Masters of Mobility


11.1 Historiography

In art historical research, David Kindt is first mentioned by Eckhardt and Füssli.1 Eckhardt’s assessment of his style that he emulated Van Dyck in the choice of positions, Rubens in his colours and Rembrandt in the illumination, on the one hand rightly aims at David Kindt’s Netherlandish roots, but on the other hand also shows how strongly art historians oriented themselves to the great names of universally recognized artist personalities in order to give appreciation to a lesser known master. Eckhardt’s comparison with Van Dyck, Rubens and Rembrandt was widely circulated in the following literature, such as the Hamburgisches Künstlerlexikon, Lappenberg, Mithoff and Sillem.2 In 1898 Alfred Lichtwark tried to compile a first catalogue of David Kindt’s works.3 Harry Schmidt presented a fundamental study in his essay of 1919, followed by a supplementary essay in 1928.4 At the same time when Horst Gerson published his Netherlandish Influence, the Hamburg art historian Karl Schellenberg published an article on David Kindt in 1942. Schellenberg, who had studied with Erwin Panofsky, was a curator at the Hamburg historical museum during the Nazi era. From 1940 on, he was commissioned with the inspection of silver objects that the Nazis had stolen from Jewish families. Already in 1935, he staged a big exhibition on portraiture in the Hamburg historical museum. His goal, completely in line with the Nazi ideology, was to proof evidence of the ‘racial type’ of the lower German people. As Schellenberg himself had to admit, this goal was not easy to achieve. Consequently, he failed with regard to the big idea. On the other hand, Schellenberg’s intensified archival research led to the identification of more works by David Kind.5 Since Schellenberg, very little research has been done on David Kindt or Netherlandish artists working in Hamburg.6 It wasn’t until 2011 that Gerrit Walczak again dealt in more detail with David Kindt in an article on Netherlandish artists working in Hamburg.7 David Kindt is not mentioned in Götz Adriani’s overview of German painting in the 17th century, nor in Volker Plagemann’s overview of art in Hamburg during the Baroque era.8 A small 1998 catalogue by the Hamburger Kunsthalle on Baroque painting in Hamburg does not offer any new insights.9 David Kindt’s portraits were shown as exhibits at various exhibitions.10

Horst Gerson relied mainly on Alfred Lichtwark for his information about David Kindt. Gerson characterizes David Kindt’s style as ‘mannerist’ and compares it with Cornelis Ketel’s painting style.11 Gerson mentioned as works by David Kindt the panel with Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem [1], which was offered for sale to the Hamburger Kunsthalle in 1925, The allegory of the rich man and death [2], which is located in the Hamburg St. Jacob’s church, and four portraits, including a portrait of Gertrud Müller [sic] in the Hamburger Kunsthalle, which since 1934 has been attributed to Jacob Jacobs (†1618) [3].12 In attributing the Portrait of Gertrud Moller to David Kindt, Horst Gerson followed a tentative attribution by Alfred Lichtwark.13

David Kindt
Landscape with the Entrance of Christ into Jerusalem, dated 1643
panel, oil paint 56 x 85,5 cm
lower right : 1643 / DKIN
Prague, Národní Galerie v Praze, inv./ O 2557

David Kindt
The Rich Man and Death, dated 1622
canvas, oil paint 136 x 92 cm
lower center : ANNO. 1622. D. KINDT FECIT.
Hamburg, Sankt Jacobi Kirche

Jacob Jacobs (active 1593-1618)
Portrait of Gertrud Moller, dated 1618
panel (oak), oil paint 100,4 x 75,4 cm
Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, inv./ HK-227


1 Eckhardt 1794, p. 25; Füssli 1806-1820, vol. 2 (1806), p. 624.

2 Hamburgisches Künstler-Lexikon 1854, p. 126; Lappenberg 1866, p. 298, 356; Mithoff 1866, p. 90; Sillem 1883, p. 507ff.

3 Lichtwark 1898, vol. 1, p. 92-98.

4 Schmidt 1919; Schmidt 1928.

5 Schellenberg [1935]; Schellenberg 1942.

6 Exceptions are Borggrefe/Fusenig/Uppenkamp 2002; Uppenkamp/Klemm 2005; Fusenig 2012; Uppenkamp 2012; Uppenkamp 2015.

7 Walczak 2011.

8 Adriani 1977; Plagemann 2001.

9 Frenssen 1998.

10 Schellenberg [1935]; Jaacks 1987; Bracker 1989; Jaacks 1992; Pelc 2015.

11 Gerson 1942/1983, p. 218.

12 Schellenberg 1934, p. 193 ff, fig.

13 Lichtwark 1889, vol. 1, p. 96: ‘The portrait of Gertrud Moller from 1618 […] is close to David Kindt. I’m not averse to attributing it to him’ (in translation).

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