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3.11 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 [i].2 Around 1662 Frans van Mieris (1635-1681) portrayed Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve in Leiden (Copenhagen no. 457) [i]. 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 [i][i]. The Danish David Estevanes (active 1691-1703) painted in the style of the late Maes and of Jan de Baen [i].

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Jan de Baen, Portrait of Anton I von Aldenburg (1633-1680), dated 1664

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



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Adriaen van der Werff, Young girl with a vase

Adriaen van der Werff
Young girl with a vase (1676 - 1722)
oil paint / panel, 27 x 20 cm
SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, no. KMSsp663



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Toussaint Gelton, The scholar and Death, 1670s

Toussaint Gelton
The scholar and Death 1670s
oil paint / panel, 30,5 x 24,5 cm
bottom left of the middle :  T. Geltton fe
SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, no. 523 (cat. 1922)



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James MacArdell  after David Estevanes, Portrait of the Rabbi David Nietto (1654-1728), c. 1727

James MacArdell  after David Estevanes
Portrait of the Rabbi David Nietto (1654-1728) c. 1727
mezzotint / paper, ? x ? mm
Jewish Museum (London), London (England), no. AR 1933



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 [i][i]. 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

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Jacob Coning, Portrait of Niels Juel (1629-1697), c. 1685

Jacob Coning
Portrait of Niels Juel (1629-1697) c. 1685
oil paint / canvas, 134 x 118 cm
The National Museum of History Frederiksborg Castle, Hillerød, no. A 1238



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Jacob Coning, Portrait of Sophie Amalie Vind (1668-1743), dated 1696

Jacob Coning
Portrait of Sophie Amalie Vind (1668-1743) dated 1696
oil paint, 72 x 58 cm
Jac Coning . fecit
The National Museum of History Frederiksborg Castle, Hillerød, no. A 563



No more do indigenous artists, such as Samuel Duarte (1617-1671), reach a high standard [i][i][i][i][i].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 [i]. 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.

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Salomon Duarte, Portrait of Ludwig VII, landgrave of Hessen-Darmstadt (1658-1678), dated 1663

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



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Salomon Duarte, Portrait of Augusta Magdalena, prinsess of Hessen-Darmstadt (1657-1674), dated 1665

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



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Salomon Duarte, Portrait of Sophie Marie, prinses of Hessen-Darmstadt (1661-1712), dated 166.

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



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Salomon Duarte, Portrait of Frederik, landgrave of Hessen-Darmstadt (1659-1676), dated 1663

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



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Salomon Duarte, Portrait of Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel (1650-1714) with to the left a view of the city of Kassel, c. 1667

Salomon Duarte
Portrait of Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel (1650-1714) with to the left a view of the city of Kassel c. 1667
oil paint / canvas, 208 x 136 cm
The National Museum of History Frederiksborg Castle, Hillerød, no. R4



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Balthasar Denner, Self-portrait of Balthasar Denner (1685-1749), dated 1719

Balthasar Denner
Self-portrait of Balthasar Denner (1685-1749) dated 1719
oil paint / canvas, 52 x 40,5 cm
SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen



Toussaint Gelton (c. 1630-1680) was a characteristic practitioner of refined genre pictures [i], small portraits [i] and Arcadian landscapes [i].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

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Toussaint Gelton, Young man writing by candlelight, dated 1663

Toussaint Gelton
Young man writing by candlelight dated 1663
oil paint / copper, 39 x 30 cm
Nationalmuseum Stockholm, Stockholm, no. NM 1150



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Toussaint Gelton, Portrait of Wilhelmine Ernestine (1650-1706), daughter of Frederick III of Denmark, c. 1657-1658

Toussaint Gelton
Portrait of Wilhelmine Ernestine (1650-1706), daughter of Frederick III of Denmark c. 1657-1658
oil paint / copper, 21 x 17 cm
Toussaint Gelton fc. 1677
The Royal Danish Collection - Rosenborg Castle, Copenhagen, no. 7-32



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Toussaint Gelton, Resting nymph

Toussaint Gelton
Resting nymph (1655 - 1680)
oil paint / copper, 35,5 x 27 cm
SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, no. 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 [i].8 In 1695 Riboldt painted a pendant to a Frans van Mieris (Copenhagen) [i][i],9 but a depiction of Human Vice does not show him to be a worthy rival [i]. 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 [i][i]. The princess Sophie Hedwig [i][i][i] 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

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Daniel Vertangen, The storming of Copenhagen on the night between 10 and 11 February 1659, probably 1659

Daniel Vertangen
The storming of Copenhagen on the night between 10 and 11 February 1659 probably 1659
oil paint / canvas, 64,7 x 82,9 cm
The Royal Danish Collection - Rosenborg Castle, Copenhagen, no. 7.27, cat. nr. 703



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Jacob Ochtervelt, The merry drinker

Jacob Ochtervelt
The merry drinker (1649 - 1682)
oil paint / panel, 21,5 x 18 cm
SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, no. KMSsp567



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Wilcken Riboldt, Drinking soldier, dated 1695

Wilcken Riboldt
Drinking soldier dated 1695
oil paint / panel, 23,5 x 20,5 cm
SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, no. 822



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Wilcken Riboldt, Allegory on the corrupt world, dated 28 March 1695

Wilcken Riboldt
Allegory on the corrupt world dated 28 March 1695
oil paint / copper, 60 x 90 cm
The National Museum of History Frederiksborg Castle, Hillerød, no. A 4373



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Jan Frans van Douven, Portrait of Chrisitan V (1646-1699), dated 1696

Jan Frans van Douven
Portrait of Chrisitan V (1646-1699) dated 1696
oil paint / canvas, 84,2 x 65,6 cm
The Royal Danish Collection - Rosenborg Castle, Copenhagen, no. 7-288



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Anthon Schoonjans, Portrait of Prince William (1687-1705), c. 1696

Anthon Schoonjans
Portrait of Prince William (1687-1705) c. 1696
oil paint / canvas, 87,0 x 66,5 cm
The Royal Danish Collection - Rosenborg Castle, Copenhagen, no. 8-54



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Jan Frans van Douven, Portrait of Princess Sophis Hedwig (1677-1735), c. 1696

Jan Frans van Douven
Portrait of Princess Sophis Hedwig (1677-1735) c. 1696
oil paint / canvas, 88 x 67 cm
The National Museum of History Frederiksborg Castle, Hillerød, no. A 1265



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Jan Frans van Douven, Portrait of Princess Sophie Hedevig (1677-1735), c. 1696

Jan Frans van Douven
Portrait of Princess Sophie Hedevig (1677-1735) c. 1696
oil paint / canvas, 87,6 x 66,5 cm
The Royal Danish Collection - Rosenborg Castle, Copenhagen, no. 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 [i]. 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) [i][i].

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Justus van Bentum, Family portrait, dated 1706

Justus van Bentum
Family portrait dated 1706
oil paint / canvas, 141,5 x 120,5 cm
private collection  Boller Slot, Horsens



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Johann Friedrich Gerhard, Interior with an officer and a young lady

Johann Friedrich Gerhard
Interior with an officer and a young lady (1710 - 1748)
oil paint / copper, 25 x 20 cm
Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich, no. 5697



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Johann Friedrich Gerhard, The sick woman

Johann Friedrich Gerhard
The sick woman (1710 - 1748)
oil paint / copper, 35 x 30 cm
Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich, no. 5698





[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 has been included in English translation in the present publication [click here].

[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).

Datum laatste wijziging: May 05, 2015 05:42 PM