Gerson Digital : Denmark

RKD STUDIES

2.15 Echoes of Dutch Art in the 18th Century

The history of the influence of Dutch art ends with its decline, and its causes were the same ones that also underlie stylistic developments in Denmark. With Jacques d’Agar (1640-1715) [1], who came to Denmark in 1684, and with Benoît Le Coffre (1672-1722, in Denmark in 1696)1 [2], courtly French art arrived and replaced the realistic Netherlandish oriented and schooled portraiture of the 17th century. The first signs of French influence began to take hold during the reign of Frederick III (ruled 1648-1670). The Danish Johann Georg Ziesenis (1716-1776),2 was a capable portraitist of the 18th century, whose Dutch stay of 1768 in no way led to a pursuit of Dutch features along 17th-century lines [3-4].

1
Jacques d' Agar
Portrait of Christian V, king of Denmark and Norway (1646-1699),
canvas, oil paint 121,5 x 101 cm
Hillerød, The National Museum of History Frederiksborg Castle, inv./cat.nr. A 7074

2
Benoît Le Coffre
The five senses, after 1696
canvas, oil paint 76 x 92 cm
on the back : Gaunö / Nr. 1506 / dese A?chehór / Jomfru Anna Maria / Edingerie(?)
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, inv./cat.nr. KMS8665

3
Johann Georg Ziesenis
Portrait of Stadholder Willem V (1748-1806)., c. 1768-1769
canvas, oil paint 141 x 101 cm
The Hague, Koninklijk Kabinet van Schilderijen Mauritshuis, inv./cat.nr. 462

4
Johann Georg Ziesenis
Portrait of Wilhelmina van Pruisen (1751-1820), c. 1768-1769
canvas, oil paint 141 x 101 cm
The Hague, Koninklijk Kabinet van Schilderijen Mauritshuis, inv./cat.nr. 463

According to Madsen, Peter Cramer (1726-1782) was the first Danish artist whose paintings show true Danish characteristics. It is remarkable, however, that in an attempt to overcome French taste he practiced copying Teniers and the Dutch [5-7]. In other words, the realism of the Dutch was once more pressed into service, this time to help a young artist find himself. The genre pictures of Cramer’s last years [8] are reminiscent of French painters working in a Dutch style, such as Drolling, Lépicié and Chardin.

5
Peter Cramer
Winter landscape by night, 1770s
canvas, oil paint 61,5 x 78 cm
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, inv./cat.nr. KMS6404

6
Peter Cramer
Kitchen interior,
oil paint 33 x 27 cm
Rasmussen 1971-12-07 - 1971-12-16, nr. 71

7
Peter Cramer
Polish soldier,
panel, oil paint, grisaille 23,8 x 17,2 cm
lower right : Cramer
Manson & Woods Christie (London (England)) 1987-05-08, nr. 50

8
Peter Cramer
Man smoking a pipe in an interior,
panel, oil paint 19,5 x 13,5 cm
on the back : P. Cramer
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, inv./cat.nr. KMS6154

9
Jens Juel
Selfportrait of Jens Juel (1745-1802), 1780s
paper, black and white chalk 382 x 256 mm
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. KKS4738

The work of Jens Juel (1745-1802) [9] disintegrates both stylistically and iconographically into two halves, portraits that are painted with French elegance and flower pieces in the style of Rachel Ruysch and Abraham Mignon, which often betray his Dutch schooling.3 Especially the early pictures (in Hamburg) show this clearly [10-12]. On occasion, he also painted pendants to Dutch still lifes (Copenhagen 449) [13-14]. The first landscapes also seem to incorporate reminiscences of the ‘old Dutchmen’ (Aert van der Neer) [15],4 which are soon lost, while the landscapes by Christian August Lorentzen (1746-1828) persistently cling to the late Dutch landscape style of Griffier-Saftleven [16-17].5

10
Jens Juel
Flower still-life, 1764
canvas, oil paint 52,5 x 39 cm
lower left : I. Iuel pinx
Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, inv./cat.nr. 450

11
Jens Juel
Flower still-life, dated 1764
canvas, oil paint 52,5 x 39 cm
lower left : I. Iuel pinx 1764
Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, inv./cat.nr. 451

12
Jens Juel
Flower still-life, dated 1764
canvas, oil paint 52 x 38 cm
lower left : I. Iuel: pinxit Hamburg 1764
Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, inv./cat.nr. 452

13
Anoniem Noordelijke Nederlanden (historische regio) na ca. 1660
Still life with shells and blue anemones, after c. 1660
panel, oil paint 23,5 x 17,5 cm
:
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, inv./cat.nr. KMSsp568

14
Jens Juel
An apple, Caville rouge, and other fruits, dated 1791
panel, oil paint 23 x 17,5 cm
lower right : Juel 1791
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, inv./cat.nr. KMSsp870

15
Jens Juel
Nocturnal view on the Binnenalster in Hamburg, dated 1764
panel (oak), oil paint 29,9 x 38,5 cm
lower right : J. Juel fecit 1764
Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, inv./cat.nr. 453

16
Christian August Lorentzen
View of Drammen in Norway, 1790s
canvas, oil paint 61 x 73,5 cm
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, inv./cat.nr. KMS920

17
Christian August Lorentzen
View from Tøyen,
unknown, oil paint 39 x 55 cm
Oslo, Oslo Museum

As young man, the famous Asmus Jacob Carstens (1754-1798) stood in admiration before Ovens’ historical paintings, and he also closely studied the old Dutchmen of the Moltke collection. In the Judith by the 25-year old painter, a picture in the taste of Schalcken, we encounter the result of his pursuit of a painterly style [18-19].6 However, the Classicist Carstens soon headed off in other directions. We do not have a second painting of this kind by him.

18
Asmus Jacob Carstens
Judith and her maidservant are led to Holofernes' tent, dated 1779
panel, oil paint 81 x 60 cm
lower right : A. J. Carstens pinx. 1779
Hannover, Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum Hannover, inv./cat.nr. PNM 524

20
Nicholas Thomas Dall
An extensive landscape with figures and cattle, dated 1768
canvas, oil paint 66 x 113,7 cm
left center : N. J. Dall 1768
Manson & Woods Christie (London (England)) 1990-05-18, nr. 286

19
Godefridus Schalcken
Salome with the head of Saint John the Baptist,
canvas, oil paint 114 x 83 cm
Zurich/Zollikon, Galerie Bruno Meissner

It is therefore in landscapes and still lifes that reminiscences of Dutch models are most likely to occur, even when artists such as Nicholas Thomas Dall (active 1757-1776) lean to the English school [20].7 The flower painter Claudius Ditlev Fritzsch (1765-1841), who came from Kiel to become a student at the Copenhagen academy, relied entirely on Dutch traditions [21]. As with many German painters, we observe in his case as well that the Mignon-Huijsum models become rigid and hard through simplification, so that one believes oneself faced by ‘modern’ pictures by Bosschaert or Savery. Many other flower painters of the 19th century, such as Johan Laurentz Jensen (1800-1856) [22] and Otto Didrik Ottesen (1816-1892) [23], reached back to models by Van Huijsum [24-25], the uncrowned king of flower painting of all times.8

21
Claudius Ditlev Fritzsch
A basket with flowers, dated 1808
canvas, oil paint 90 x 77 cm
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, inv./cat.nr. KMS272

22
Johan Laurentz Jensen
Flower still-life, dated 1827
canvas, oil paint 35,8 x 43,4 cm
lower right : J.L. Jensen. 1827.
Christie's (London (England)) 2009-07-08, nr. 199

23
Otto Didrik Ottesen
Flowers in a terracotta vase in a niche, dated 1869
panel, oil paint 77 x 57 cm
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, inv./cat.nr. KMS865

24
Otto Didrik Ottesen after Jan van Huijsum
Flower still-life in a terracotta vase and a bird's nest on a marble ledge, c. 1855-1856
canvas, oil paint 21 x 19 cm
lower left : skitzeret kopi efter v. Huysum. O.D. Ottesen
Bruun Rasmussen (Copenhagen) 1998-12-01 - 1998-12-02, nr. 291

25
Jan van Huijsum
Flower still-life with terracotta vase, c. 1723
panel (oak), oil paint 39 x 32 cm
lower left : Jan Van Huysum fecit
Private collection

We close the line of non-contemporary admirers of things Dutch with [Christian] David Gebauer (1777-1831), a student of Lorentzen. Though he came from Silesia, he was almost continuously active in Copenhagen. He took his horses from Wouwermans [26] and cows from Cuyp and Potter [27], and used them to compose skillfully idyllic pictures, although ‘he studied museums more than nature’ (pictures in Copenhagen).

27
Christian David Gebauer
A cattle piece, 1820s
canvas, oil paint 22,5 x 28 cm
in verso : Gebauer f 182[.]
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, inv./cat.nr. KMS725

26
Christian David Gebauer
Two hunters on horseback,
canvas, oil paint 14 x 26 cm
in verso : Gebauer 18
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, inv./cat.nr. KMS796


Notes

1 [Van Leeuwen 2015] Le Coffre was Danish, but his father was a French immigrant (the stucco worker Claude Le Coffre). Bendix was trained in Paris. See Grandjean 1984. For the importance of Dutch painting of the 17th century for Danish painting of the 18th and 19th century, see Rønberg 1997, Monrad 2001 and Rønberg et al. 2001.

2 [Van Leeuwen 2015] On Ziesenis, see Schrader 1995.

3 [Van Leeuwen 2015] As far as is known, Juel never visited the Dutch Republic. He may have come by his ‘Dutch training’ mainly in Hamburg from 1760 to 1766. His Self Portrait  of c. 1764, which originated in Hamburg, was presumably inspired by Dutch painters of artifical light scenes such as Gerard van Honthorst (Saur 1992, vol. 78 [2013], p. 443). On Jens Juel, see Poulsen 1991. For the importance of Dutch painting of the 17th century for Danish painting of the 18th and 19th century, see Rønberg 1997, Monrad 2001 and Rønberg et al. 2001.

4 [Van Leeuwen 2015] Juel also copied after Allard van Everdingen (RKDimages 257324), see Poulsen 1991, vol. 1, p. 219, no. 826; vol. 2, p. 530, no. 826, ill.

5 [Van Leeuwen 2015] Lorentzen visited the Northern Netherlands, Antwerp and Paris, where he studied and copied Dutch 17th-century paintings (Saur 1992-, vol. 85 [2005], p. 304).

6 [Gerson 1942/1983] Painting of 1779 in Hannover. See Dorner 1927-1928.

7 [Van Leeuwen 2015] At first Dall was primarily a theater painter and active in the royal opera house in Copenhagen. Only after he had settled in England (c. 1757) did he begin to paint landscapes (Saur 1992-, vol. 23 [1999], p. 514; Weilbach 1994-2000).

8 [Van Leeuwen 2015] Jensen was taught to emulate Van Huijsum by Cornelis van Spaendonck in the porcelain factory in Sevres. Ottesen made his copy in smaller format after Van Huijsum during his stay in Dresden in 1855 or 1856.

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