Masters of Mobility


11.2 The Life of David Kindt (c. 1580-1652)

David Kindt was born around 1580 in Hamburg.1 As is mentioned above, he was the son of the painter Johann Kindt (Jan ‘t Kind) who immigrated from the Netherlands to Hamburg and who probably came from Kortrijk near Antwerp. Johann Kindt joined the painters’ guild in Hamburg in 1587 and died in 1608.2 David Kindt was probably trained by his father. It is still unclear whether he was in the Netherlands for further training. David Kindt acquired the citizenship of the city of Hamburg in 1605 and became master of the painters’ guild in the same year. From 12 August 1629 to 9 February 1638 he was an alderman of the guild. Shortly after his admission to the painters’ guild in 1605, he already employed several apprentices who are known by name: Sebastian Kerch, Cordt Weyer and Leonhard Schers (died 1650 or 1651).3 Their names are mentioned in the records of a legal dispute between David Kindt and Leonhard Schers in 1610, where David Kindt complains that Leonhard Schers had left his apprenticeship early. In return, Leonhard Schers complains that David Kindt had become violent towards him.4 Leonhard Schers is known for his entry in the album amicorum of Gottfried Müller of 1619.5

David Kindt was married to Anna Lange, a daughter of the wealthy lawyer Johannes Lange (died 1611) and his wife Salome (died 1637). The couple had at least seven children: Hans (born 1607), Hieronymus (born 1612), David (born 1613), Eberhard (born 1616), Friedrich (born 1617), Anna (born 1620) and Albert (born 1623).6 Hieronymus also took up the profession of a painter.7

The family of David Kindt must have been quite wealthy too, since he owned several houses at the horse market near St. Jacob’s church in Hamburg. He inherited two of these houses in 1611 from his father-in-law and bought one in addition.8 At least one of the houses must have been damaged by a major fire. In 1614, 103 house owners of the four Hamburg parishes of St. Nicolai, St. Peter’s, St. Jacob’s and St. Catherine’s concluded a fire insurance contract, which David Kindt also signed. In this contract, one of his houses is called ‘ruined’.9 In the year 1624, David Kindt was deputy of the parish of St. Jacob’s in a lawsuit about the development of a mill, located at the Alster river, into a building for water distribution.10 In the years 1611 and 1619 he bought a country house, land and another house on the Hinschenfelde from the son-in-law of Gilles Coignet (c. 1542-1599), Philipp Vanderveke, in the district of Trittau. In 1611 David Kindt accepted the grandson of Gilles Coignet as an apprentice. In 1611 he also bought the family tomb from the descendants of Gilles Coignet in St. Jacob’s Church.11 David Kindt died on 26 February 1652 in Hamburg.12 It remains unclear why he was finally buried not in St. Jacob’s, but in the St. Nicolai Church in Hamburg on 4 March 1652.


1 Gerson mentions 1582 as the year of birth (Gerson 1942/1983, p. 218). Sitt & Walczak mention 1580 as the year of birth and thus follow Lappenberg 1866, p. 299 (Sitt/Walczak 2007, p. 211).

2 Lappenberg 1866, p. 299, 355; Mithoff 1866, p. 90. Sillem, on the other hand, assumes that David Kindt was not Johann’s son, but his nephew (Sillem 1883, p. 507ff).

3 Schmidt 1919, p. 41.

4 Staatsarchiv Hamburg 211-2_S 37. The file also contains a copy of the apprenticeship contract from 1605. Schmidt 1919, p. 36-43.

5 Oertel 1936, p. 107, no. 81; Riewerts 1937, p. 198.

6 The names of the children born after 1607 and baptized in the Hamburg St Jacob’s Church are given by Schmidt 1919, p. 45ff. The Hamburgisches Künstlerlexikon mentions nine children. This is quite possible, as David Kindt and Anna Lange had been married since 1605 at the latest. Hamburgisches Künstlerlexikon 1854, p. 126.

7 Biernatzki 1888, p. 196; Schmidt 1915, p. 293; Schmidt 1919, p. 25, 49. No works by Hieronymus Kindt are known. In 1646 he worked as a court artist at Gottorf Castle, later he was supported by the Netherlandish poor box in Hamburg. He died in 1685. Rump 1912, p. 69; Rump/Bruhns 2005, p. 224.

8 Schmidt 1919, p. 43ff.

9 Gerckens 1643.

10 Staatsarchiv Hamburg 211-2_E 33.

11 Schmidt 1919, p. 44ff, note 2; Uppenkamp 2015, p. 76.

12 Lappenberg 1866, p. 356.

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