Gerson Digital : Germany I


6.6 Munich

Here we ignore the mannerist school at the Bavarian court, although a Dutch artist (Pieter Isaacsz) belonged to this school as well. Basically, this group of artists has its own history and development, that preceded the flourishing of the Dutch art of the 17th century. Therefore we start with some portrait painters. Johann de Pay (1614-1660?) was trained in the Netherlands, where he especially copied Anthony van Dyck, a model he adhered to for a long time (Ansbach, portrait of 1655) [1].1 A Self-portrait of 1649 (Augsburg), however, almost comes close to Dutch portraiture in the treatment of chiaroscuro [2].2 Other portraits again are treated in a Flemish-Dutch combination of styles (Schleissheim, portraits of 1644 and 1659) [3-4].

Johann de Pay
Portrait of a 46 year-old man, dated 1655
canvas, oil paint 120 x 95 cm
lower right : Johan. de paij. Fec.
Munich, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, inv./ 50

Johann de Pay
Self-portrait of Johann de Pay (1614-1660), dated 1649
canvas, oil paint 87 x 75 cm
lower right : Johann De Peij F / Anno 1649
Augsburg, Deutsche Barockgalerie, inv./ 4844

Johann de Pay
Portrait of a 34 year old man, dated 1644
canvas, oil paint 134,5 x 104,5 cm
left center : ÆTATIS SVÆ 34. AO: 1644.
Munich, Alte Pinakothek

Johann de Pay
Portrait of an unknown man, dated 1659
canvas, oil paint 135,7 x 105,4 cm
left center : NATVS A° MDCX / PINXIT A° MDCLIX
Munich, Alte Pinakothek

Jacob Potma (†1704) came from Friesland. He was a pupil of Wybrand de Geest and worked for a long time as ‘Kamerherr’ [chamberlain] of the Elector of Bavaria [5] with whom he is said to have travelled to Vienna. His altar pieces and ceiling decorations in Pfreimd, however, do not show any Dutch training. 3 Nikolaus Prucker (c. 1620-1694) created some magnificent portraits that are close to Gerard ter Borch and Isaack Luttichuys (portraits in Ansbach of 1664) [6].4 Although he was employed by the Electors Maximilian [7] and Ferdinand Maria, his works lack all courtly elegance; his portraits rather have a dreamy, almost melancholic quality. The landscape background underlines the Dutch character of his portrait type. His later portraits, such as Maximilian Graf von Kurtz (1595-1662) (Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich) [8] are more loose and smooth, comparable to the works of Govert Flinck, Jürgen Ovens or Jonson van Ceulen.5

Jacob Potma
A master teaching a child to draw
canvas, oil paint 102 x 80 cm
lower left : 229
Christie's (London (England)) 1993-05-20, nr. 308

Nikolaus Prucker
Equestrian portrait of Maximilian, Duke, later Elector of Bavaria (1573-1651), c. 1640-1650
canvas, oil paint 365 x 289 cm
Oberschleissheim, Staatsgalerie im neuen Schloss Schleissheim, inv./ 2569

Nikolaus Prucker
Portrait of a 20 year-old man, dated 1664
canvas, oil paint 135 x 105,5 cm
left center : ÆTAT. SVÆ / A° XX / NB F i664
Munich, Alte Pinakothek

Nikolaus Prucker
Portrait of Maximilian Graf von Kurtz (1595-1662), c. 1650-1660
canvas, oil paint 61 x 47,5 cm
Munich, Bayerisches Nationalmuseum

Jonas Wolff
Portrait of Lucia Thoma (1589-1651), 1640s
canvas, oil paint 85,5 x 72 cm
upper left : NATA D. 25 SEPT : 1589. / DENATA D. 2 JAN : 1651
Frederik Muller (Amsterdam) 1912-12-04 - 1912-12-05, nr. 74

It is said that Jonas Wolff, who in 1641 came to Munich and died there in 1680, was trained in Vienna. That is hard to believe, considering his Dutch-looking portraits such as the one that was in the Grimaldi auction (Amsterdam, 1912-12-04, no. 74) [9]. In the modelling it is very similar to the works by Thomas de Keyser; maybe a bit more stiff than we are used to in good, ‘real’ Dutch paintings.

Herewith we have reached the end of our list. We cannot name landscape painters in this context, unless we refer once more to Johann Franz Beich, who died in Munich.6 This is all the more surprising, since Dutch landscape paintings occur now and again the Bavarian collections. In the collection inventories of Rudolf Wilhelm zu Stutenberg,7 Freiherr Franz von Mayer8 and others we find the names of Jan Both, Willem van Bemmel, Philips Wouwerman,9 Jan Asselijn, Jan van Ossenbeeck and Pieter van Laer. In the electorate collection, however, Flemish art predominated, especially after Elector Maximilian II Emanuel (1662-1726) [10], who also became governor of the Spanish Netherlands in 1691, purchased art on a grand scale in Antwerp, which benefitted the Alte Pinakothek and other Bavarian collections.10

Jacques Ignatius de Roore
Allegorical tribute to Maximiliaan Emanuel of Bavaria (1662-1726), c. 1711-1714
canvas, oil paint 138 x 96 cm
lower left : JIR
Munich, Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, inv./ 93/1017


1 [Van Leeuwen 2017] On Johann de Pay: Saur 1992-, vol. 94 (2017), p. 467 (text: Susanna Partsch).

2 [Gerson 1942/1983] Images in Biermann 1914, no. 21 and 350.

3 [Van Leeuwen 2017] Potma was erroneously thought to have died in 1684, but he was buried in Munich 27 June 1704 (Epple 1989, p. 184).  Potma was in the service of  Maximilian Philipp Hieronymus Duke of Bavaria-Leuchtenberg (1638-1705). The illustrated painting was inthe latter's collection and appeared in the inventory of Salzdahlum of 1776. A series of large mythological figures in the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen in RKDimages, no. 286135-286141. Gerson erroneously states  Postma instead of Potma.

4 [Van Leeuwen 2017] Fascimile of the monogram and dating (1664) in RKDexcerpts.

5 [Gerson 1942/1983] Images in Biermann 1914, no. 17 and 19. Other portraits in the Residenz Museum, Munich.

6 [Van Leeuwen 2017] Also § 6.3.

7 [Gerson 1942/1983] Sandrart/Peltzer 1675/1925, p. 314; Peltzer 1937-1938, p. 260-262.

8 [Gerson 1942/1983] Wellnhofer 1936.

9 [Gerson 1942/1983] Houbraken 2719-1721, vol. 2, p. 71.

10 [Van Leeuwen 2017] On his collection: Krempel 1976.  The most notable acquisition by Max Emanuel was the collection he purchased from the Antwerp merchant Gisbert van Colen in 1698 (Renger/Denk 2002, p. 14-15).

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