Gerson Digital : Germany I


7.2 History Painters and Rembrandt Pupils in Vienna

Flemish-Dutch mannerists, such as Karel van Mander I (1548-1606)1 and Adriaen van Conflans (died in or before 1607)2 also worked for the emperor in Vienna. Someone called Erasmus van der Pere, who got married there in 1602, is mentioned as a private painter of Emperor Matthias [1].3 A certain Matheus van Werm from Maastricht got married in Vienna in 1633.4 Simon Peter Tilman (1601-1668) from Bremen, the son of the above-mentioned Johann Tilemann, painted Ferdinand III’s portrait in Vienna.5

Pieter van Laer (1599-1642), who would have liked to sell something at the court on his return from Italy in 1639, was less lucky in this respect.6 The court painter Frans Luyckx (1604-1668) tried to mediate, ‘but when the emperor heard, that it was a painting with beggars depicted, he hardly wanted to have a look at it and left the poor Bamboots or de Laer stuck in his poverty´.7 Samuel van Hoogstraten (1627-1678), who tells us this sad story, found a better fate there. Besides a portrait of a nobleman and a Crowning of thorns of Christ,8 he showed the emperor a deceptively painted still-life, which he immediately kept [2].9 Hoogstraten was even allowed to paint a copy of the portrait, that Saint Luke himself is said to have painted of the Holy Virgin (!).10 The emperor gave him a medal.11

Erasmus van de Pere
Two amorini embracing a tree, dated 1614
paper, pen 188 x 145 mm
Bremen, Kunsthalle Bremen, inv./ 50/216

Samuel van Hoogstraten
Trompe L'oeil still life of a letter rack with a rosary and playing cards, 1651-1654
canvas, oil paint 49 x 51,5 cm
center : S. Sam / Hoog
Prague, Prague Castle Picture Gallery, inv./ O 108

Samuel van Hoogstraten
Portrait of Ferdinand Count of Werdenberg (?-1666), dated 1652
canvas, oil paint 181 x 121,3 cm
lower right : SvHoogstraten / 1652
Winterthur, Museum Briner und Kern

That was all in the year 1651, when Van Hoogstraten was about to travel to Italy. The artist stayed in Rome for a short time only and we find him in 1653-1654 again for some time at the imperial court, before he continued his journey to Dordrecht. The above-mentioned compositions have not survived, but some others from his Viennese period did [3]:12 the two paintings in the Gallery in Vienna, The view of the Hofburg in Vienna of 1652 [4] and the Old man in a window of 1653 [5] and on top of this an illusionistic painted still-life (one of his famous ‘oogenbedrieger’, or trompe l’oeil) , that is inscribed on the letter: ‘received from S. van Hoogstraten in Vienna, 12 February 1655’ (Paris, Auction Lippman-Lissingen) [6].13 A specialist from the breed of the Berckheydes could not have painted The View of the Hofburg in Vienna more realistically, not more soberly. The Old man in a window is rendered equally precisely, although not softened by the chiaroscuro, almost diminutively. One could compare the painting rather to a Gerard Dou or a Salomon de Koninck than to Rembrandt. And regarding the still-life, Hoogstraten personally relates, that he tried to create the best possible illusionistic paintings (trompe l’oeil) both for the emperor in Vienna and in England.14

Samuel van Hoogstraten
View of the Hofburg in Vienna, dated 1652
panel, oil paint 79 x 84,5 cm
upper center : Samuel van Hoogstraten / 1652
Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv./ GG 1752

Samuel van Hoogstraten
Old man in a window, dated 1653
canvas, oil paint 111 x 86,5 cm
lower right : SvH / 1653 [SvH in ligature]
Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv./ GG 378

Samuel van Hoogstraten
Trompe-l'oeil stilleven, dated 1655
canvas, oil paint 92,3 x 72,2 cm
center : Empfangen / Den 1[2?] Feber / 1655 von / S. v Hoogstrate / Wie[n]
Vienna, Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien, inv./ GG-1406

This clever realism, that borders unartistic illusionism, must have made a great impression on the emperor and the court. The emperor also acquired two illusionistic still-lifes by Sebastian Stosskopf, as he took enormous delight in deceivingly painted things [7-8].15 Samuel’s brother Jan van Hoogstraten (1629-1654) came with him (or somewhat later) to the Viennese court, where he also died. He painted a Denial of Saint Peter there, that has not survived. An interior with two women, however, has.

Sébastien Stoskopff
Trompe-l'oeil with triumph of Galatea, c. 1650-1651
canvas, oil paint 65 x 54 cm
lower center : Stoskopff fecit
Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv./ 3553

Sébastien Stoskopff
Still life with glasses and silver goblets, c. 1645
canvas, oil paint 65 x 54 cm
Karlsruhe, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, inv./ 2232

Joachim von Sandrart I (1606-1688) came for the first time from Southern Germany to the imperial court at the same time as Samuel van Hoogstraten. He painted numerous works for the Viennese churches. The most important work, although made during a later stay, was the former high altar of the Schottenkirche [Church of the Scots) (now in the parish church of Zwischenbrücken) [9], ‘with which composition Sandrart presented painting in Vienna with a great example’.16 It is the painting of an ‘arch virtuoso’, who mixes Rembrandt’s chiaroscuro with Italian liveliness and Flemish treatment of figures. The court seemed to have had some appreciation of the German Rembrandt followers, for we hear from Sandrart, that Johann Ulrich Mayr (1630-1704) was called to Vienna as well [10-11]. Regretfully more precise notes on his activities there are not extant.17

Joachim von Sandrart (I)
Celestial glory, 1671
canvas, oil paint 700 x 400 cm
Vienna, Museum im Schottenstift

Johann Ulrich Mayr
Portrait of archduke Leopold Wilhelm (1614-1662), c. 1660
canvas, oil paint 128 x 96 cm
right : Mair f.
Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv./ GG 3406

Johann Ulrich Mayr
Portrait of Leopold Wilhelm of Habsburg (1614-1662) archduke of Austria, c. 1660
paper, pastel 21,2 x 17,8 cm
Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin

We remember, that Christopher Paudiss (c. 1625-1666) said goodbye to the court of Dresden in 1660 to try his luck in Vienna. In September of 1660 he arrived there, provided with a good reference of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, who already had given him some consignments before. In the two years of his activity in Vienna he mainly painted portraits and still-lifes. The still-lifes are not unlike those of Samuel van Hoogstraten, with the same realism and good, painterly execution [12]. In his work, however, the illusionism is not pushed to the extreme in the way of Van Hoogstraten. The portraits from the Viennese time are elegant and gently-picturesque. They are Dutch in the best sense and stand at the same level as a Simon Luttichuys and Aert de Gelder (ill. 22/ 68) [13]. We can say without exaggeration, that this ‘Rembrandt pupil from Lower Saxony’ worthily represented the style of his master in Vienna. The paintings from that time undoubtedly are the best in his complete oeuvre. The works that originated some years later in Freising are less interesting. The genre paintings look slightly distorted and bizarre, and the religious images are rather pale and lifeless.18

Christopher Paudiss
Still life with beer, herring, a pipe and tabacco, dated 1660
panel, oil paint 87,5 x 73 cm
lower right : Christopher Paudiss / 1660
Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Christopher Paudiss
Portrait of a young man with outstretched hand, dated 1661
panel (poplar), oil paint 98 x 80 cm
lower right : Criststofher Paudiß / 1661
Prague, Národní Galerie v Praze, inv./ DO 4127 (Z 451)


1 [Van Leeuwen 2018] In 1577 Karel van Mander travelled from Italy back to Flanders, via Krems and Vienna. In Vienna he built, together with Bartholomeus Spranger and the sculptor Hans Mont, the 'arcke Triumphael' for the pompa introitus of the new Habsburg Emperor Rudolf II on 17 July 1577. He probably did not know the emperor personally (Duits 1993, p. 121 and note 41).

2 [Van Leeuwen 2018] He was paid 160 fl. for several paintings by the court in Vienna in January 1569 (Von Schönherr 1893, no. 10189).

3 [Gerson 1942/1983] Hadjecki 1905-1907, vol. 23 (1905), p. 4-5.

4 [Gerson 1942/1983] Hadjecki 1905-1907, vol. 23 (1905), p. 8.

5 [Gerson 1942/1983] Houbraken 1718-1721, vol. 2, p. 88. [Van Leeuwen 2018] However, no such portrait can be identified. This means there is no proof for a visit by Tilman to Vienna.

6 [Kosten 2017] According to Briganti 1991 (read in Sandrart) he returned to Amsterdam in 1639.

7 [Gerson 1942/1983] Van Hoogstraten 1678, p. 95.

8 [Van Leeuwen 2018] Houbraken 1718-1721, vol. 2, p. 157. [Van Leeuwen 2018] Hofstede de Groot discusses a Crowning with thorns of Christ, at the time in Bamberg, now in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich (RKDimages 289005), that has been associated with Houbraken’s reference. He states that, according to the restorer Prof. Hauser in Munich, the signature and date (1657) are completely modern, which led Hofstede de Groot to conclude that the painting was not by the hand of Van Hoogstraten (Hofstede de Groot 1893, p. 133-134).

9 [Van Leeuwen 2018] Houbraken 1718-1721, vol. 2, p. 157-158. There are three still-lifes known of Hoogstraten’s Viennese period (RKDimages 289010, 286482 and 286610). The still-life now in the Prague Castle is the most likely candidate to be the painting mentioned by Houbraken.

10 [Van Leeuwen 2018] ‘Ik heb voor keyzer Ferdinand eens een berookte Lievrouw met haer kindeken, zo men zeyde, van Sint Lukas in den hemel nae ’t leven geschildert, gekopiert’ (Van Hoogstraten 1678, p. 358); Houbraken 1718-1721, vol. 1, p. 293. Roscam Abbing connects this painting to a payment of 150 guilders Samuel van Hoogstraten received from the imperial court on 20 July 1654, during Van Hoogstraten’s second stay in Vienna (Roscam Abbing 1993, p. 47, no. 35).

11 [Van Leeuwen 2018] Houbraken 1718-1721, vol. 2, p. 157. On the medal: Roscam Abbing 1993, p. 42-43, no. 29.

12 [Van Leeuwen 2018] In 1990 the portrait of Ferdinand Graf von Werdenberg appeared on the art market; in 2012 it was acquired by the Museum Briner und Kern in Winterthur. Also other paintings may have been painted in Vienna, such as RKDimages 69583 and 289004.

13 [Van Leeuwen 2018] Since 1957 in the Akademie der Bildende Künste in Vienna.

14 [Gerson 1942/1983] Van Hoogstraten 1678, p. 274. Regarding his Viennese sojourn; Van Hoogstraten 1678, p. 201-204. From his time in Vienna also stem the perspective boxes (Misme 1925).

15 [Gerson 1942/1983] See p. 273 [§ 6.1].

16 [Gerson 1942/1983] Tietze 1918, p. 140, ill. [Van Leeuwen 2018] The Allerheiligenkirche Zwischenbrücken was destroyed by bombs on 7 February 1945. The painting returned to the Museum im Schottenstift. Sandrart did not paint the work in Vienna, but in Augsburg. It was exhibited there in the Golden Room of the Town Hall of Augsburg before it was sent to Vienna (Reiter et al. 1994, p. 170-171, no. 81, ill.).

17 [Van Leeuwen 2018] According to Von Sandrart he was called to Vienna and painted Leopold Wilhelm's portrait, for which he was paid handsomely and awarded with a medal and golden chain and medal (Sandrart/Klemm 1675/1994, vol. 2, p. 329). Since indeed there exist works representing the emperor, Von Sandrart’s information seems correct: Mayr probably was in Vienna in 1659 or 1660. See § 6.2.

18 [Gerson 1942/1983] Images in Peltzer 1937-1938.

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