Gerson Digital : Germany I


4.2 Braunschweig-Lüneburg

We will treat the duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg as a unit, which it indeed has been until 1692, when the larger part of Lüneburg was raised to the electorate of Hannover. It is all the better since this large area does not yield much material for our research. Already when considering artistic life in Hessen, it becomes clear that Dutch painters no longer appear in large numbers as was the case at the Düsseldorf or even at the Brandenburg court. Here, where the ambition of the princes is focused on other things, we find them only occasionally, and their respective activity did not last too long.

In Braunschweig the line of artists starts with Dutch/Flemish Hans Vredeman de Vries (1525/26-1609), who was employed by the duke for five years and then moved on again [1-2].1 Paulus Moreelse painted (in Braunschweig?) a portrait of Duke Christian (1599-1629) [3].2 Houbraken recounts that the Duke of Braunschweig tried to employ David Bailly in vain.3 However, the House of Welf also had a local ‘Contrafeyer and servant’, as Albert Freyse († 1652) was called in an staff inventory of Duke August the Younger in 1643 [4]. A small equestrian portrait of 1647 (collection Grand Duke of Hessen) [5] looks like a work by an average Dutch painter of the time, naturally a bit stiffer as was the custom from there. Freyse also painted Danish princes [6-7] and his work is most closely related to that of the Monogrammist AM (A. Muiltjes or Andreas Magerstadt).4

Hans Vredeman de Vries
The interrogation of John the Baptist, dated 1590
paper, pen in brown ink, grey and grey-brown wash, blue wash, heightened in white 282 x 454 mm
bottom left of the middle : Iohani Fredman friess invent(or) fecit 1590
Braunschweig, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, inv./ Z 251

Hans Vredeman de Vries
Duke Julius von von Braunschweig-Lüneburg(1528-1589), his wife Hedwig and their family (memorial altar with the Crucifixion in the center panel), dated 1590
panel, oil paint 145 x 60 cm
on the back : ANO DNI 1590 IN PRIMO DECEB
Wolfenbüttel, Schloss Wolfenbüttel

Paulus Moreelse
Portrait of Christian of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1599-1626), dated 1619
canvas, oil paint 127 x 89 cm
upper right : Moreelse fe: 1619
Braunschweig, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, inv./ 649

Albert Freyse
Gamba concert at the court of Duke August the Younger of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, c. 1647
oil paint ? x ? cm
Braunschweig, Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum

Albert Freyse
Equestrian portrait of Augustus the Younger, Duke of Braunschweig-Lüneburg (1579-1666) in front of the Wolfenbüttel Castle, dated 1647
canvas, oil paint 57,5 x 44,5 cm
lower center : Albert Freyse [ ]meister Anno 1647
Darmstadt (Germany), Hessisches Landesmuseum (Darmstadt)

Albert Freyse
Portrait of Prince Christian of Denmark (1603-1647), in or before 1641
canvas, oil paint 204 x 118 cm
Eutin, Stiftung Schloss Eutin

Albert Freyse
Portrait of Princes Magdalena Sibylla of Saxony (1617-1668), in or before 1641
canvas, oil paint 204 x 116 cm
Eutin, Stiftung Schloss Eutin

Franz de Hamilton (before 1640-after 1702), who we already have seen working in Düsseldorf and Potsdam and who we will meet again in Southern Germany, also spent three years (1672-1674) in Hannover. In the two still-lifes that until recently were in Braunschweig-Lüneburg possession [8-9],5 he appears as a follower of Willem van Aelst and Hendrik de Fromantiou, who represented this genre in Berlin.

Franz de Hamilton
Cat and dead poultry
canvas, oil paint 72 x 60 cm
lower right : F. De. Hammilton
Manson & Woods Christie (New York City) 1980-06-05, nr. 248

Johann Oswald Harms
Winter landscape, dated 1674
canvas, oil paint 69 x 103,1 cm
lower right : JOH fecit/1674
Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, inv./ 428

Franz de Hamilton
Owl with dead poultry
canvas, oil paint 71,5 x 59,5 cm
lower right : F. De Hammilton
Hannover, Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum Hannover

A full decade later we encounter the Hamburg painter Joachim Luhn as a court painter in Salzdahlum (1689/92). We already discussed his portraits in Dutch taste.6 About the same time his fellow citizen Johann Oswald Harms (1643-1708) settled in Salzdahlum, after he had worked in Venice and Dresden. A winter landscape in Dutch style of 1675 is in Hamburg [10], where he returned in 1696.7 Also Andreas Scheits came from Hamburg to Hannover, where he was active as a court painter from about 1696 on and spent the rest of his life. He was trained in Holland and was not a bad portrait painter, as his portraits of the philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) prove [11-12].8 He is also important as a teacher of Hungarian artist Ádám Mányoki (1673-1756), to whom we will return.9 The third Hamburg painter showing up in the area was Hans Hinrich Rundt (c. 1660-c. 1750), who had moved from there to Detmold and worked shortly in Wolfenbüttel in 1699 [13] and in 1702 in Brake.10

Andreas Scheits
Portrait of Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716), dated 1703
canvas, oil paint 78,9 x 69,1 cm
verso : And: Scheidtz fe./ 1703
Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Library, inv./ B 81

Hans Hinrich Rundt
Portrait of Rudolph Augustus, Duke of Braunschweig-Lüneburg (1627-1704), 1699
canvas, oil paint 85 x 61 cm
verso : Rund fe 30 Thlr
Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Library, inv./ B 110

attributed to Andreas Scheits
Portrait of Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716), to be dated 1711
canvas, oil paint 82,5 x 65,5 cm
Göttingen (Niedersachsen), Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen, inv./ 159

In 1682 Jacques Vaillant (1643-1691) came over to Hannover from Berlin to paint a few portraits [14-15] and Mattheus Terwesten, coming from Italy, stayed here for a short while (1699) before he returned home.11 Theodor Lubieniecki, who had been a pupil of Gerard de Lairesse, also made a stopover in Hannover on his way back from Italy, before he was employed in Berlin as a court painter. We can complete the list with René Auguste Constantyn (c. 1685-after 1730), a follower of the history painter Theodoor van der Schuer. Of Constantyn we only know that he went to Germany in the early 18th century. As we encounter him some years later in England as a court painter for George I (1716), it is logical to assume that his German trip brought him to the court of Hannover.

Jacques Vaillant
Portrait of Duke Maxililian of Brunswick and Luneburg (1666-1726), after 1680
canvas, oil paint 74 x 58 cm
lower left : V Vollant
Sotheby's (Hannover) 2005-10-05 - 2005-10-15, nr. 129

Jacques Vaillant
Portrait of Duke Karel Philipp of Brunswick and Luneburg (1669-1690), after 1680
canvas, oil paint 73 x 57 cm
Sotheby's (Hannover) 2005-10-05 - 2005-10-15, nr. 135

Through family ties of the House of Welf with the Palatinate – a daughter and a granddaughter of the Winter King married with Electors of Hannover – an impressive number of Dutch portraits by Gerard van Honthorst, Jan van Ravesteyn, Anthonie van Ravesteyn and others moved into the collections of the Hanoverans.12 Friedrich V von der Pfalz and his spouse employed a whole series of Dutch portrait painters. A daughter of the Winter King, Louise Hollandine, the later abbess of Maubuisson (1622-1709) [16] was taught by Honthorst.13 Apparently she never completely gave up painting, since even in 1699 she sent her sister, Electress Sophie of Hannover, a work of her own making. Recently a double portrait in the museum in Braunschweig (no. 673) [17] in the manner of Adriaen Hanneman is attributed to her.14 Hanneman, who earlier supplied the electoral families in Berlin and Dessau, ensured that the portraits of this dynasty would be handed down to posterity.15 Even today we find his pleasant portraits in the Hanoveran castles [18-19]. Princess Louise Hollandine had her own portrait painted by him too [20].16

Michiel van Mierevelt (1566-1641) portrayed numerous princes of Braunschweig and Hessen, most of them not from life, but from primitive portraits that were sent to him from Germany. He embellished them and prepared them to be engraved. Naturally he had the portraits of the King of Bohemia, as Friedrich V still was called respectfully, and that of his wife and children ‘in stock’ in numerous versions.17 Many of those found their way to relatives in Hannover.

attributed to Louise Hollandine von der Pfalz
Double portrait of a couple, possibly Maurits Lodewijk of Nassau-LaLecq (1631-1683) and Anna Isabella van Beieren-Schagen (1636-1716) as Mars and Venus, probably 1669
canvas, oil paint 124 x 134 cm
Braunschweig, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, inv./ 673

Louise Hollandine von der Pfalz
Self-portrait of Louise Hollandine Palatine (?1622-1709) as Benedictine nun
canvas, oil paint 127,5 x 93 cm
on the back : Louise Hollandine fait par elle même
Sotheby's (Hannover) 2005-10-05 - 2005-10-15, nr. 45

Adriaen Hanneman
Portraity of Sophie Princess Palatine (1630-11714), dated 1660
canvas, oil paint 134 x 107,5 cm
left : An°: 1660 / Adr: Hanneman F.
Hannover-Herrenhausen, Museum Schloss Herrenhausen

Adriaen Hanneman
Portrait van Sophie Princess Palatine (1630-1714), c. 1661-1662
canvas, oil paint 119 x 92 cm
Hannover-Herrenhausen, Museum Schloss Herrenhausen

Adriaen Hanneman
Portrait of Louise Hollandine Princess Palatine (1622-1709), dated 1655
canvas, oil paint 104 x 90 cm
Private collection

Another favoured artist by the Palatines was Jacob van der Merck (c. 1610-1664), so that it comes as no surprise that we find his rather rare paintings in the Hausmann collection, that had taken in many works from the old princely collection.18 For the rest the Hausmann collection was the product of a good, bourgeois taste. The same goes for the collection of Heinrich Grote (1675-1753), whose best Netherlandish paintings were acquired from the English art dealer John Greenwood (1727-1792) [21] in 1775 and auctioned the next year in London.19 Since the subject here is collections from central Germany, we can also think of the collection of Count Fürstenberg-Herdringen in the neighbouring Westfalen. It contains Dutch, mainly Utrecht paintings that were inherited from Vincent van Wttenhorst [22]. Until recently this beautiful collection was completely unknown to artists and amateurs.20

Bartholomeus van der Helst and Cornelis van Poelenburch and Jan Both and Jacob Duck
Portrait of Wilhelm Vincent van Wittenhorst (1613-1674), dated 1644
panel, oil paint 46 x 35 cm
center right : 1644
Münster, LWL - Museum für Kunst und Kultur

William Pether
Portrait of John Greenwood (1727-1792), in or after 1792
paper, mezzotint ? x ? mm
lower center : The Friendly Mr. Ino Greenwood, died 1792. W. Pether Fe
Boston (Massachusetts), Museum of Fine Arts Boston, inv./ 54.178


1 [Van Leeuwen 2017] Vredeman first worked at the court of Julius von Braunschweig-Lüneburg in Wolfenbüttel from 1587 until May 1589, but was fired by his successor Duke Heinrich-Julius. From May 1589 until 1592 he worked in Braunschweig: his next stop was Hamburg (Borggrefe/Fusenig/Uppenkamp 2002).

2 [Gerson 1942/1983] Such portraits naturally could have originated in Holland. Houbraken stated f.i. quite clearly that Jan de Baen painted the portraits of the count of Celle in The Hague (Houbraken 1718-1721, vol. 2, p. 306). [Van Leeuwen 2017] Indeed Marten Jan Bok stated that the portrait was painted in Utrecht (Bok 2002, p. 22). See also Büttner et al. 2002.

3 [Gerson 1942/1983] Houbraken 1718-1721, vol. 2, p. 118.

4 [Van Leeuwen 2017] Andreas Magerstadt (not identical to Adriaen Muiltjes) was a portraitist from Hamburg who received payments from the Gottorf court in 1646 and 1651 (Schmidt 1916-1917). Paintings in Gripsholm, Marienfred and Frederiksborg Castle,  Hillerød (see RKDimages).

5 [Gerson 1942/1983] Images in Biermann 1914, no. 83-84. [Van Leeuwen 2017] Although still mentioned in the Bildindex der Kunst & Architektur as located in the Niedersächsiches Landesmuseum, one of the pendants was auctioned in New York  (Christie, Manson & Woods) on 1980-06-05, no. 248. Its pendant must have been deaccessioned too, since it does not appear in Dülberg 1990.

6 [Gerson 1942/1983] On Luhn: § 2.5.

7 [Van Leeuwen 2017] Sitt/Schneede/Gassner 2007, vol. 1, p. 186-187, no. 428, ill.

8 [Gerson 1942/1983] Thiersch 1920-1921, p. 20-25; compare the remark in Stechow 1926, p. 50-51. [Van Leeuwen 2017] Wenzel/Matthey 2012, p. 385-389, no. 101, ill.

9 [Gerson 1942/1983] Gerson 1942/1983, p. 304, 307, 341, 524.

10 [Van Leeuwen 2017] On Hans Heinrich Rundt: § 4.3.

11 [Van Leeuwen 2017] Although there is detailed information of Matthias Terwesten’s whereabouts in Wansink 1995, there is no mention of a stay in Hannover.

12 [Gerson 1942/1983] Wendland 1921.

13 [Van Leeuwen 2017] Von Rohr 1989.

14 [Gerson 1942/1983] Fink 1936, p. 24. [Van Leeuwen 2017] Klessman 1983, p. 127-128, no. 673, ill.; Von Rohr 1989, p. 156, no. 19, fig. 10.

15 [Gerson 1942/1983] Bredius/Moes 1896, p. 212.

16 [Gerson 1942/1983] A certain H. Hulsman must have painted her too. Both portraits used to be in Hannover.

17 [Gerson 1942/1983] Bredius 1908, p. 8.

18 [Gerson 1942/1983] Hannover 1863 and Hausmann 1827 and Hausmann 1831. [Van Leeuwen 2017] Hausmann 1831, p. 61, no. 119-120: J. Merck, 1634, portraits (bust-length) of Robert and Henriette van der Pfalz; Hannover 1963, p. 105, no. 119, 120: J. Merck, Robert von der Pfalz as a boy, Henriette von der Pfalz as a child;  Köhler et al. 1891, p. 145, no. 304, 30: Jacobus Fransz van der Merck, portrait of Robert von der Pfalz, dated 1634 and portrait of Henriette von der Pfalz, dated 1633. In later catalogues of the museum they no longer appear: they were probably returned to the House of Hannover. Not in auction Berlin (Lepke) 1925-03-31, nor in auction Hannover (Sotheby's) 2005-10-05/2005-10-15.

19 [Gerson 1942/1983] Notes from mr. A. Lemke in Hannover. [Van Leeuwen 2017] Auction catalogue London (Christie’s) 29 March 1776 (Lugt 2520).

20 [Gerson 1942/1983] Friedländer 1905; De Jonge 1932; Cohen 1927; Fürstenberg-Herdringen 1928. [Van Leeuwen 2017] Boers 2004.

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