Gerson Digital : Germany II

RKD STUDIES

1.6 Landscape Painting in Dresden

In Dietrich landscape, genre and portrait painting come together, if we allow his studies after old men to figure as portraits. The painter of saints Gabriel Donath (1684?-1760) painted church paintings after Flemish-Dutch recipe [1-2], a variety that was much loved in Frankfurt am Main.

1
Gabriel Donath
View of a Gothic church in Dresden, dated 1745
canvas, oil paint 46,5 x 61 cm
topside, in the middle : SERENISSIMAE D. MARIAE JOSEPHAE REG. POLON ELEC.SAX. NAT. ARCHIDUCIS AUSTRIACAE PICTOR AUL. PINAC. PRIVIL GABRIEL AMB. DONATH DE GRUNAR FACIEBAT / 1745 cum privilegio
Schlichte Bergen Gallery

2
Gabriel Donath
Interior of a picture gallery in Dresden, dated 1737
copper, oil paint 27,3 x 33,6 cm
lower center : CUMPRI / VILEGIO. / Anno 1737 / Gabriel Donath barbatus faciebat Dresdae
Christie's (London (England)) 2010-12-07 - 2010-12-08, nr. 174

3
Alexander Thiele
View of the so-called 'Plauensche Grund', a popular place for daytrips near Dresden, dated 1741
canvas, oil paint 105 x 152 cm
lower right : peint par A. Thielen.1741
Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, inv./cat.nr. GG 3605

When we look at the professional landscapists separately, we first have to devote some words to Alexander Thiele (1685-1752).1 Thiele was a pupil of Adám Mányoki, but he was mainly formed as a landscapist by Christoph Ludwig Agricola and can artistically best be compared with Franz de Paula Ferg (1689-1740), who also stayed in Dresden for a short while. Thiele was accustomed to see nature with 17th-century eyes and his Saxon prospects are embellished in a romantic way and enriched after the examples of Roelant Roghman [3], Allaert van Everdingen [4], Aert van der Neer [5], Herman Saftleven [6] , Jan Both and others,2 with whose views he became acquainted in the Dresden Gallery.

Thiele came from Erfurt and had first spent several years as court-painter in Arnstadt; but he also offered other princes the products of his brush, e.g. landscapes ‘in various tastes‘ to the Duke of Mecklenburg. Basically, Thiele preferred the Italianate Dutch landscapists to Jacob van Ruisdael and Meindert Hobbema. This trend, that is the style of Nicolaes Berchem and Jan Both, had gained therefore a certain importance for Saxon landscape painting.

4
Alexander Thiele
View of the Spa 'Augustusbad' at Radeberg, dated 1743
canvas, oil paint 105 x 164 cm
lower right : nach dem Leben gemahlt von Alex. Thielen.1743
Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister


5
Alexander Thiele
View of the river Elbe at Neuendorff and Pieschen, near Dresden, dated 1741
canvas, oil paint 105 x 153 cm
lower right : peint par A. Thielen.1741
Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, inv./cat.nr. GG 3590

6
Alexander Thiele
View of the river Elbe at Sörnenwitz with the sun rising in the frosty morning, dated 1741
canvas, oil paint 104,5 x 155 cm
lower right : peint par A. Thielen.1741
Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, inv./cat.nr. GG 3154


Johann Christian Vollerdt (1708-1769) followed Thiele’s manner, although his work is less topographic and more romantic [7].3 He even used compositions by Jacob van Ruisdael, that he restyled with the help of Herman Saftleven and Jan Both [8-10].


7
Johann Christian Vollerdt
Panoramic river valley with a castle, dated 1762
panel, oil paint 21 x 26,5 cm
lower left : Vollerdt p. 1762
Van Ham Kunstauktionen (Keulen) 2009-11-20, nr. 195

8
Johann Christian Vollerdt
Landscape with a house, figures and a ruined tower in the background, dated 1760
canvas, oil paint 61,5 x 71,5 cm
lower left : Vollerdt f. / 1760
Lempertz (Keulen) 2016-11-17 - 2016-11-19, nr. 1122


9
Johann Christian Vollerdt
Extensive river landscape with ruins, dated 1763
canvas, oil paint 61 x 75 cm
location unknown : Vollerdt p. 1763
Christie's (London (England)) 1995-02-24, nr. 54

10
Johann Christian Vollerdt
Rhine landscape with hunting party, c. 1760
canvas, oil paint 49 x 61 cm
The Hague, art dealer Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder


Johann Georg Wagner (1744-1767) drew frequently in the taste of Jan Both and Dietrich, whose pupil he was [11-12]. There also exist animal studies à la Berchem by him [13-14] and compositional drawings in the manner of Adriaen van Ostade [15].4


11
Johann Georg Wagner
Landscape with waterfall, bridge and herd, dated 1765
paper, tempera 480 x 667 mm
lower left : W: p. 1765
Vienna, Graphische Sammlung Albertina, inv./cat.nr. 14577

12
Johann Georg Wagner after Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich
Trees on the rocks along water, dated 1759
paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, grey wash 145 x 199 mm
lower right : in the water
Vienna, Graphische Sammlung Albertina, inv./cat.nr. 4730


13
Johann Georg Wagner
Cows fording a brook, ca. 1758
paper, graphite, pen in brown ink, brown wash 206 x 161 mm
Vienna, Graphische Sammlung Albertina, inv./cat.nr. 4734

14
Johann Georg Wagner
Fording a brook,
paper, graphite 158 x 186 mm
Vienna, Graphische Sammlung Albertina, inv./cat.nr. 4715


Somewhat more important is Johann Christian Klengel (1751-1824), another pupil of Dietrich, who painted landscapes animated with mythological scenes in the spirit of Cornelis van Poelenburch or Dirk van der Lisse [16-17], river valleys like Jan Griffier and landscapes with animals in the manner of Adriaen van de Velde and Paulus Potter [18-19].5 In contrast with other observers, I detect very little real feeling for nature, to which the time had slowly become receptive.

15
Johann Georg Wagner
Farmer family in front of a house,
yellow paper, graphite, grey and grey-brown wash, heightened in white 148 x 99 mm
Vienna, Graphische Sammlung Albertina, inv./cat.nr. 4689


16
Johann Christian Klengel
Italian landscape with nymphs,
panel, oil paint 17 x 23,5 cm
Oslo, Nasjonalgalleriet, inv./cat.nr. NG.M.00064

17
Johann Christian Klengel
Italian landscape with nymph, cattle and a ruin,
panel, oil paint 17 x 23,5 cm
Oslo, Nasjonalgalleriet, inv./cat.nr. NG.M.00063


17
Johann Christian Klengel
Shepherd with cattle in a landscape,
canvas, oil paint 55,5 x 75,5 cm
Lempertz (Keulen) 2009-11-21, nr. 1136

19
Johann Christian Klengel
Landscape with the Minerva Medica ruin near Rome, c. 1791
canvas, oil paint 51 x 75 cm
Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, inv./cat.nr. 3796

The landscape art of Johann Christian Reinhart (1761-1847) can here only be touched on lightly [21-22].6 In his youth he copied some of Berchem’s paintings in Dresden. Since he had been in Rome, however, his perception of nature widened, and his work -- starting from Claude Lorrain's forms -- took on a classicistic character [20].7

20
Johann Christian Reinhart
Group of large trees with cattle drinking near a small waterfall, dated 1836
canvas, oil paint 70,5 x 98 cm
lower right : J.C. reinhart / Roma 1836
Munich, Neue Pinakothek, inv./cat.nr. WAF 818


21
Johann Christian Reinhart after Anthonie Waterloo
Tall oak-tree standing next to a country road, 1778-1789
paper, aquarel paint (watercolor) 277 x 314 mm
lower left : J.C. Reinhart fec. 1781
Leipzig, Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, inv./cat.nr. Graphische Sammlung NI. 676

23
Johann Christian Reinhart
Two horsemen in a dense oak forest, dated 1786
paper, graphite 210 x 249 mm
bottom left of the middle : C. Reinhart f. 1786
Leipzig, Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, inv./cat.nr. I 6690


The Norwegian Johann Christian Clausen Dahl (1788-1857), who had worked in Dresden [23] since 1818, copied [24-25] Jacob van Ruisdael’s great and massively constructed paintings [26-28].8 Eventually, he came to a personal and deepened conception of nature. In the meantime, the romantic creations of Caspar David Friedrich had presented the Germans with a sensitive image of landscape, that was in no way connected with the art of the Old Masters.

23
Johan Christian Dahl
View of Dresden by Moonlight, dated 1839
canvas, oil paint 78 x 130 cm
Dresden, Gemäldegalerie Neue Meister (Dresden), inv./cat.nr. 2206 D


24
Johan Christian Dahl after Jacob van Ruisdael
Mountainous landscape with waterfall, 1812
canvas, oil paint 101 x 87,5 cm
Oslo, Nasjonalgalleriet, inv./cat.nr. NG.M.00050

25
Johan Christian Dahl after Jacob van Ruisdael
Mountainous landscape with waterfall, 1813
canvas, oil paint 101,5 x 87,5 cm
Oslo, Nasjonalgalleriet, inv./cat.nr. NG.M.00049


26
Johan Christian Dahl
Nordic mountain valley, dated May 1821
canvas, oil paint 96,8 x 134,6 cm
lower left : JDahl May 1821
Copenhagen, Thorvaldsen Museum, inv./cat.nr. B186

27
Johan Christian Dahl
Norwegian mountain landscape with waterfall, dated 1817
canvas, oil paint 188 x 250 cm
: ... 1817
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, inv./cat.nr. KMS43


28
Johan Christian Dahl
A castle near a waterfall in a landscape,
canvas, oil paint 170 x 246 cm
:
Bruun Rasmussen (Copenhagen) 2005-11-29 - 2005-12-13, nr. 1028


Notes

1 [Gerson 1942/1983] Stübel 1914. [Van Leeuwen 2018] Marx 2002-2003.

2 [Van Leeuwen 2018] Marx compared this work with Philips Koninck, but remarks that the landscape by Koninck in Dresden cannot have been its model, as that work was acquired as late as 1905 (Marx 2009, p. 337).

3 [Van Leeuwen 2018] The landscape illustrated here, however, is very similar to the (volcanic) landscape around the southern German town of Singen (Hohentwiel) (observed by Jan Kosten, 2010).

4 [Gerson 1942/1983] Albertina, Vienna. [Van Leeuwen 2018] 85 drawings in the Albertina online.

5 [Van Leeuwen 2018] On Klengel: Fröhlich 2005.

6 [Van Leeuwen 2018] On Reinhart: Feuchtmayr 1975 and Rott et al. 2012-2013.

7 [Gerson 1942/1983] His early animal drawings are discussed by Preime 1939. In contrast with this author, I do not think that the animal piece is more spontaneous than the landscape, that developed ‘the German strength from the related Dutch school of the 17th century’. The relationships to Berchem are rather obvious. [Van Leeuwen 2018] Obviously Gerson was rubbed the wrong way by the nazi-like language of Preime. However, one could say, that German landscape painting was developed from the study of Dutch landscape painting. Reinhart clearly studied Dutch landscapists when he worked in Leipzig and Dresden (1778-1789), i.e. Anthonie Waterloo, whom he copied. I don’t see much connection to Berchem; the animal studies Gerson referred to were made in Rome (e.g.RKDimages 289864).

8 [Gerson 1942/1983] Copies of 1812-1813 in the National Gallery Oslo after Ruisdael paintings of the collection Von Moltke in Copenhagen. Paintings in the style of Ruisdael e.g. in Kassel and in the Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen. [Van Leeuwen 2018] Dahl mainly studied the old masters from whose works he could learn techniques and ideas for rendering the different types of landscapes ̶ Jan Both and Claude Lorrain for Southern landscapes, Everdingen and Ruisdael for landscapes in 'Norwegian character', Meindert Hobbema for forest scenes, and Aert van der Neer for moonlight effects (Bang 1987, vol. 1, p. 115). For a direct copy after Hobbema: RKDimages 70314; after Jan Both: RKDimages 257482 and 289818. On Dahl and the Old Masters: Bang 1987, vol. 1, p. 28-33 and Rønberg et al. 2001, p. 20-35. The painting in Kassel Gerson mentions (Bang 1987, no. 191 (222,5 x 160,5 cm) , had been cut into six pieces in, or just after, World War II. Three fragments are back in Kassel and three are in the collection Georg Schäfer in Schweinfurt.

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