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6.1 The oeuvres of Van Mander and Wuchters

From the sources in the Royal Account Books, for example, it is clear that both artists, as well as a small host of others, provided the court and high nobility with history paintings, portraits and decorative panels and canvasses. However, as descriptions in these accounts are very often rather summary, and as a substantial proportion of paintings we know of today are without a firmly established, complete provenance, it is generally very hard to match written evidence and surviving paintings. In regard to Van Mander and Wuchters, this has led to some degree of uncertainty about who painted which pictures. In particular, this is due to the fact that their stylistic idioms appear to be quite alike at certain times in their production and that the quality of both their outputs seems to be variable, perhaps due to the participation of students in their studios. Attribution from mere stylistics may thus have evident weak links.

Fortunately, a firm corpus of autograph works can be established due to the engravings from the hand of the close co-operator of both, Albert Haelwegh (1620-1673).1 Haelwegh forms a third important node in the field of art, as he was Engraver of the University of Copenhagen and Royal Engraver since 1647. These positions were established in 1622 and 1624, respectively and, like the position of Drawing Teacher at Sorø Academy that was created in 1623, these new positions can be seen as part of the same conscious attempt to structure the production of high art by Christian IV at this time. Haelwegh succeeded Simon de Passe (c.1595-1647), who had held both positions since their establishment, and he would engrave both Van Mander’s and Wuchters’ portraits, as well as funerary leafs and treatise illustrations. In 1653 Haelwegh would also become the brother-in-law of Wuchters. Haelwegh’s engravings form our primary basis for the attribution of the paintings of Van Mander and Wuchters, as we may assume from his close personal acquaintance with them that their designations of authorship are beyond doubt.2

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Albert Haelwegh  after Karel van  Mander (III), Portrait of King Christian IV (1577-1648) of Denmark, c. 1644-1645

Albert Haelwegh  after Karel van  Mander (III)
Portrait of King Christian IV (1577-1648) of Denmark c. 1644-1645
engraving / paper, 549 x 401 mm
The National Museum of History Frederiksborg Castle, Hillerød



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Albert Haelwegh  after Abraham Wuchters, Portrait of King Christian V of Denmark (1646–1699) as a child, dated 1655

Albert Haelwegh  after Abraham Wuchters
Portrait of King Christian V of Denmark (1646–1699) as a child dated 1655
engraving / paper, 309 x 212 mm
SMK - The Royal Collection of Graphic Art, Copenhagen, no. KKSgb8533



The primary attempt to establish a body of securely and plausibly attributed work of both Karel van Mander and Abraham Wuchters is the dissertation by Povl Eller from 1971. In this important publication, all known sources have been taken in and are referred to. Eller’s book thus remains the starting point for any consideration of the two artists.3



[1]

Sthyr 1965. Haelwegh was probably trained by Jonas Suyderhof in Haarlem and came in 1643/1644 to Copenhagen.

[2]

At the moment 86 records of works by or related to Albert Haelwegh are to be found in RKDimages (January 2015).

[3]

Eller 1971. See for Wuchters: Andrup 1915. For Van Mander: Bobé 1919, Andrup 1932, Andrup 1933-1934, Andrup 1936, Andrup 1939, Eller 1971A, Roding 2006, Roding 2014  . An English monograph on Karel van Mander III in the Frederiksborg Research Series (Juliette Roding, Søren Mentz, Thomas Lyngby eds.), with contributions by Hugo Johannsen, Hessel Miedema, Louis Sicking, Mette Skougaard and Vibeke Winge, is fortcoming (2015). RKDimages encompasses 219 works in relation to Abraham Wuchters and 294 works in relation to Karel van Mander III (January 2015).

Datum laatste wijziging: Apr 20, 2015 02:56 PM