Gerson Digital : Poland

RKD STUDIES

6.7 Portraiture, Landscape, Genre and Still Life Painting

Dutch portraiture is equally abundant and all its styles are well represented in the Polish museums. Worth mentioning are: stately Portrait of Johann Maurits, Count of Nassau-Siegen by Pieter Nason and an unconventional Portrait of a Man by the same artist, rendered behind a window, against the background of Jan van Goyen’s landscape, both in Warsaw [1-2]; an exquisite full-figure Portrait of Prince Janusz Radziwiłl by David Bailly in the National Museum in Wrocław [3],1 a refined Portrait of a Youth by Jan Lievens, in the Wawel Castle in Kraków [4], based on Raphael’s famous work, a war loss from the Czartoryski collection; a patrician Portrait of Johanna de Geer-Trip with Her Daughter Caecilia by Ferdinand Bol in Warsaw [5], and a charming Little Boy in Polish Costume by Caspar Netscher in the Princes Czartoryski Museum in Kraków [6];

1
Pieter Nason
Portrait of Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen (1604-1679) as a knight of the order of Saint John of Jerusalem, dated 1666
canvas, oil paint 232 x 171 cm
center right : PNason f.1666
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./cat.nr. M.Ob.527 MNW

3
David Bailly
Portrait of Janusz Radziwiłł (1612-1655), c. 1632
canvas, oil paint 202 x 114,7 cm
Wrocław, Muzeum Narodowe we Wroclawiu, inv./cat.nr. VIII-578

2
Pieter Nason and attributed to Jan van Goyen
Portrait of an unknown man, dated 1648
panel, oil paint 94 x 77,5 cm
lower right : PNason f / 1648
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./cat.nr. NB 806 MNW

4
Jan Lievens
Portrait of a young man with a moustache, c. 1662
canvas, oil paint 100 x 81 cm
Kraków, Zamek Królewski na Wawelu, inv./cat.nr. 600

5
Ferdinand Bol
Portrait of Johanna de Geer-Trip (1627-1691) with her daughter Caecilia, dated 1661
canvas, oil paint 126 x 97 cm
lower left : FBol./1661
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./cat.nr. M. Ob. 556

6
Caspar Netscher
Boy in Polish dress drawing his sword, c. 1668-1672
panel, oil paint 26 x 21,5 cm
Cracow, Muzeum Ksiazat Czartoryskich, inv./cat.nr. 12. 263

9
Bartholomeus van der Helst
Self-portrait with a miniature portrait of Mary Henrietta Stuart I (1631-1660), 1667-1669
canvas, oil paint 83,5 x 65 cm
lower right : B. van der hels feci.
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./cat.nr. M.Ob.491 MNW

two compositions by Abraham van den Tempel: a charming portrait historié showing a Young Girl as Diana in the Wilanów collection and a Group Portrait in the Landscape in the Museum of the Toruń University [7-8], Bartholomeus van der Helst’s magnificent self-assured Self-Portrait [9]; and a Group Portrait in the Apothecary’s Shop ‘In de Spiegel’ at the Delft Wijnhaven by Cornelis de Man in the National Museum in Warsaw[10];

10
Cornelis de Man
Group portrait in the apothecary's shop 'In de Spiegel' at the Delft Wijnhaven, c. 1670
canvas, oil paint 90 x 112 cm
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./cat.nr. M.Ob.22 MNW

7
Abraham van den Tempel
Portrait historié of a young woman as Diana, dated 166[9?]
canvas, oil paint 104,7 x 89 cm
lower right : A van den/Tempel 166[9?]
Wilanów (Warsawa), Muzeum Pałacu Króla Jana III w Wilanowie, inv./cat.nr. Wil.1531

8
Abraham van den Tempel
Group portrait in a landscape,
canvas, oil paint ? x ? cm
Toruń, Museum of the Nicolaus Copernicus University

a small full-figure Portrait of a Young Man with Greenery in the Background by Dirck van Santvoort in Łódź [11];2 a Portrait of a Boy from 1654 now attributed to Pieter van Noort, and Jan Verkolje’s very attractive Portrait of a Youth with a Viola da Gamba , both in Kraków, Wawel [12-13].3 Nicolaes Maes’ paintings are numerous in Polish collections, but of special interest is his signed and dated 1664 Portrait of the Sykes Family from Vestella in the Porczyński Foundation [14].4

11
Dirck Dircksz. Santvoort
Portrait of a young man with greenery in the background, dated 164[9]
panel (oak), oil paint 70,3 x 54,5 cm
lower right : D. D. Santvoort / 164[9]
Lódz, Muzeum Sztuki w Lodzi, inv./cat.nr. MS/SO/M/134

12
Jan Verkolje (I)
Portait of a youth with a viola da gamba, c. 1672
canvas, oil paint 51,5 x 41 cm
Kraków, Zamek Królewski na Wawelu, inv./cat.nr. 2120

13
attributed to Pieter van Noort
Portrait of a 9-year-old boy, dated 1654
panel, oil paint 148,5 x 116,5 cm
center right : Æt. 9
Kraków, Zamek Królewski na Wawelu, inv./cat.nr. 1000

14
Nicolaes Maes
The Sykes family of Westella, dated 1664
canvas, oil paint 95,5 x 169 cm
: N. / .MAES. / 1664
Warszawa, Muzeum Kolekcji im. Jana Pawla II

15
Cornelis Hendriksz. Vroom
Landscape with hunters, c. 1628-1630
canvas, oil paint 85 x 115 cm
Kraków, Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie, inv./cat.nr. XII-A-573

The ‘lower’ categories of paintings – landscape, genre scenes and still life – are also plentiful in Polish collections. This kind of art dominated the cabinets of Dutch paintings that were fashionable in aristocratic residences from the 17th century onwards. The main tendencies in 17th century landscape painting are quite well represented. There are realistic, tonal works by Salomon van Ruysdael, Jan van Goyen, Pieter de Molijn and many others in Poznań5 and an early Landscape with Hunters by Cornelis Vroom in Kraków [15];6 some Baroque and fantastic landscapes by Jacob van Ruisdael and Allaert van Everdingen, and Italianate works by Bartholomeus Breenbergh [16] and Daniel Vertangen [17], are to be seen in Warsaw and Poznań.

16
Bartholomeus Breenbergh
Landscape with ruins and Christ with disciples on the way to Emmaus, dated 1632
panel, oil paint 31 x 51 cm
lower left : BBreenberch.fecit / ..1632
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./cat.nr. M.Ob.478 MNW

18
Lieve Verschuier
A Dutch man-of-war and small vessels in a breeze,
panel, oil paint 59 x 83,5 cm
lower right : L.VS
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./cat.nr. M.Ob.2174 MNW

17
Daniel Vertangen
Arcadian landscape with Tobias and the angel,
panel, oil paint 53 x 65,5 cm
lower left : D. Vertangen
Poznań, Muzeum Narodowe w Poznaniu, inv./cat.nr. MNP Mo 112

There are a couple of seascapes in Warsaw, for example by Lieve Verschuier [18] and Ludolf Bakhuizen [19].

19
Ludolf Bakhuizen
Storm near the coast, dated 1702
canvas, oil paint 97,8 x 128,5 cm
lower center : LB (on a barrel)
Warszawa, Zamek Królewski w Warszawie, inv./cat.nr. ZKW/4121

Church and palace interiors are represented by signed works of Dirck van Delen in Poznań [20], Daniel de Blieck in the Czartoryski collection in Kraków, in the Museum of Art at Łódź and in the National Museum in Warsaw [21]. The unquestionable masterpiece of this genre is Pieter Saenredam’s Interior of the St. Bavo’s Church in Haarlem (1635)7 in Warsaw [22], a compact, seemingly symmetrical composition exhibiting a very refined viewing point and a subtle interplay of perspective lines.

21
Daniël de Blieck
Terreace with columnade, dated 1656
panel, oil paint 33 x 40 cm
Cracow, Muzeum Ksiazat Czartoryskich, inv./cat.nr. XII-599

20
Dirck van Delen
Architecture (before the palace),
canvas, oil paint 41 x 57,5 cm
Poznań, Muzeum Narodowe w Poznaniu, inv./cat.nr. MNP Mo 878

22
Pieter Saenredam
Interior of the St. Bavo-church in Haarlem, view of the southern ambulatory and the northern chancel wall, dated 1635
panel, oil paint 33,8 x 27,8 cm
center : Anno-Pieter Saenredam fecit 1635 (on the frieze above the triforium)
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./cat.nr. M.Ob.495

The broad thematic and stylistic spectrum of genre paintings comprises peasant scenes, elegant interiors, military scenes and allegorical compositions, such as those by Adriaen van de Venne in Warsaw and in the Wawel Castle [23-24].

23
Adriaen van de Venne
A woman and a jester,
panel, oil paint 54 x 75 cm
upper left : Geckje met de kous
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./cat.nr. M.Ob.1720 MNW

24
Adriaen van de Venne
'Beware', 1630-1635
panel, oil paint, grisaille 41,2 x 32,2 cm
on the back : CVE
Kraków, Zamek Królewski na Wawelu, inv./cat.nr. 1120

25
Nicolaes Berchem
Virtue conquering Violence: apotheosis of the Treaty of Munster (?), dated 1670
canvas, oil paint 166 x 137,5 cm
lower right : Berchem F. anº 1670
Kraków, Zamek Królewski na Wawelu, inv./cat.nr. 1192

An uncommon example of allegorical painting by Nicolaes Berchem, Virtue Conquers Violence from 1670 in the latter museum should be mentioned here as a rarity [25].8 In this place, a spectacular case of a war loss and recovery is worth recalling: the only painting by Adriaen Brouwer in Polish collections was restored to the National Museum in Warsaw in 2002 thanks to the generosity of Johnny van Haeften [26].9

26
Adriaen Brouwer
Smoking peasants at a table, 1630s
copper, oil paint 17,5 x 22,9 cm
lower center : A.B.
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./cat.nr. 76 484

The best examples of other petits-maîtres in Poland are: Travellers in a Grotto by Philips Wouwerman [27], the Choice between Youth and Wealth by Jan Steen [28] and the Officer Writing a Letter by Gerard ter Borch [29], all from Stanislaus Augustus’ collection, now in the National Museum in Warsaw,10 and another Wouwerman in the Warsaw Castle, originally in the same collection; a Karel Dujardin in Wrocław [30], and a signed and dated 1669 Lady and Her Maid by Michiel van Musscher in the Wawel Castle [31].11

27
Philips Wouwerman
Cave interior with travellers, first half of the 1640s
panel, oil paint 27,8 x 30,3 cm
lower right : PH. W
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./cat.nr. M. Ob. 487

28
Jan Steen
The choice between wealth and youth (unequal love), 1661-1663
panel (oak), oil paint 63,5 x 51,5 cm
lower left : JSteen
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./cat.nr. M. Ob. 497

29
Gerard ter Borch (II)
Officer writing a letter, with a messenger, c. 1655-1665
panel, oil paint 41 x 28,5 cm
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./cat.nr. M.Ob.493

30
Karel du Jardin
Departure of a hunting company, dated 1664
canvas, oil paint 40,8 x 35 cm
lower left : K. DV IARDIN f./ 1664
Wrocław, Muzeum Narodowe we Wroclawiu, inv./cat.nr. VIII-2286

31
Michiel van Musscher
Interior with a young woman and her maid, dated 1669
canvas, oil paint 74,5 x 64,5 cm
left center : M: v: Musscher. Pinx. 1669
Kraków, Zamek Królewski na Wawelu, inv./cat.nr. 6721

Dutch still-life paintings, also quite numerous in Polish collections, range from an early, additive tabletop now atrributed to David Rijckaert II in Wrocław [32], a monochromatic Dessert by Willem Claesz. Heda [33] and a refined Still life with Utensils by Pieter Potter in Warsaw [34], through a flower piece by Abraham Mignon [35], pronk still lifes by Nicolaes van Gelder in Warsaw [36]12 and Simon Luttichuys in Poznań [37], to Vanitas compositions such as Gerrit van Vucht’s work in Poznań [38] and a Still Life with a Skull in Gdańsk, by Luttichuys [39]. Warsaw’s Royal Castle possesses an interesting trompe l’oeil by Cornelis Gijsbrechts [40].13

34
Pieter Potter
Barn interior with utensils, dated 1631
panel, oil paint 32,5 x 41,5 cm
lower right : P. Potter f. 1631
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./cat.nr. M.Ob.450 MNW

32
attributed to David Rijckaert (II)
Still life with oysters, artichokes and olives, 1620s
panel, oil paint 55,5 x 61,5 cm
lower left :
Wrocław, Muzeum Narodowe we Wroclawiu, inv./cat.nr. VII-2282

33
Willem Claesz. Heda
Stil life with a fruitcake, wine, beer and nuts, dated 1637
panel, oil paint 44,5 x 69,5 cm
lower right : HEDA 1637
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./cat.nr. M.Ob.583 MNW

35
Abraham Mignon
Still life with flowers and a bird's skeleton, 1670s
canvas, oil paint 102 x 84 cm
lower center : AB. Mignon fecit
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./cat.nr. 127933

36
Nicolaes van Gelder
Sumptuous still life with a watch, c. 1663-1664
panel, oil paint 57,5 x 43 cm
lower right : N.V.Gelder
Warsaw, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, inv./cat.nr. M.Ob.447 MNW

37
Simon Luttichuys
Breakfast, c. 1650
canvas, oil paint 98,5 x 81 cm
Poznań, Muzeum Narodowe w Poznaniu, inv./cat.nr. MNP Mo 1114

39
Simon Luttichuys
Vanitas still life, c. 1635-1640
panel, oil paint 47 x 36 cm
Gdańsk, Muzeum Narodowe w Gdańsku, inv./cat.nr. MNG/SD/330/M

38
Gerrit van Vucht
Vanitas still life,
panel, oil paint 32 x 47,5 cm
lower center : Gerrit van Vucht
Poznań, Muzeum Narodowe w Poznaniu, inv./cat.nr. MNP Mo 98

40
Cornelis Norbertus Gijsbrechts
Trompe l'oeil with kit, painter's implements, letters and miniature self-portrait, dated 1675
canvas, oil paint 107,5 x 76 cm
lower center : C.N. Gijsbrechts. 1675
Warszawa, Zamek Królewski w Warszawie, inv./cat.nr. ZKW/679


Notes

1 Steinborn 2006, cat. no. 3.

2 Kacprzak 2003, cat. no. I.30.

3 Winiewicz-Wolska 2001, cat. nos. 43 (Lievens), 72, 88.

4 Kwiatkowski 1991, no.80.

5 Gołąb/Soćko 2008, pp. 106–107.

6 Dec/Wałek 2010, p. 492.

7 Klessmann 1988, cat. no. 20; Benesz 2013.

8 Winiewicz-Wolska 2001, cat. no. 4.

9 Johnny van Haeften, the art dealer in London, had acquired the painting on the art market, later sold it to one of his clients and after he had learned the painting’s provenance, repurchased it in order to return the picture to its legal owner.

10 Klessmann 1988, cat. nos. 23, 36, 38.

11 Winiewicz-Wolska 2001, cat. no. 63; numerous genre paintings are published in: Kolbiarz 2008.

12 Klessmann 1988, cat. no. 54 (P. Potter) and cat. no. 53 (N. van Gelder).

13 Folga-Januszewska/Ziemba 2004, cat. no. 32; Juszczak/Małachowicz 2013, cat. no. 148.

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