulsman (c.1610-after 1646) from Cologne [see § 3.1].

10 [Van Leeuwen 2017] Archiv für Kunstgeschichte 1 (1914), no. 4, no. 73; Bredius/De Roever 1888; Bakker 2011, p. 248-250.

11 [Van Leeuwen 2017] Gerson erroneously mentions Hoorn as Liss’ birthplace, quoting Wurzbach 1906-1911, p. 76. Houbraken 1718-1721, vol. 1, p. 129 and 205, indicates Breda and correctly Oldenburg as Liss’ birthplace.

12 [Van Leeuwen 2017] On Johann Liss: Klessmann 1999.

13 [Gerson 1942/1983] Oldenbourg 1914. Gerson 1942/1983, p. 185. [Van Leeuwen 2017] However, the painting in Munich illustrated here, that originated in Rome after he spent time in Antwerp, clearly shows his knowledge of Flemish painting (Abraham Janssen, Rubens) (Dekiert 2006, p. 286-287, ill.).

14 [Van Leeuwen 2017] Vinck was born c. 1580 as a son of the Antwerp merchant Willem Vinck (Briels 1997, p. 399).

15 [Gerson 1942/1983] De Vries 1885, p.156; Hofstede de Groot 1891, p. 295.

16 [Van Leeuwen 2017] Lungagnini 1970.

17 [Gerson 1942/1983] According to Sandrart, Ehrenstrahl was already Jacobsz’s pupil in 1648. If so, he must have spent time in Amsterdam on his way to Antwerp, or returned ten years earlier. Both theories are supported by the Dutch character of the pendant portraits dated 1649 (Hamburg). [Van Leeuwen 2017] On Ehrenstrahl: Gerstl 2000, Dahlbäck et al. 1976, Hahr 1905. Dissertation in preperation by Kjell Wangensteen, Hyperborean Baroque: David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl (1628-98) and the First Swedish School of Art (Princeton University).

18 [Van Leeuwen 2017] There is no documentary evidence for this conjecture, but the motifs of paintings, which were confused with the works of Snijders, are similar (Robels 1989, p. 52).

19 [Van Leeuwen 2017] Ember et al. 2014, p. 210-211, no. 33, ill.

20 [Gerson 1942/1983] In the chapter on Sweden, Gerson 1942/1983, p. 485, 498.

21 [Van Leeuwen 2017] See § 2.5.

22 [Van Leeuwen 2017] He was called ‘Hamburgensis’ in a document in 1660 (R. Klessmann in Steiner/Hahn et al. 2007, p. 83).

23 [Van Leeuwen 2017] See § 6.5.

24 [Gerson 1942/1983] De Vries 1885, p. 80, 311. [Van Leeuwen 2017] On Ruts: Van der Meer 1964, p. 235-243 and 251-253; Bakker 1999, no. 3-4, p. 18-21.

25 [Gerson 1942/1983] Bredius 1890, p. 4.

26 [Gerson 1942/1983] De Vries 1885, p. 157.

27 [Gerson 1942/1983] Bredius 1925, p. 273-274. [Van Leeuwen 2017] M.J. Bok in Gosselink et al. 2008, p. 16, 17, 18, 19 and 27.

28 [Van Leeuwen 2017] Gerson/Van Leeuwen/Roding et al. 2015, passim.

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