Gerson Digital : Germany I


1.3 Wanderings in the Cleves Area

Before we devote ourselves to these, we still have to report on a group of travel-loving artists that wandered throughout Germany, without ever finding a permanent job or a generous patron, which, by the way, was not their intention. Most of them were landscape painters, who gathered motifs for their paintings beyond the borders of their country.1 The wanderings in the surroundings of Cleves played a large part in this.2 Cleves itself was a Netherlandish town in the cultural sense, and when Johan Maurits of Nassau-Siegen (1604-1679) became a stadholder there in 1647, the ties with the Netherlands became even stronger. However, we will talk about the artists in his service later, because they do not belong to the travelling draughtsmen. Schwanenburg Castle of Cleves is a familiar place to us. There are drawings with views of the castle and its environs from Jacob Esselens (1627/28-1687) [1], Herman Saftleven (c. 1609-1685) [2],3 Jan van Goyen (1596-1656) [3-4],4 Jan Lievens (1607-1674) [5], Jan Ruyscher (c. 1625-1674/75) [6],5 Abraham de Verwer (c. 1585-1650) [7];

Jacob Esselens
View of Schwanenburg castle at Cleves, probably 1663
paper, pen in brown ink, brown and grey wash, indented 224 x 397 mm
Private collection

Jan van Goyen
View of Cleves, dated 1653
paper, black chalk, grey wash 115 x 195 mm
lower right : VG 1653
Frankfurt am Main, Graphische Sammlung im Städelschen Kunstinstitut, inv./ 3593

possibly Dirk Verrijk possibly after Herman Saftleven
Kleve, Schwanenburg castle and the lower city as seen from the Lustgarten
paper, black chalk, brown and grey wash 193 x 292 mm
lower center : H.S.
Berlin, Gemäldegalerie (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), inv./ Z 13844

Jan van Goyen
View of Schwanenburg castle at Kleve seen from the Neuen Wall, 1650-1651
paper, black chalk, grey wash 98 x 157 mm
upper right : 50
Sotheby's (Amsterdam) 2002-11-05, nr. 40

Jan Lievens
View from the citadel and old town of Cleves seen from the Opschlag, c. 1655-1665
paper, pen and brush in brown, brush in grey, pen in purple ink 249 x 395 mm
Amsterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet, inv./ RP-T-1885-A-482(R)

Jan Ruyscher
Distant view of Cleves, after 1652
paper, pen in brown ink, framing line in pen in brown ink 98 x 317 mm
Göttingen (Niedersachsen), Kunstsammlung der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, inv./ H 151

Abraham de Verwer
View of the chancellery and gallery at Cleves castle, seen from the Mühlendamm, c. 1635
paper, pen (technique), brush in color (water color) 201 x 309 mm
in verso : hof te Cleef
Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, inv./ 2266

paintings from Isaac de Moucheron (1667-1744) [8]6 and François Knibbergen (1596/97-after 1664) [9];7

Isaac de Moucheron
View of Kleve with the Schwanenburg castle seen from the Lustgarten (pleasure garden)
canvas, oil paint 40 x 56,5 cm
lower left : J. MoucHERON
Schwerin, Staatliches Museum Schwerin, inv./ G 365

François van Knibbergen
Panoramic river landscape, c. 1655-1665
canvas, oil paint 97,3 x 139,5 cm
lower right : F. Knibbergen
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, inv./ SK-A-2361

Joris van der Haagen
View of Cleves, dated 166(1)
paper, black chalk, brush in grey 387 x 497 mm
lower left : ... 166.
Amsterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet, inv./ RP-T-1889-A-1950

sketches and paintings from Joris van der Haagen (c. 1615-1669) [10-13], who wandered from the environs of Cleves to Malmedy and also went further up the Rhine.8

Joris van der Haagen
Landscape with the Schanenburg castle of Kleve
canvas, oil paint 109 x 120 cm
lower right : JV Hagen
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, inv./ C 138

Joris van der Haagen
View of Cleves seen from the Mühlenberg, early 1660s
paper, pen (technique), artists' brush ? x ? mm
Cognac (France), Musée d'Art et d'Histoire Cognac, inv./ 52.77

Joris van der Haagen
View of Cleves from the Mühlenberg, early 1660s
canvas, oil paint 147,5 x 192,5 cm
lower right : JVHagen
Enschede, Rijksmuseum Twenthe, inv./ 72

Views of Hoch-Elten are known from Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691) [14],9 Philips Koninck (1619-1688) [15] and Anthonie van Borssom (1630-1677) [16], one such of the Schenkenschanz is known by Simon de Vlieger,10 and we have this enchanting picture by Esaias van de Velde (1587-1630) with a view of Wesel of 1618 (Berlin, no. 1952) [17].11 Other Dutchmen travelled to Cleves as well, for example the Mennonite preacher Lambert Jacobsz (c. 1598-1636) from Leeuwarden, to visit the German parish. From this trip he brought Govert Flinck with him to Friesland.

Aelbert Cuyp
View of High and Low Elten, viewed from the Sternberg, 1651/1652
paper, black chalk, graphite, grey wash, framing line in pen 149 x 239 mm
lower center : A Cùijp
Paris, Fondation Custodia - Collection Frits Lugt, inv./ I 5304

Philips Koninck
Riverlandscape with a village on the top of a hill, Hochelten?, first half 1650s
paper, pen in brown ink, brown wash 168 x 318 mm
Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, inv./ R 132

Anthonie van Borssom
Riverlandscape near Cleves with fortress Schenkenschans, High and Low Elten, c. 1660
canvas, oil paint 89,2 x 125 cm
lower left : AVBorssum fecit (?)
Düsseldorf, Museum Kunstpalast, inv./ M 121

Esaias van de Velde
View of Zierikzee, dated 1618
canvas, oil paint 27 x 40 cm
lower left : E.V.VELDE. 1618
Berlin, Gemäldegalerie (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), inv./ 1952

The invasion of the French also was not without consequence. Jan van Bunnik (1654-1727), who came to Rees in 1672 in the company of Andries de With (1649/50-1680) and Justus van den Nijpoort (c. 1625-1692), met Gerard Hoet I (1648-1733), who was summoned to paint for the French colonel and art lover Salis.12 Maybe they had no objection to doing some work temporarily for this gentleman, to supplement the travel fund. Others were looking for motifs further east: Nicolaes Berchem (1621/22-1683) and Jacob van Ruisdael (1628/29-1682) painted Bentheim Castle in the 1650s [18-19],13 Anthonie Waterloo (1609-1690) came as far as Hamburg and Danzig [20-21].14 Herman Naiwincx (1623-after 1651) died in Hamburg.

Jacob van Ruisdael
Landscape with a view of Bentheim castle, first half 1650s
panel (oak), oil paint 52 x 67,8 cm
lower left : JvRuisdael
The Hague, Koninklijk Kabinet van Schilderijen Mauritshuis, inv./ 1151

Nicolaes Berchem
Landscape with Bentheim castle, dated 1650
paper, black chalk, grey wash, brush in blue 240 x 350 mm
upper left : CBerchem . f. / 1650
Frankfurt am Main, Graphische Sammlung im Städelschen Kunstinstitut, inv./ 3842

Anthonie Waterloo
The Winsertor on the Messberg, Hamburg, c. 1660
paper, black chalk, pen in grey ink, brown and grey wash 92 x 144 mm
lower left : AW
Christie's (Amsterdam) 2015-05-13, nr. 205 recto

Anthonie Waterloo
Monastery in Oliva near Gdańsk, c. 1660
brown paper, pen and brush in grey, over graphite 298 x 761 mm
upper left : No 192
Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, inv./ 22703


1 [Gerson 1942/1983] On this section, compare: Dattenberg 1938; Muthmann 1938. The drawings and paintings listed there, are not repeated here.

2 [Van Leeuwen 2017] Gorissen 1964.

3 [Van Leeuwen 2017] The drawing in Berlin Gerson probably had in mind, is reattributed by Charles Dumas in 2012 as a possible copy by Dirk Verrijk after Saftleven (RKDimages 16995). Other drawings by Saftleven of the surroundings of Cleves are f.e. RKDimages 230334 and 232516.

4 [Gerson 1942/1983] The sketchbook of Jan van Goyen from the 1650s was bought at the Mensing auction in Amsterdam, 27-29 April 1937, no. 218 in the collection of Adolf Mayer, New York. A view of Cleves is in the Städel Museum, Frankfurt [i]. [Van Leeuwen 2017] For the sketchbook: RKDimages 197437. The sheets were sold separately by Van Diemen-Lilienfeld Galleries, New York. Beck 1972-1991, vol. 1 (1972), p. 285-286.

5 [Gerson 1942/1983] On Jan Ruyscher: § 2.11 and 2.15.

6 [Van Leeuwen 2017) It remains unclear if Isaac de Moucheron visited the area on his way to or from Italy, or that he based his composition on works by his father. Dattenberg 1967, p. 262, no. 287, ill. ; Wedde 1996, p. 436, no. P21; Wandschneider 2008 , p. 80, ill. 208, no. 62.

7 [Van Leeuwen 2017] Dattenberg 1967, p. 246, no. 276; traditionally considered a landscape in the vicinity of Cleves, however, specific details for identifying the location are lacking (Bikker/Bruijnen/Wuestman 2007, p. 238, no. 163).

8 [Van Leeuwen 2017] De Werd 1989, p. 21-22.

9 [Gerson 1942/1983] Hofstede de Groot 1919, p. 8.

10 [Gerson 1942/1983] Bredius 1915-1921, vol. 2, p. 423; Bredius 1892, p. 35. [Van Leeuwen 2017] Drawing in sale 19 October 1818, no. 42 Kunstboek C (

11 [Van Leeuwen 2017] However, the view is now identified as Zierikzee, not Wesel (Keyes 1984, p. 149, no. 109, ill. pl. 115).

12 [Van Leeuwen 2017] Houbraken 1718-1721, vol. 3, p. 239.

13 [Van Leeuwen 2017] For other examples of Bentheim by Ruisdael: Buvelot 2009, several ones in RKDimages.

14 [Van Leeuwen 2017) See also Gerson/Van Leeuwen/Tylicki 2013-2014, § 3.4.

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