Masters of Mobility


11. David Kindt (c. 1580-1652) : Portrait Painter in Hamburg

Barbara Uppenkamp

Around 1600, the Hanseatic City of Hamburg experienced an influx of people from the Netherlands who sought refuge from war and religious persecution. Among them were many artists, painters, architects and goldsmiths who settled here with their families.1

The painter David Kindt belonged to the second generation of Netherlandish artists who settled in Hamburg in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. His father, the painter Johan Kindt (Jan ‘t Kint, †1608) came from the Netherlands to Hamburg in 1580. David was more successful than his father and became the city’s leading portraitist. The style of his portraits of Hamburg patrician sitters is comparable to portraits by Flemish painters of his father’s generation like such as Pieter Pourbus (1523/24-1584) or Adriaen Thomasz Key (c. 1545-after 1589). Horst Gerson noticed the conservative character of David Kindt’s portraits and compared them to paintings by Cornelis Ketel (1548-1616) and Hendrick Goltzius (1558-1617). However, not all of the four paintings mentioned by Gerson can still be attributed to David Kindt. This contribution sets out to reassess the paintings and drawings that may be connected with him. It offers a critical catalogue of existant and lost works by David Kindt as a basis for further research on artistic exchange between Hamburg and the Netherlands in early modern times.

Cover image
David Kindt
Portrait of a man holding a watch, c. 1604
canvas, oil paint 74,7 x 61,5 cm
right : Davit Kindt ET F.
Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, inv./ 457


1 Although Horst Gerson calls Hamburg a province of the Netherlands with regard to painting in the 17th century, a complete overview of artists and architects of Netherlandish origin active in Hamburg is still a desideratum. Gerson 1942/1983, p. 15ff.

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