Gerson Digital : Germany II


2.4 Smaller Towns and Courts

Finally let us look at the courts in Central Germany for other Dutch manifestations. In Erfurt we meet Jacob Samuel Beck (1715-1778),1 whose still-lifes connect to Floris van Schooten, Jan Davidsz de Heem and Frans Snijders [1-5]. His portraits and genre paintings are half Flemish, half in the manner of Balthasar Denner [6].2

Jacob Samuel Beck
Still life with grapes and a bottle of whine
canvas, oil paint 80 x 63 cm
left : Beck fec
Tajan (Paris) 2016-04-06, nr. 68

Jacob Samuel Beck
Still life of grapes, peaches and nuts on a stone table
canvas, oil paint 79,5 x 62,5 cm
lower right : J S Beck
Tajan (Paris) 2015-10-15, nr. 68

Jacob Samuel Beck
Still life with dead birds, 1760s
canvas, oil paint 55 x 83 cm
Erfurt, Angermuseum, inv./ III 979

Jacob Samuel Beck
Still life with dead singing birds, 1760s
canvas, oil paint 55 x 83 cm
Erfurt, Angermuseum, inv./ III 980

Jacob Samuel Beck
Landscape with two roosters fighting; two cats and a hen look on
canvas, oil paint 136,6 x 126,1 cm
lower center : JS Beck Pi(n)x ..11..
Sotheby's (New York City) 2011-01-28, nr. 104

Jacob Samuel Beck
Portrait of a bolding old man
canvas, oil paint 43 x 33,5 cm
Gotha (Germany), Schlossmuseum Schloss Friedenstein Gotha, inv./ SG 86

Minor masters like the genre and vedute-painter Georg Melchior Kraus (1737-1806) in Weimar also show little influence of Dutch art [7].3 Kraus’s pupil Ferdinand Jagemann (1780-1820) took the first steps in painting under the direction of Johann Heinrich Tischbein I in Kassel. He brought from there a chalk drawing after Rembrandt’s Descent from the Cross, ‘which showed so much natural talent, that our art loving Prince (Karl August) decided to send him to Vienna to study with Heinrich Friedrich Füger’ (Goethe, 1821).4 With Füger though, he studied everything but the art of the old masters.

Somewhat younger than Kraus is the court painter and landscapist Friedrich Rauscher I (1754-1808) from Coburg, whose works clearly show that he studied the works of the Dutch landscapists in Düsseldorf with attention and talent [8-10].5

With the ‘civic’ portraitist Johann Christoph Rincklake (1764-1813), who was mainly active in Münster, we already enter the era of Classicism, so that Dutch reminiscences only could have had a say in his youth. In Dresden, where he came under the influence of Anton Graff, he caught a whiff of the Dutch spirit in the works of Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich, whose Presentation in the Temple he copied.6

Georg Melchior Kraus manner of/after David Teniers (II)
Smiking peasant in a tavern
panel, oil paint 23 x 20 cm
lower right : G M Kraus
Paris, Musée du Louvre, inv./ MNR584

Friedrich Rauscher (I)
Rocky mountain landscape with river and three shepherds with goats
cardboard, oil paint 17,5 x 23,5 cm
Schloss Ehrenburg (Coburg), Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg, inv./ M.348

Nicolaes Berchem
Rocky landscape with ancient ruins
canvas, oil paint 83 x 104 cm
Munich, Alte Pinakothek, inv./ 380

Friedrich Rauscher (I) after Nicolaes Berchem
Rocky landscape with ancient ruins, dated 1788
paper, charcoal, pen in black ink, grey wash 493 x 640 mm
lower left : Rauscher f:/apr. Berchem a Dusseldorf f./1788
Manson & Woods Christie (London (England)) 1989-12-05, nr. 101


1 [Van Leeuwen 2018] On Beck: Taschitzki et al. 2015-2016.

2 [Van Leeuwen 2018] Several works by Beck with connections to Dutch and Flemish painters observed by the staff of the RKD are found in RKDimages, e.g. RKDimages 290098, which connects to RKDimages 194788, now attributed to Abraham Begeyn.

3 [Van Leeuwen 2018] But sometimes influence of Flemish art can be noticed: this example is in the manner of, or after David Teniers. On Kraus: Kröll 1983-1984.

4 [Gerson 1942/1983] Münz 1934, p. 104.

5 [Van Leeuwen 2018] The illustrated drawing by Rauscher after the painting by Berchem, which was in the Düsseldorfer Galerie at the time, literally proves that he did so. The drawing is signed and dated ‘Rauscher f:/apr. Berchem a Dusseldorf f./1788’.

6 [Gerson 1942/1983] Meier 1913, p. 822 [Van Leeuwen 2018] In Rincklake’s estate some of his copies are mentioned, e.g. a copy after Gerard de Lairesse and two after ‘Rembrandt and his daughter’ (Westhoff-Krummacher 1984, p. 526, no. 1 and 15-16). He also owned paintings (in the manner) of Jan Weenix, Abraham Bloemaert, Anthony van Dyck, Palamedes Palamedesz. I, Thomas Wyck, Nicolaus Knüpfer and Jacob Jordaens.

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