Gerson Digital : Denmark

RKD STUDIES

2.6 Simon de Passe’s Commission

Pieter Isaacsz had yet to die when Christian IV attracted a new force from the Dutch Republic, namely the engraver Simon de Passe (c. 1595-1647). This artist had already portrayed Francis Bacon [1] and Christian’s sister, Queen Anne [2], in London. It is therefore possible that Anne recommended this young and skillful artist to her brother. De Passe was at first active at the Danish court as portrait engraver [3], and we would have no grounds to pay particular attention to him in this capacity, had he not helped disseminate Dutch art in other ways. Kronborg Castle had burned down in 1629 and was reconstructed by Hans van Steenwinckel II in the following years. The need therefore arose to devise the interior décor anew. In 1637 Christian IV, who envisioned decorating the castle with paintings celebrating the deeds of his ancestors, entrusted Simon de Passe with the direction of this enterprise. He had to have the various events sketched at once and then to commission the subjects from Dutch painters.

1
Simon de Passe
Portrait of the scholar Francis Bacon (1561-1626),
paper, engraving, 3rd state 182 x 113 mm
upper center :
Amsterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet, inv./cat.nr. RP-P-1911-709


2
Simon de Passe published by John Sudbury and George Humble
Portrait of Anne of Denmark (1574-1619), queen of England, dated 1617
paper, engraving 184 x 116 mm
all around : Anna Dei Gratia Magnæ Britanni[æ] Franciæ et Hyberniæ Regina Etc
London (England), British Museum, inv./cat.nr. O.7.252

3
Simon de Passe
Portrait of King Christian IV, dated 1629
paper, engraving 410 x 293 mm
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. KKSgb4887


The sketchbook, containing more than 80 drawings, has survived (in the print cabinet in Copenhagen).1 De Passe was later to engrave the drawings, complete with text. We learn that he drew on his home town of Utrecht for collaborators. The lion’s share was secured by his brother Crispijn van de Passe II, who came to Copenhagen for the purpose [4-33].2


4
Crispijn de Passe (II)
Pagan procession leading German gods and humans for sacrifice out of a town,
yellowish paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, black and brown wash, traces of squaring 253 x 377 mm
lower left : Crispin de pas
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-1

5
Crispijn de Passe (II)
Human and animal sacrifices for pagan gods,
yellowish paper, pen in brown ink, black and brown wash 252 x 375 mm
lower center : Crispin de pas fecit
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-2


6
Crispijn de Passe (II)
Divination by priestesses using human entrails, dated 1639
yellowish paper, pencil, pen in brown ink, black and brown wash 328 x 457 mm
below, right of the middle : Crispin de pas f. 1639
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-3

7
Crispijn de Passe (II)
The Cimbrians defeating the Romans,
yellowish paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, black and brown wash 257 x 379 mm
upper center : 38
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-5


8
Crispijn de Passe (II)
A King sacrificing an animal in front of a statue of Thor, dated 1639
yellowish paper, pen in brown ink, black and brown wash 238 x 378 mm
lower left : crispin de pas invent. 1639
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-4

9
Crispijn de Passe (II)
The Cimbrians plundering fallen Romans during the siege of a bridge, dated 1639
yellowish paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, black and brown wash, heightened in white 283 x 338 mm
lower left : Cris. de pas inv 1639
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-6


10
Crispijn de Passe (II)
Cimbrian Cavalry crossing the river Adige, dated 1639
yellowish paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, black and brown wash, heightened in white 254 x 376 mm
lower right : crispin de pas 1639
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-7

11
Crispijn de Passe (II)
Roman prisoners of war are set free after swearing an oath on a copper ox,
yellowish paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, black and brown wash 240 x 380 mm
upper center : 36
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-8


12
Crispijn de Passe (II)
The Roman Legatus Scaurus is executed by Bolus, leader of the Cimbrians, dated 1639
yellowish paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, black and brown wash, heightened in white 238 x 381 mm
lower left : Crispin de pas in Copen: fecit 1639
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-9

13
Crispijn de Passe (II)
Emperor Augustus receives a copper kettle from Cimbrian ambassadors,
yellowish paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, black and brown wash 239 x 279 mm
upper center : 27
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-10


14
Crispijn de Passe (II)
Emperor Louis the Pious receives Harold Klak in 826,
yellowish paper, graphite, pen and brush in brown and black, black and brown wash 266 x 390 mm
upper center : 20
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-19

15
Crispijn de Passe (II)
The Danes make peace with King Burhedus of Mercia in Nottingham,
yellowish paper, graphite, pen and brush in brown and black, black and brown wash, squared with graphite 237 x 380 mm
lower center : Crispin de pas inve
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-21


16
Crispijn de Passe (II)
King Athelstane of England sends a sword to King Harold the Blond of Norway,
yellowish paper, graphite, pen and brush in brown, black and brown wash, body color, squared with graphite 239 x 381 mm
upper center : 33
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-22

17
attributed to Crispijn de Passe (II)
Duke Rollo is granted Normandy in 911; in the background Paris,
yellowish paper, graphite, pen and brush in brown, brush in black, blue and brown wash 279 x 398 mm
center : Paris
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-23


18
attributed to Crispijn de Passe (I)
The Danish fighter Tymme Sjaellandsfar encourages the retreating army in Engeland in 1017, 1637
yellowish paper, graphite, pen and brush in brown and black, blue and brown wash 279 x 401 mm
upper center : 6
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-25

19
Crispijn de Passe (II)
The death of Bishop William of Roskilde,
yellowish paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, black and brown wash, squared with graphite 270 x 392 mm
upper center : 24
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-26


20
Crispijn de Passe (II)
Knud Lavard befriends Duke Hendrick of the Wends,
yellowish paper, graphite, pen and brush in brown, brown wash 258 x 410 mm
upper center : 35
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-28

22
Crispijn de Passe (II)
Radulf protects Roskilde against the Wends,
yellowish paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, black and brown wash, squared with graphite 270 x 392 mm
upper right : Rodtschildt
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-30


21
Crispijn de Passe (II)
Harald Gille proofs in a Trial by ordeal to be the son of the Norvegian King Magnus Barfod, dated 1639
yellowish paper, graphite, pen and brush in brown, black and brown wash 237 x 381 mm
lower left : crispin de pas inven 1639
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-29

23
Crispijn de Passe (II)
Cavalry battle,
yellowish paper, graphite, pen and brush in brown, black and brown wash 280 x 335 mm
upper center : 14
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-31


24
Crispijn de Passe (II)
Christian I occupies Gotland in 1449 (?), dated 1639
yellowish paper, graphite, pen and brush in brown, black and brown wash, squared with graphite 327 x 447 mm
lower right : C. de pas delin. 1639
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-34

25
Crispijn de Passe (II)
Queen Philippa protects Copenhagen from the Hanseatic fleet in 1428,
yellowish paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, black and brown wash, squared with graphite 317 x 441 mm
upper center : Coppenhaven
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-35


26
Crispijn de Passe (II)
King Hans in the Battle of Rotebro near Stockholm in 1497,
yellowish paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, black and brown wash, squared with graphite 279 x 404 mm
upper right : Stockholm
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-36

27
Crispijn de Passe (II)
King Frederick I of Denmark inspects the fortifications of Copenhagen in 1523,
yellowish paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, brown wash 278 x 341 mm
upper left : Coppenhaven
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-39


28
Crispijn de Passe (II)
King Christian I of Denmark meets Prince Maximilian near Rothenburg in 1474, dated 1639
yellowish paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, black wash, squared with graphite 277 x 335 mm
lower left : Cispin de pas 1639
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-37

29
Crispijn de Passe (II)
Cavalry battle near Maastricht,
yellowish paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, black and brown wash 281 x 338 mm
upper left : Maestricht
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-42


30
Crispijn de Passe (II)
The double Royal betrothals and weddings in 1502,
yellowish paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, black and brown wash 262 x 389 mm
lower right : Crispin de pas delin:
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-41

31
Crispijn de Passe (II)
The conquest of Liège in 1577,
yellowish paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, black and brown wash, squared with graphite 241 x 383 mm
upper right : Luijck
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-43


32
attributed to Crispijn de Passe (II)
Rollo besieges Lisbon,
yellowish paper, graphite, pen in black and brown ink, brown, black and blue wash, squared with graphite 239 x 423 mm
upper right : Lisbona
Stockholm, Nationalmuseum Stockholm, inv./cat.nr. NMH 353/1973

33
Crispijn de Passe (II)
Baptism scene, baptism of an adult King, after 1637
paper, red chalk, pen in brown ink, black and brown wash, heightened in white, framing line in pen in brown ink 248 x 367 mm
Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, inv./cat.nr. Kdz 2829


Gerard van Honthorst drew a whole series of subjects [34-43],3


34
Gerard van Honthorst
Uffe, son of King Vermund, defeats two Saxons on an island in the Eider, after 1637
brown paper, graphite, pen and brush in brown, black and brown wash, body color 280 x 401 mm
lower right : G Honthorst fecit
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-12

35
Gerard van Honthorst
The election of a king in a clearing in the woods, after 1637
brown-grey paper, graphite, pen and brush in brown, brown wash, body color 276 x 399 mm
lower right : G. Honthorst fec.
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-13


36
Gerard van Honthorst
King Frode Fredegod of Denmark honoured by other kings, after 1637
brown paper, graphite, pen and brush in brown, black and brown wash, body color 280 x 405 mm
lower right : G. Honthorst fecit
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-14

38
Gerard van Honthorst
King Jarmeric orders the torture of the imprisoned Wends, after 1637
brown paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, brown wash, body color 274 x 399 mm
lower right : G. Honthorst faciebat
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-16


37
Gerard van Honthorst
King Ingild Vendemod kills the murderers of his father at a banquet, after 1637
brown washed paper, graphite, pen and brush in brown, black and brown wash, body color 281 x 405 mm
lower right : G. Honthorst fecit
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-15

39
Gerard van Honthorst
The mourning of Rolf Krake's death, after 1637
sepia colored paper, graphite, pen and brush in brown, brown wash, body color 279 x 405 mm
lower left : Gerh. Honthorst fecit
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-18


40
Gerard van Honthorst
Harold Klak and his family are baptized in Mainz, after 1637
grey-yellow paper, graphite, pen and brush in brown, black wash, body color 276 x 400 mm
lower left : G. Honthorst fecit
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-20

41
Gerard van Honthorst
The Entry of King Valdemar Atterdag in Visby in 1361, after 1637
brown paper, graphite, pen in black ink, black wash 278 x 392 mm
lower right : G. Honthorst fecit
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-32


42
Gerard van Honthorst
King Albrecht hands over the Swedish crown to Queen Margaret I of Denmark, 1389, after 1637
brown paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, brown wash, heightened in white 276 x 401 mm
lower right : G. Honthorst fec.
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-33

43
Gerard van Honthorst
Homage to King Valdemar II of Denmark in Lübeck, 1202, after 1637
yellowish paper, pencil, pen in brown ink, brown wash, squared with graphite 257 x 454 mm
lower left : G. Honthorst
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-44


and Abraham Bloemaert [44], Jan van Bijlert [45], Simon Peter Tilman [46],4 Adam Willaerts [47], Nicolaes Knüpfer [48] and, remarkably, Palamedes Palamedesz I [49] each rendered several others.

33
Abraham Bloemaert
The ordeal by fire of Bishop Poppo, c. 1637-1639
yellowish paper, black chalk, pen in brown ink, brown wash, heightened in white, indented 242 x 369 mm
lower left : Abr: Bloemaert delineavit
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. TU 121-24

33
Jan van Bijlert
Rolf Krake's endurance put to the test, after 1637
paper, oil paint, brunaille 257 x 402 mm
lower right : J. Bylaer pinxit
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-17

33
Simon Peter Tilman
King Erik Ejegod of Denmark received in Constantinople by the Byzantine Emperor in 1103, dated 1637
yellowish paper, graphite, pen in black and brown ink, black and brown wash, squared with graphite 264 x 384 mm
lower left : S P Tilman fecit 1637
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-27

33
Adam Willaerts
King Christian II leaves Copenhagen in 1523, after 1637
yellowish paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, black and brown wash, indented 276 x 391 mm
lower left : Adam Wilers fecit
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-38

33
Nicolaes Knüpfer
King Skjold defeats the giant Skate in a duel and obtains Alvida as a bride, after 1637
yellowish paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, brown wash, heightened in white, squared with graphite 257 x 405 mm
lower left : N. Knüpfer fec.
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-11

33
Palamedes Palamedesz. (I)
The battle of Åstorp (Axtornia) in 1565, after 1637
paper, oil paint 278 x 403 mm
lower right : Palamedes Palamedessen
Copenhagen, SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, inv./cat.nr. Tu 121-40


Notes

1 [Van Leeuwen 2015] Though De Passe was required to have 80 drawings made, ‘only’ 47 drawn designs are known. Of the 15 currently-known paintings that were rendered after the series, the disegni for only four could be traced (Schepelern/Houkjær 1988).

2 [Van Leeuwen 2015] Thirty of these (all depicted here) are known. Schepelern/Houkjær 1988.

3 [Van Leeuwen 2015] Ten of these (all illustrated here) are known. Schepelern/Houkjær 1988.

4 [Van Leeuwen 2015] There exists an autograph repetition of this drawing (RKDImages 72125).

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