Masters of Mobility


11.5 Drawings

D1 – A nymph by a lake beside a tree trunk, dated 1612

The sheet comes from the album amicorum of Martius Kreige and is now in the print room of the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen.1 The drawing shows an undressed nymph sitting at the foot of a tree on a rock near a lake or water pond. She turns to the right and supports her left arm on the rock. She holds her right arm in front of her body and grabs with her right hand the end of a cloth that covers her lap. The rocky landscape in the background is drawn very subtly.

David Kindt
A nymph by a lake beside a tree trunk, dated 1612
Copenhagen, SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, inv./ Tu. 104/6; KKSgb14569

D2 – Group of dancing and playing nude putti with bunch of grapes, dated 1619

The drawing shows eight naked dancing and playing toddlers.2 On the left one of the children holds a large bunch of grapes, on the right three children are dancing in a circle, and in the middle, there is a group of four children in different positions, embracing each other playfully. The whole scene depicts a children’s bacchanal and is a symbol of felicitas temporum, the ‘happiness of times’.

David Kindt
Group of dancing and playing nude putti with bunch of grapes, dated 1619
London (England), British Museum, inv./ 1946,0713.1165

D3 – Allegory of the Folly of the World, dated 1622

The Hamburger Kunsthalle owns a drawing by David Kindt depicting a sturdy putto sitting on the ground carrying a globe on his shoulders.3 The globe is covered with a cloth at the ends of which are bells and from which a monkey stretches out his head. The sheet was probably cut out of an album amicorum. It is an allegory of the foolishness of the world after a painting attributed to Cornelis Ketel (1548-1616) [D3a].4

Ketel created several allegorical paintings, at least one of which, an allegory of art, was in the possession of Dominicus van Uffelen (1545-1623) in his house on Gröningerstraße in Hamburg, as reported by Karel van Mander. Hessel Miedema assumes that the work mentioned by Van Mander was a drawing.5 Dominicus van Uffelen was born in Antwerp and had been a captain of the militia there. He probably left Antwerp for religious reasons. In 1584 he stayed in Delft, where his son Dominicus II was baptized. In 1585 he settled in Hamburg, where he ran a large trading house. He was married to Maria Hoon. In 1631 the children of the couple donated a black marble pulpit with white alabaster figures in the St. Catharine’s Church in memory of their parents, who were buried under this pulpit. The pulpit was created by Pieter de Keyser (1595-1676) and Pieter Emanuelsz (active in Amsterdam 1636).6

David Kindt after Cornelis Ketel
Allegory on the Folly of the World, dated 1622
Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, inv./ 1937-34

Cornelis Ketel
Allegory of the Folly of the World
New York City, Margot Gordon

D4 – Allegory of Strength (rejected)

The so-called Allegory of Strength shows a woman in view from below leaning her left arm against an open box.7 With both hands she holds a chain with a lock in front of the box. Another lock hangs from the lower, open door of the box. The woman turns her head upwards and looks into the Greek heavens full of divine figures, where Hermes, just to her left, is looking down on her. On the right-hand side, a fragment of a Classical entablature supported by figurative herms is visible. The iconography is completely unusual for an allegory of strength. The drawing is a true copy after a ceiling painting by Paolo Veronese (1528-1588) in the Sala delle Udienze in the Palazzo Ducale of Venice.8 The allegory of the ceiling painting serving as a model is not clearly identified. Terisio Pignatti describes it as an allegory of Justice, but mentions other possible personifications.9 Among the alternative interpretations mentioned by Pignatti, I consider ‘Libertà sotto il cielo Mercurio’ to be the most plausible. In my opinion, the allegory refers to commerce and monetary transactions.

The beautiful sheet could have served as a model for a copperplate engraving. The ceiling paintings by Paolo Veronese in the Palazzo Ducale were published in 1682 by Jacobus van Campen (active 1682-1699) in a series of copper engraving under the title Opera Selectiora. The preparatory drawings were supplied by Valentin Lefèbvre (1642-1682).10 As far as we know, David Kindt never visited Venice, and the print series after the ceiling paintings appeared several years after Kindt had died. I am therefore not quite convinced with the attribution of this drawing to David Kindt. Perhaps it may rather be placed in the context of Lefèbvre and Van Campen.

after Paolo Veronese
Allegory of Strength
Braunschweig, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, inv./ Z 654


1 David Kindt, Nymph by a Lake, pen on paper, washed, c. 147 x 181 mm, inscribed: Duß hebbe Ick den Erbaren unt woll gelarten Jungen gesellen Martius Kreige minnen gunstigen unt bekanten frundt tho gude gedechtniße hir inn gemacht In Hamborch den 25 aprilius Ano 1612. Davit Kindt, Copenhagen, Statens Museum for Kunst, Kgl. Kobberstiksamling, Inv. KKSgb14569. Literature: Schellenberg 1942, p. 261ff.

2 David Kindt, Group of dancing and playing nude putti with bunch of grapes , 1619, red chalk over graphite on paper, c. 170 x 275 mm, signed: Davit Kindt. F./ zu Hamburg/ 1619, London, British Museum, inv. 1946, 0713. 1165. Provenance: Gift from Count Antoine Seilern 1946; Samuel Woodburn (Christies, 12 June 1860, lot 1086); Sir Thomas Phillipps 1828; Thomas Fitzroy Fenwick 1810. Literature: Popham 1935, p. 232 (1); Geissler 1979, vol. 2, p. 135; no. 19.

3 David Kindt, Allegory of the Folly of the World, pen in brown, wash and reddish watercolour, mounted on brown-primed paper, c. 105 x 145 mm (the drawing is cut out in the outlines; dimensions refer to the sheet size), signed Davit Kindt, dated 1622, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Kupferstichkabinett, inv. 1937-34. Provenance: acquisition 1937. Literature: Schellenberg 1942, p. 262ff; Geissler 1979, vol. 2, p. 135, no. N 20, p. 223; Prange 2007, vol. 1, p. 1998ff, no. 428.

4 Cornelis Ketel (attributed), Allegory of the Folly of the World, oil on panel, tondo, diameter 31.1 cm, inscribed ‘Uffte Werelt all datende men dragen Mundt / End scherdt Elek geen der in sein Fin dem behagen uit’, Christie’s New York, April 27, 2017, Lot 1. Provenance: anonymous sale; Sotheby’s New York, June 2, 1989, Lot 21, as Dutch School, purchase Margot Gordon.

5 Van Mander 1604, fol. 276v; Van Mander/Miedema 1994-1999, vol. 1 (1994), fol. 276v, vol. 2, 1998, p. 140ff.

6 Schwindrazheim 1930, p. 138-154.

7 Previously attributed to David Kindt, after Paolo Caliari (Veronese), Allegory of Strength, paper, pen in brown, brush in grey and black, grey and brown wash, blue, red and yellow watercolour, 165 x 301 mm, inscribed verso top centre, with pen in black: No 15 [/] David Kindt, centre right, with pen in brown: Pauolo Caliari d’Verona, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum Braunschweig, inv. Z 654, Provenance: old property, access before 1878.

8 Paolo Veronese, Justice breaking the shackles, oil on canvas, c. 147 x 365 cm, Venice, Palazzo Ducale, Sala delle Udienze. Cf. Pignatti 1976, vol. 1, p. 108, no. 28; vol. 2, fig. 45.

9 ‘Questa tela (chiamata anche ‘Libertà sotto il cielo Mercurio’, oppure ‘Innocenzia’, oppure ‘Venezia che ammira un cielo di Dei’), fu attribuità a Paolo dal Ridolfi (1648), ma passata poi allo Zelotti a partire dal Boschini (1664). Lo Schulz (1968) la restituisce giustamente al Veronese, di cui mostra i tipici caratteri giovanili nella grafia lineare molto fitta, nello scorcio rilevante e nelle tipologie, caratterizzate in specie nelle due erme collocate nella destra’. Pignatti 1976, vol. 1, p. 108.

10 Ruggeri 2001.

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