Gerson Digital : Denmark

RKD STUDIES

2.13 Fine painters

We detect the last echoes of Rembrandt’s art in the portraits of Jacob Koninck I, who moved to Denmark in 1676, where his son played an important role as landscape painter (to be discussed later). The portraits that can be attributed with some plausibility to the elder Koninck already lead into the elegant portrait style of the following century.1

One can best recognize the change in taste from the names of artists who now come into their own. In 1664 Jan de Baen (1633-1702) painted the Danish State Minister, Count Anton von Aldenburg, along with his wife [1].2 Around 1662 Frans van Mieris (1635-1681) portrayed Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve in Leiden (Copenhagen no. 457) [2]. He had a general predilection for Dutch fijnschilders (painters of minute refinement), such as Adriaen van der Werff (1659-1722) and Toussaint Gelton (c. 1630-1680), who are represented in his collections [3-4]. The Danish David Estevanes (active 1691-1703) painted in the style of the late Maes and of Jan de Baen [5].

1
Jan de Baen
Portrait of Anton I von Aldenburg (1633-1680), dated 1664
canvas, oil paint ? x ? cm
lower right : De Baen pinx. 1664.
Private collection

2
Frans van Mieris (I)
Portrait of Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve (1638-1704), dated 1662
panel, oil paint 31,5 x 22 cm
lower left : F van Mieris feset. A° i662
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark

3
Adriaen van der Werff
Young girl with a vase,
panel, oil paint 27 x 20 cm
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, inv./cat.nr. KMSsp663

4
Toussaint Gelton
The scholar and Death, 1670s
panel, oil paint 30,5 x 24,5 cm
bottom left of the middle : T. Geltton fe
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, inv./cat.nr. 523 (cat. 1922)

5
James MacArdell after David Estevanes
Portrait of the Rabbi David Nietto (1654-1728), c. 1727
paper, mezzotint ? x ? mm
London (England), Jewish Museum (London), inv./cat.nr. AR 1933

6
Jacob Coning
Portrait of Niels Juel (1629-1697), c. 1685
canvas, oil paint 134 x 118 cm
Hillerød, The National Museum of History Frederiksborg Castle, inv./cat.nr. A 1238

Beyond that, Dutch influence in portrait painting is a thing of the past. The portraits of the second Jacob Coning (c.1648-1724)3 (as well as the late works of Jacob Koninck I) are hardly Dutch [6-7]. Occasionally, they may be compared to late Netscher portraits, but the majority are relatively coarsely rendered in spite of their French elegance. The third artist of this family, Johan Herman Coning (c. 1679-1737), had only a Dutch-sounding name.4

7
Jacob Coning
Portrait of Sophie Amalie Vind (1668-1743), dated 1696
oil paint 72 x 58 cm
: Jac Coning . fecit
Hillerød, The National Museum of History Frederiksborg Castle, inv./cat.nr. A 563

No more do indigenous artists, such as Samuel Duarte (1617-1671), reach a high standard [8-12].5 However, Balthasar Denner (1685-1749), who transferred the refined Dutch rendering of a Van der Werff or Jan van Huijsum to his portraits, is rightly classed with the gifted masters. He was briefly in Copenhagen in 1719 [13]. Since he enjoyed a major reputation as a portraitist, several noble Danes did not shun the road to Hamburg to have themselves portrayed by this skilled master.

8
Salomon Duarte
Portrait of Ludwig VII, landgrave of Hessen-Darmstadt (1658-1678), dated 1663
copper, oil paint 16,5 x 15 cm
left center : Duarte f. / 1663
Private collection

12
Salomon Duarte
Portrait of Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel (1650-1714) with to the left a view of the city of Kassel, c. 1667
canvas, oil paint 208 x 136 cm
Hillerød, The National Museum of History Frederiksborg Castle, inv./cat.nr. R4

9
Salomon Duarte
Portrait of Augusta Magdalena, prinsess of Hessen-Darmstadt (1657-1674), dated 1665
copper, oil paint 16,5 x 14,5 cm
lower right : Duarte f. / 1663
Private collection

10
Salomon Duarte
Portrait of Sophie Marie, prinses of Hessen-Darmstadt (1661-1712), dated 166.
copper, oil paint 16,5 x 15 cm
center right : S. Duar.... / f. 166.
Private collection

13
Balthasar Denner
Self-portrait of Balthasar Denner (1685-1749), dated 1719
canvas, oil paint 52 x 40,5 cm
lower right : Denner fec./ 1719/Aet: 33½
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark

11
Salomon Duarte
Portrait of Frederik, landgrave of Hessen-Darmstadt (1659-1676), dated 1663
copper, oil paint 16,5 x 15 cm
left center : Duarte f. / 1663
Private collection

Toussaint Gelton (c. 1630-1680) was a characteristic practitioner of refined genre pictures [14], small portraits [15] and Arcadian landscapes [16].6 In short, he was a minor Frans van Mieris. Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve probably had him come from Sweden, where Gelton’s art was greatly admired. He was active as agent of Frederick III in Amsterdam by 1661, but it appears that he first entered the permanent service of Christian V (ruled 1670-1699) in 1674, since it was in that year that he was first paid an annual stipendium of 660 Thalern. In 1675 to 1677 he travelled to Dresden, Heidelberg and Kassel to portray relatives of the royal family. The king appears to have greatly admired his art because, in addition to the works he commissioned, he also acquired the paintings in the artist’s estate.7

14
Toussaint Gelton
Young man writing by candlelight, dated 1663
copper, oil paint 39 x 30 cm
: Geltton fec 1663
Stockholm, Nationalmuseum Stockholm, inv./cat.nr. NM 1150

15
Toussaint Gelton
Portrait of Wilhelmine Ernestine (1650-1706), daughter of Frederick III of Denmark, dated 1677
copper, oil paint 21 x 17 cm
: Toussaint Gelton fc. 1677
Copenhagen, The Royal Danish Collection - Rosenborg Castle, inv./cat.nr. 7-32

16
Toussaint Gelton
Resting nymph,
copper, oil paint 35,5 x 27 cm
lower right : T.G.
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, inv./cat.nr. KMS1873

Gelton had a successor in the Danish Wilken Riboldt (1661-1711) and a predecessor, as far as Poelenburch emulation is concerned, in Daniel Vertangen († 1681), who was probably in Denmark for a short while around 1658 [17].8 In 1695 Riboldt painted a pendant to a Frans van Mieris (Copenhagen) [18-19],9 but a depiction of Human Vice does not show him to be a worthy rival [20]. In 1696 Gelton’s visit to Germany was repeated by two artists, Jan Frans Frans van Douven (1656-1727) and Anthon Schoonjans (c. 1655-1726), who had to portray Christian V as well as his wife and children on commission from and at the expense of the German Emperor Leopold I [21-22]. The princess Sophie Hedwig [23-25] was Archduke’s Joseph’s bride, which explains the family interest. Examples of their portraits, like those of their relatives painted by these artists, are still found in Danish collections.10

17
Daniel Vertangen
The storming of Copenhagen on the night between 10 and 11 February 1659, probably 1659
canvas, oil paint 64,7 x 82,9 cm
: D. Vertangen
Copenhagen, The Royal Danish Collection - Rosenborg Castle, inv./cat.nr. 7.27, cat. nr. 703

18
Jacob Ochtervelt
The merry drinker,
panel, oil paint 21,5 x 18 cm
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, inv./cat.nr. KMSsp567

19
Wilcken Riboldt
Drinking soldier, dated 1695
panel, oil paint 23,5 x 20,5 cm
: WBRibolt: 1695
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, inv./cat.nr. 822

20
Wilcken Riboldt
Allegory on the corrupt world, dated 28 March 1695
copper, oil paint 60 x 90 cm
: WBRibolt. fec Anno 1693 .28 Marty
Hillerød, The National Museum of History Frederiksborg Castle, inv./cat.nr. A 4373

21
Jan Frans van Douven
Portrait of Chrisitan V (1646-1699), dated 1696
canvas, oil paint 84,2 x 65,6 cm
: F. Douven 1696
Copenhagen, The Royal Danish Collection - Rosenborg Castle, inv./cat.nr. 7-288

22
Anthon Schoonjans
Portrait of Prince William (1687-1705), c. 1696
canvas, oil paint 87,0 x 66,5 cm
Copenhagen, The Royal Danish Collection - Rosenborg Castle, inv./cat.nr. 8-54

23
Jan Frans van Douven
Portrait of Princess Sophie Hedevig (1677-1735), c. 1696
canvas, oil paint 88 x 67 cm
: J. F. Douwen pinx.
Hillerød, The National Museum of History Frederiksborg Castle, inv./cat.nr. A 1265

24
Jan Frans van Douven
Portrait of Princess Sophie Hedevig (1677-1735), c. 1696
canvas, oil paint 87,6 x 66,5 cm
Copenhagen, The Royal Danish Collection - Rosenborg Castle, inv./cat.nr. 9-109

As one of the last fijnschilders of the 17th century, we must mention Godfried Schalcken’s student and emulator Justus van Bentum (1670-1727), who, incidentally, is also to have portrayed Christian V, like Schalcken.11 A family portrait in Boller Castle is fully signed and dated 1706 [25]. It is remarkable that Johan Friedrich Gerhard (c. 1695-1748), a German artist who died in Copenhagen, composed a few genre pictures in the manner of the Dutch fijnschilders (museum in Würzburg) [26-27].

25
Justus van Bentum
Family portrait, dated 1706
canvas, oil paint 141,5 x 120,5 cm
on the back : Diesses Original ist geschilderd durch Justus von Bentum In Kopenhagen den 1 Julli Ano 1706
Horsens, private collection Boller Slot

26
Johann Friedrich Gerhard
Interior with an officer and a young lady,
copper, oil paint 25 x 20 cm
Munich, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, inv./cat.nr. 5697

27
Johann Friedrich Gerhard
The sick woman,
copper, oil paint 35 x 30 cm
Munich, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, inv./cat.nr. 5698


Notes

1 [Van Leeuwen 2015] Only archival documents establish that Jacob Koninck I also painted portraits (T. van der Molen in Saur 1992-, vol. 81 [2014], p. 262).

2 [Gerson 1942/1983] Lund/Andersen 1895-1910, vol. 1 (1895), Tillaeg, p. 1-2. [Van Leeuwen 2015] The portrait of Aldenburg’s wife is of a later date and though Dutch, not by De Baen (RKDimages 255820). Actually Anton I von Aldenburg was not Danish state minister, but governor in the counties of Oldenborg-Delmenhorst (communication Birgitte Bøggild Johannsen).

3 [Van Leeuwen 2015] The spelling in the Scandinavian literature is rightly not ‘Koninck’ but ‘Coning’, in conformance with the perfectly legible signatures on his landscape paintings. The portrait of a woman illustrated here is the only signed portrait by Jacob Coning known to me. The portraits of Jacob Coning, of which many are located in Norway, deserve closer study.

4 [Gerson 1942/1983] Hoeg Brask 1941. [Van Leeuwen 2015] It appears that he worked in the style of his father and that the latter’s work is possibly being confused with his. A pair of Norwegian landscapes signed ‘JH Coning’ are (were?) located in Gaunø (Madsen 1914, p. 12, nos. 30-31).

5 [Van Leeuwen 2015] Rudi Ekkart in Saur 1992-, vol. 30 (2001), p. 12. Gerson assumed that Duarte probably worked in the then Danish part of Germany.

6 [Van Leeuwen 2015] Letters by Gelton containing many unusual details about his life have survived and were published in Danish by G. Rasmussen (Rasmussen 1916). This article is included in English translation in the present publication (§ 8).

7 [Van Leeuwen 2015] Now primarily in the Statens Museum for Kunst and in Rosenborg Castle.

8 [Gerson 1942/1983] A Storm over Copenhagen in Rosenborg Castle (cat. V. 1888), is no longer on display. [Van Leeuwen 2015]. The work was exhibited in the treasury in 2013.

9 [Van Leeuwen 2015] The work is no longer accepted as a Frans van Mieris (Naumann 1981, vol. 2, p. 130, no. B7).

10 [Gerson 1942/1983] Faaborg 1926.

11 [Gerson 1942/1983] Veth 1892. [Van Leeuwen 2015] No portrait of Christian IV by Schalcken is known. It is nevertheless possible that Schalcken profited from a stay in Düsseldorf to travel to the court of the Danish king (Beherman 1988, p. 27).

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