REMBRANDT VAN RIJN AND BURCHARD GROSSMANN THE YOUNGER
IN THE CULTURE OF THE ALBUM AMICORUM
Citeerhulp / How to cite: Joshua Rifkin (2020). Rembrandt and Burchard Grossmann the Younger: Some Context, Some Speculations. Kroniek van het Rembrandthuis 2020, 23-63 https://doi.org/10.48296/KvhR2020.02
Joshua Rifkin has performed and recorded extensively as conductor, pianist, and harpsichordist, and pursues research in music (Josquin Desprez, Heinrich Schütz, J. S. Bach) and art (Willem de Leeuw, J. G. van Vliet, Gerbrand van den Eeckhout). Recent publications include ‘Musste Josquin Josquin werden? Zum Problem des Frühwerks’, Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 74 (2017) 162–84; and ‘Milan, Motet Cycles, Josquin: Further Thoughts on a Familiar Topic’, Daniele V. Philippi and Agnese Pavanello (eds.), Motet Cycles between Devotion and Liturgy (Basel 2019) 221-335
Abstract: Although Rembrandt scholars have long known the drawing he contributed in 1634 to one of two alba amicorum maintained by a German visitor named Burchard Grossmann, the background to this encounter – what drew the two men together, and why Rembrandt, who otherwise never contributed to alba until quite late in his life, should have honoured Grossmann with this singular gift – has remained obscure. The present study seeks to fill in that background through a closer examination of Grossmann’s albums and the culture of which they formed a part.
Keywords: Rembrandt, travel, artist-patron interchange
For Benjamin A. Rifkin and Gary Schwartz
Burchard Grossmann the Younger holds a small but honourable place in Rembrandt’s biography as the owner of an album amicorum in which the artist drew a portrait of an old man that he signed on the facing recto page with the year 1634 (fig. 1).1
For all the familiarity of the drawing, scholars have done little to clarify its background. Otto Benesch, writing close to sixty years ago, found himself hard put to explain what could have brought Rembrandt and Grossmann together.2 So far as I can tell, only Ben Broos and Gary Schwartz broached the subject to any extent between Benesch and the writing of the present contribution; and despite the efforts of the latter in particular, much remains obscure.3A chance discovery unrelated to Rembrandt has provided an occasion to find out more about Grossmann and, in so doing, shed further light on what has become the most treasured item in his book – and beyond that, on the culture that brought owner and artist together.4
Grossmann in fact kept two friendship books; one, started in 1624, stayed mostly with him at his home in Jena or on short trips nearby, while the other, begun in 1629, accompanied him on foreign travels.5 He clearly returned often to both albums as a source of recollection, annotating their pages with information about those who signed them – death dates mostly, but also the dates of events like academic degrees.6 Since 1732, the two albums have formed part of a convoluut, or collective volume, assembled by a functionary at the court of Gera named Paul Andreas Hemmann; in 1896 they entered the impressive collection of alba amicorum at the Royal Library of The Hague.7 Rembrandt’s drawing belongs to the second album; obviously, the library purchased the convoluut precisely for the purpose of obtaining it. Much of our most important information about Grossmann comes from his albums; but a brief account of his life included in the announcement of his funeral by Johannes Zeisold, a professor at Jena and rector of the university at the time of Grossmann’s death, provides some essential framework against which to place the albums’ contents, and a handful of other scattered documents add further elements to the picture.8
Burchard Grossmann the Younger came from Weimar, in Thuringia.9 His father, a man of wealth and culture, held a court position there from 1603 until 1616, when he became ducal Amtschösser, or tax assessor, in Jena.10 If art historians know the son, historians of music know the father.11 In 1616, the latter experienced a ‘miraculous rescue’ from an unstated but obviously grave calamity; as a sign of thanks, he commissioned no fewer than sixteen settings of Psalm 116 from some of the most distinguished composers in Germany, including Heinrich Schütz, Johann Hermann Schein, and Michael Praetorius.12 The collection, published in 1623 and titled Angst der Hellen und Friede der Seelen, ranks among the most celebrated documents of German sacred music in the early seventeenth century.
Zeisold gives the younger Grossmann’s date of birth as 3 October 1605.13 The parents had no other children together.14 Early enrolments at the universities of Leipzig and Jena – the former in summer semester 1612, the latter two summers later – testify to efforts by his father to secure the son’s future.15 Burchard’s actual schooling took place in Weimar, Jena, and, from 1622 to 1623, at the Gymnasium Ruthenicum in Gera.16 In the summer semester of 1624, some months short of his eighteenth birthday, he took the oath that formally admitted him to studies at Leipzig.17 Before Grossmann’s departure from Jena in May 1624, his former tutor Adrian Beyer published a farewell poem, and not a few professors entered inscriptions in his newly initiated album amicorum – a sign, very likely, that he had spent a semester or two of study at Jena before his move.18
Grossmann’s stay in Leipzig – which also included a brief visit to Dresden – lasted until January 1625.19 He remained in Jena the next four years, continuing, according to Zeisold, his studies ‘cum primis Politica’.20 In the spring of 1629, he undertook the first of what would ultimately become three journeys abroad; this would take him over the course of twelve months to the northern Netherlands, then to Nuremberg and the neighbouring university town of Altdorf, where he matriculated on 6 April 1630.21 It would seem, however, that Grossmann never completed his studies, but turned instead to military service – to all indications a not uncommon move at the time.22 If inscriptions in his albums before 1630 typically precede his name with adjectives like ‘politissimus’, ‘literatissimus’, or ‘wohlgelahrt’, from early that year and increasingly thereafter we also find the attribute ‘mannhaft’.23 Entries from October 1630 and later describe him as an officer, sometimes more specifically as a ‘Fendrich’, or standard bearer.24 From this point on, not a few writers pay tribute to both sides of his accomplishments with pairings like ‘Artis et Martis cultori’, ‘rei literariae ac militaris’, ‘Tum Palladis tum Bellonae castra’, or, most fulsomely, ‘variae, et exquisitae eruditionis, ut et militaris scientiae, & experientiae’.25
After his return from Nuremberg and Altdorf, Grossmann remained in Jena for another four years.26 In the spring of 1634 he embarked on his second journey – the one that led to Rembrandt’s drawing. This lasted six months, from May to November; we can identify the principal destinations as Amsterdam, The Hague, Frankfurt am Main, and, perhaps, Hamburg.27 The longest stay, in Frankfurt, coincided with the final weeks of the Convent of Frankfurt, with which the Swedish general commander Axel Oxenstierna hoped to unite the Protestant side in the Thirty Years War.28 The possible significance of this will occupy us later.
Grossmann travelled abroad for the last time in 1636.29 This journey, lasting from May to October, led via Nuremberg and Regensburg to Vienna, and from there, after a stay of several weeks, through Prague and Dresden back to Jena – from which, however, he departed almost immediately for Leipzig, where he spent almost seven months, to all indications in connection with the defence of the city against a siege instituted by the Swedish general Johan Banér.30 Grossmann’s time in Vienna adds another, if still elusive, wrinkle to his biography: an inscription entered at Schloss Pellendorf, home to a branch of the widely ramified Austrian noble family Herberstein, describes him as ‘Hofmeister’ to Georg Jacob Freiherr zu Herberstein, and both Georg Jacob himself and his uncle Julius Freiherr zu Herberstein contributed dedicatory inscriptions as well.31
On 27 June 1637, not long after Grossmann’s return from Leipzig, Burchard Grossmann the Elder died.32 Two years later, Grossmann may have resumed his studies at Jena.33 On 16 February 1641, in Gera, he married Maria Glaser, the daughter of an official there.34 Friends and others, including Zeisold and Beyer, contributed to a volume of poems honouring the pair; Grossmann’s father-in-law commemorated the occasion a month later with a suite of four gouaches, the last of which depicts a couple – presumably meant to portray Burchard and Maria – dancing to nearby musicians (fig. 2).35
At the time of the wedding or shortly afterwards, Grossmann moved to Gera.36 According to Zeisold, he and his wife had two children. In this period, perhaps because of his more settled existence, the once steady stream of entries in his albums peters out; it comes to a complete stop in February 1645, a month after Grossmann returned to Jena to seek treatment for a sudden intense illness.37 He did not recover, but died in Jena on 23 March.38
Despite what we learn from documents like Zeisold’s funeral announcement and the matriculation registers, or can deduce from the friendship books, not a little about Grossmann remains obscure. We never hear of a position in either Jena or Gera, and neither the funeral announcement nor that for his father refers to his military service in more than passing terms or mentions his attachment to Georg Jacob zu Herberstein.39 His father seems not to have had a very high opinion of him. When the elder Grossmann wrote his will in 1636, he complained of long having to subsidize his son’s ‘idle life’ to the tune of a thaler per week upkeep and twenty thalers for a horse; accused the son of harbouring unjust resentment toward him; and added that the younger Burchard had ‘pointlessly and uselessly’ squandered an inheritance from his grandmother ‘with traveling, squabbling, and idleness’.40 We shall see that the reference to travel, at least, might not capture the whole story; perhaps we should treat the elder Grossmann’s views with caution, as he does not even spare a word anywhere for his son’s evident military capabilities and exhibits a somewhat crotchety temperament throughout his will. Even allowing for the tendency to flatter, moreover, the dedicatory tributes quoted earlier hardly seem indicative of a ne’er-do-well.
Whatever the truth, Grossmann’s albums certainly testify to contacts both with the upper echelons of political authority and with men of learning and the arts.41 When he visited Dresden in October 1636, for example, contributors to his friendship book included the four sons of the elector, the powerful Oberhofprediger Matthias Hoë von Hoënegg, and the court Kapellmeister Heinrich Schütz.42 Schütz, of course, had had dealings with Grossmann’s father, if perhaps only through correspondence. But even apart from this, music would appear to have played a role of some importance in the younger Grossmann’s life.43 His father bequeathed him several volumes of music – including some of particular value – as well as musical instruments. A tablature inscribed on the lower half of a page first album amicorum indicates that he played the lute with more than passing skill (fig. 3).44
Three of the composers represented in the Angst der Hellen dedicated puzzle canons to him; a correction in one of these could even indicate that he knew counterpoint sufficiently well to ferret out an error. The albums also contain a further purely verbal inscription by a musician, although in this instance not a famous one.
Even more than music, Grossmann’s albums suggest an interest in the visual arts. As Schwartz already observed, ‘many artists … decorated [them] with drawings’; and if the number and concentration of these do not approach, say, the famous collection in the album of Jacob Heyblocq, their very geographical and chronological spread surely indicate that Grossmann made it a point to seek out their makers.45 The album containing the Rembrandt drawing preserves no fewer than eight others by artists who either identify themselves as professionals or whom we can identify with greater or lesser security as such through external evidence or the appearance of their work.46 These include the Leipzig goldsmith August Richter and the otherwise unknown Leipzig painter Johann Deuerling; the Regensburg painter and engraver Jörg Christoph Eimmart (fig. 4)
a painter or apprentice – an early restoration has obscured the portion of his inscription that would tell us which – named David Mentzel; a draftsman with the first name Samuel and a hard-to-read surname possibly decipherable as ‘Tewrer’; another unknown, Valltien Kurtz; and two unquestionably capable artists who left their work without any name at all (fig. 5).47
Grossmann’s first album holds an even larger stock of drawings. Artists who contributed to the book in Jena or presumably nearby include Friedrich Wilhelm Franck, Martin Thurschalla, and Andreas Zeideler.48 Nine further items no doubt added locally, although unsigned or by authors neither self-identified nor otherwise documented as artists, also look skilful enough to come from professional hands.49 A visit to Leipzig in 1632 brought drawings by the painter and engraver Andreas Bretschneider and a presumed relative, Hans Daniel Bretschneider.50 Perhaps most important, both the Weimar court painter Christian Richter – evidently no relation to the August of Leipzig – and a previously unknown son also named Christian make appearances here, as does another probable member of the family, Jeremias Richter (fig. 6).51
The inscription accompanying the elder Richter’s drawing addresses Grossmann as his brother-in-law.52 Hence, just as we can trace Grossmann’s musical inclinations back to his father, his interest in the visual arts seems also to have roots in his family.
If the albums offer signs of what we could regard as artistic sympathies, they also undercut a recurrent misconception about Grossmann. More than one writer has seen him as a man of commerce: Julius Held, for instance, called him a ‘merchant’, Schwartz a ‘traveling salesman’, perhaps ‘in the arms business’.53 Given the general reticence of the funeral announcement, some might not wish to lend much weight to the fact that it does not yield any clues in this direction. Yet Hemmann, whose prefatory notes to the two albums leave no doubt that he combed them for biographical information, also fails to describe Burchard Grossmann in terms even suggestive of someone engaged in business.54 Nor has my own examination of the books revealed many contacts suggestive of commercial pursuits. Indeed, apart from Rembrandt’s landlord and agent Hendrick Uylenburgh, I have spotted only one, a Leipzig merchant named Christoph Grossmann; and since he describes himself as a relative, we may well think that family ties, not economic interests, lay behind his meeting with Burchard.55 No less important, I can find none of the adjectives commonly used to characterize Grossmann used elsewhere in conjunction with merchants. This applies particularly to ‘wohlgelahrt’, which plainly carried with it the implication of higher studies. A survey of funeral sermons and wedding tributes published in German-speaking countries from 1600 to 1650 yields not a single instance of a merchant – Handelsmann – described as ‘wolhgelahrt’.56 This should not surprise us: by all indications, men of trade did not attend university but learned through the apprenticeship system.57 Grossmann’s service to one of the Herbersteins, if still obscure, also testifies to a social status distinct from that of a traveling salesman.
Obviously, we must reconsider some other impressions about Grossmann that have made their way into the literature. For one thing, we cannot sustain the idea that his voyage to Amsterdam in 1634 had an entrepreneurial motive of any sort.58 It might still, however, have had something to do with armaments, even if not in the terms hitherto proposed. As Schwartz pointed out, Grossmann’s second album includes more than a few signatures of princes involved in the Thirty Years War, as well as that of Joachim van Wicquefort, the agent in the Dutch Republic of Grossmann’s sovereign, the duke of Saxe-Weimar.59 Without exception, these belong to the year 1634; so, too, do several entries by children of rulers enmeshed in the conflict.60 The album also contains a striking number of entries by legates and other participants at the Convent of Frankfurt, which suggest that Grossmann took active part in the day-to-day proceedings of the convent.61 Against this background, we could find it more than coincidental that Amsterdam and Hamburg represented the dominant centres of the arms trade in northern Europe during the Thirty Years War – the Dutch metropolis as ‘above all the central supplier of munitions and weaponry for anti-Habsburg Europe’, while the Hanseatic city had become ‘the northern European centre of information for all the parties in the war, the hub of monetary transactions and of deals, especially those concerning the supply and arming of the military’.62 As an officer from a prosperous and well-connected family, Grossmann could perhaps have sought to facilitate purchases of munitions for a native land deeply immersed in a brutal war.63 Hence despite his father’s withering remarks, his voyage may well have entailed matters considerably beyond his own amusement. But we do not know; and whatever the case, in any arms deal he pursued he would have acted not as an independent agent but, surely, on command from higher powers.64
We may look no less sceptically on ‘the possibility’, as Schwartz puts it, that Grossmann ‘traded in art on the side’.65 At the very least, the drawings in his albums cannot have served any immediate material purpose. It seems clear, for one thing, that no one – neither the artists nor Grossmann himself – anticipated their removal. Admittedly, almost all of them lack dedicatory inscriptions, which in principle would have made it easier to detach and sell them.66 Yet not only did artists routinely omit such inscriptions even when contributing to the albums of relatives or close friends, but Martin Thurschalla, one of the draftsmen who accompanied his drawing with nothing more than his name, fit his work into leftover space on a page already written on by someone else (fig. 7).67
Conversely, Johannes Deuerling’s drawing had its page to itself for barely a month before someone surrounded it with a lengthy inscription; the reverse side of the leaf on which August Richter made his drawing remained blank for no more than ten days; and no fewer than three later contributors added inscriptions to the page with Andreas Bretschneider’s drawing (fig. 8).68
Even without such evidence, in fact, one must wonder about the plausibility of viewing drawings in friendship books from anything but the most remote commercial perspective. If an artist wanted to demonstrate his skills for a buyer elsewhere, he could more easily have produced a separate sheet that an intermediary could pass on, rather than something that would remain within the covers of a personal book; if he wished simply to impress a prospective purchaser, a tour of the studio would have sufficed.69
To all indications, Grossmann met artists much as he met anyone else who signed his albums. We get a sense of this, I would suggest, from the context surrounding two of the drawings in the first album amicorum. A series of entries there documents a brief trip to Leipzig in the early summer of 1632. The first entry belongs to Christoph Grossmann, who signed on Monday 25 June; as we have seen, this could well reflect nothing more than a reunion of family members.70 The next day brought contributions from no fewer than five people: three students – one of them a nobleman – and the Bretschneiders.71 On Wednesday two more students signed the album; these included Christian Michael, already known as a composer and soon to become organist at the church of St. Nicholas in Leipzig, who inscribed one of the puzzle canons referred to earlier.72 Finally, on Thursday 28 June Hieronymus Reckleben, professor of logic at the university, added his inscription.73 On this visit, in other words, Grossmann appears to have consorted all but exclusively with members of the academic community or creative artists – in the case of Christian Michael, both at once.
I would pause a moment longer over the canon that Michael entered the day after the Bretschneiders contributed their drawings. Grossmann cannot have had any pecuniary interest in this little musical exercise, or in any of the music in his albums. He could have invited others to share the challenge of resolving the canons; he could possibly have played the lute piece for interested friends. But music on paper – especially music in a personal book or in the abbreviated notation of canons – did not really exist as fungible currency in that time. Short of perhaps a good report on his talents to possible future employers, Michael, too, had nothing to gain from the little bit of notation with which he graced the album of a former patron’s son.74 I would think that we must see the drawings in essentially the same light: just as they, like the music, sit with no perceptible line of demarcation among entries of more usual sorts, so too do the circumstances of their creation, insofar as we can trace them, fail to hint at anything that would mark them as something other than tokens of social interchange.
Let me summarize the picture we now have of Burchard Grossmann the Younger: a wealthy young man, close in age to Rembrandt; literate; well versed in music; and particularly given to the visual arts and conversant – if strictly as a well-born amateur – with those who made it.75 It takes no stretch of the imagination to read this description as that of a very suitable patron for Rembrandt. This, in fact, removes one of the issues that troubled Benesch, who claimed that Grossmann ‘was hardly very interested in art’.76 Yet it does not remove every anomaly.
GROSSMANN AND REMBRANDT
Although Rembrandt left his drawing in Grossmann’s second album amicorum undated but for the year, everyone agrees that it must come from June 1634. Indeed, as Broos seems first to have observed, it all but certainly dates from 18 June, as Uylenburgh, in whose house the artist lived and whose cousin Saskia he would marry shortly afterwards in Friesland, made an entry of his own on that day.77 This brings us to the nub of the problem: what led Grossmann to Uylenburgh’s house, and why should Rembrandt favour the German visitor with a drawing? For all of Grossmann’s obvious responsiveness to art, his albums give no indication that he knew any artist in the Netherlands other than Rembrandt. Yet Rembrandt, as Benesch pointed out, did not enjoy more than essentially local celebrity in 1634.78 At first sight, this could seem to support the idea that Grossmann, even if not someone engaged in commerce, came to Uylenburgh looking to make a purchase or commission – either for himself or for another party – and simply chanced on the rising young painter living there.79 It does not take long, however, for second thoughts to emerge. These start with Grossmann himself. To all appearances, his part of the world lacked anything like what we would call an art market.80 Hence, short of assuming that someone else sent him to Uylenburgh, his presence there as a customer presupposes a greater familiarity with how things worked in Amsterdam than we might want to ascribe to him after barely a day or two in the city.81
More crucially, a surprise encounter hardly explains Rembrandt’s side of the equation. As Benesch also noted, the artist did not make a habit of contributing to friendship books.82 We know of only two others that contain drawings of his; and not only do both of these volumes date from many years after Grossmann’s, but one belonged to a friend of long standing, the other to someone with whom Rembrandt would have had more than a few friends, acquaintances, and professional associates in common.83 As our consideration of the other drawings in Grossmann’s albums has shown, Rembrandt would have had nothing obvious to gain through volunteering one of his own; nor can we assume that the book Grossmann gave him to sign offered a precedent for doing so – the dated drawings elsewhere in its pages all come from later years.84 This leaves those who would frame the situation in more or less simple economic terms with three possible scenarios: Grossmann paid for the drawing; Rembrandt received no money but made it to curry favour with a potential source of future income; or he rewarded Grossmann with a bonus for engineering a lucrative arrangement of some sort.85 None of these strikes me as very realistic. The first would surely have contravened what we might describe as the ethos of the friendship book. Not even contemporaries who took a dim view of the entire phenomenon claimed that anyone demanded payment for an entry, or that those soliciting one offered any inducement beyond a drink – a point implicitly underscored by Rembrandt himself in the familiar inscription to his drawing, ‘Een vroom gemoet | Acht eer voor goet’.86 The second scenario flies in the face of what even those who disagree on virtually everything else about Rembrandt acknowledge as his ‘rebarbative relationship to potential patrons’.87 The third, finally, presumes the identification of Grossmann as merchant to a degree with which we can no longer feel comfortable; and so far as I can tell, historians have yet to discover an early concentration of Rembrandt paintings in Germany that could bolster it in any way.88
Puzzlement over what stubbornly refuses to look like anything but an uncharacteristic gesture on Rembrandt’s part would vanish, of course, if the artist already knew Grossmann, or if they at least knew someone in common. Curiously, this suggestion seems not to have surfaced anywhere since Benesch, who rather fancifully proposed that Grossmann’s father might have visited Holland at an earlier time.89 Yet a closer look at Grossmann’s first voyage to the Netherlands makes one wonder why not. The earliest dated entries in his second album amicorum document contacts with notable scholars at the University of Leiden: on 8 June 1629 the rector, the philosopher Franco van Burgersdijck, entered an inscription; in the same month, although without a specific date, the philologist and poet Daniel Heinsius did so as well.90 Grossmann had clearly come to Leiden directly from Jena, which he had left less than four and a half weeks earlier; especially if we bear in mind his subsequent matriculation at Altdorf, the presence in his album of two such prominent academics encourages the suspicion that he embarked on his journey with the intent of pursuing studies at Leiden.91 The matriculation records of the university, however, do not show his name, and his album contains no further entries for several months.92 But could this very silence mean that he remained in Leiden, even without matriculating, for a while?93 By all indications, he did not venture very far afield during this period: when the entries in his album resume, in late February 1630, they show him in The Hague and vicinity, then Dordrecht, obviously on his way to Nuremberg.94 It may also speak for prior experience at the university that he seems to have gravitated there when he returned briefly to Leiden in July 1634: of the four entries in his album from those days, one belongs to a professor and two to students from Germany.95
The fact that Grossmann – especially given what we now know of him – passed through Rembrandt’s home town in 1629 and could even have spent some months there has provocative implications. However far the artist’s reputation did or did not extend at the time, art lovers in Leiden had clearly taken notice of him; hence a visitor of Grossmann’s inclinations could scarcely fail to have heard his name.96 But at this point, the gaps in the evidence urge us not to push speculation further. Much as I should like, for instance, to strengthen my inferences about Grossmann’s first stay in the Netherlands by showing that he acquired a working knowledge of Dutch, his album hardly allows for definitive conclusions on the matter: although Rembrandt and Uylenburgh wrote in their native language, the only other entries by Dutchmen not written in Latin either use German or combine a Dutch heading with a German – if rather Dutch-inflected – body text.97 Similarly, while Daniel Heinsius could look like an especially tantalizing figure when we realize that he not only contributed to Grossmann’s album but also had close ties to Rembrandt’s possible early supporter Petrus Scriverius, his potential significance diminishes with the discovery that he turned out inscriptions for visiting German students by the dozen, almost always following the same standard pattern as in the one he wrote for Grossmann: the motto ‘Quantum est quod nescimus’ at the start, a quotation from Theocratus at the end.98
In all likelihood, we shall never know for sure whether Rembrandt and Grossmann met in Leiden.99 Nor can we tell how Grossmann, five years later, would have known of Rembrandt’s move to Amsterdam, although it doesn’t take much effort to come up with plausible hypotheses: mutual contacts, for example, could easily have passed on news of Rembrandt’s whereabouts. Still, I think the probabilities favour the assumption that when Grossmann visited the home of Hendrick Uylenburgh in June 1634, he went there specifically to see Rembrandt – and that he did not come as a stranger. In other words, on present evidence it looks more likely than not that Rembrandt drew his portrait of an old man for someone he knew well enough, whether through first-hand acquaintance or through a trusted recommendation, to consider worthy of such a gift.100
Grossmann’s visit may have left one further trace. Rembrandt’s graphic output includes a curious pair of etchings (fig. 9) in which two peasants comment on the weather: ‘Tis vinnich kout’ says the first, to which the second responds, ‘Dats niet’ – ‘It’s awfully cold’; ‘That’s nothing’.101
The images and the inscriptions derive from two much older works by Sebald Beham; there, the texts read ‘ES IST KALT WETER’ and ‘DAS SCHADET NIT’ (fig. 10).102
Just as Rembrandt treats Beham’s figures with considerable freedom, his rendering of the peasants’ remarks also takes some liberties with the original, both in the added intensifier ‘vinnich’ and in the compression of ‘das schadet nit’, which literally means ‘that doesn’t do any harm’.103 Whether or not Rembrandt knew any German, his Dutch reads not so much like a translation made directly from a written text as it does like remembered snippets of conversational paraphrase – an impromptu explanation of Beham’s inscriptions.104
Rembrandt’s dependence on Beham presents something of an anomaly. He did not copy anything else by this engraver.105 Indeed, he seldom relied on German precedents; and when he did, he almost never worked from single prints – or, as here, a pair of prints – rather than from items belonging to a series, and he typically set isolated motifs in a new context rather than appropriating more or less an entire composition.106 The only real analogue to the two peasants comes from The Monk in the Cornfield, taken largely intact from a single print by Heinrich Aldegrever; but this does not date from anywhere near the same time.107 We might wonder, therefore, what stirred him to make such an unusual adaptation of such a remote source – especially if he needed someone to translate the peasants’ exchange. With that question in mind, it can seem of more than routine interest that his two etchings bear the date 1634. Could Grossmann have brought their models with him to Amsterdam?
Obviously, we cannot ignore other possibilities. Rembrandt could have acquired Beham’s little engravings in the normal course of collecting. Some may find it simpler as well to imagine Uylenburgh as his translator, as Uylenburgh had lived for a time in Danzig, a city with a largely German population.108 In this connection, however, we should recall that Danzig also included a sizeable number of Poles, whose language Uylenburgh had evidently learned growing up in Kraków, and a substantial Dutch contingent as well, so we cannot assume too much about his interactions with the German majority.109 In fact, I know of no real evidence that Uylenburgh knew German – if anything, his use of Dutch in Grossmann’s album implies the opposite.110 With Grossmann, on the other hand, all the pieces fit together. Hence even if we cannot prove that he had a hand in the story behind Rembrandt’s two peasants, the supposition that he did would clear up yet another small puzzle in the artist’s work.
Burchard Grossmann and Rembrandt von Rijn impinged no more than glancingly on each other’s life; each remained peripheral to the other’s social network. Yet as Grossmann’s alba amicorum reveal, their encounter in 1634 not only resulted in at least one significant work of art, but opens a view onto a dense human tapestry that went well beyond their individual identities.
Alpers, Svetlana, Rembrandt’s Enterprise. The Studio and the Market (Chicago 1988)
Anguish of Hell and Peace of Soul (Angst der Hellen und Friede der Seelen), Compiled by Burckhard Grossmann (Jena, 1623): A Collection of Sixteen Motets on Psalm 116 by Michael Praetorius, Heinrich Schütz, and Others, ed. Christoph Wolff with Daniel R. Melamed (Cambridge, Mass. 1994)
Anon., ‘Eimmart, Georg Christoph’, in Manfred H. Grieb (ed.), Nürnberger Künstlerlexikon. Bildende Künstler, Kunsthandwerker, Gelehrte, Sammler, Kulturschaffende und Mäzene vom 12. bis zur Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts (Munich 2007) I, 329
de Baar, P. J. M., and Ingrid W. L. Moerman, ‘Rembrandt van Rijn en Jan Lievens, inwoners van Leiden’, in Christian Vogelaar (ed.), Rembrandt en Lievens in Leiden: ‘een jong en edel schildersduo’ (Zwolle 1991) 24-39
Bartsch, Adam, Catalogue raisonné de toutes les estampes qui forment l’oeuvre de Rembrandt, et ceux de ces principaux imitateurs (Vienna 1797)
Becker-Cantarino, Barbara, ‘Die Stammbucheintragungen des Daniel Heinsius’, in Jörg–Ulrich Fechner (ed.), Stammbücher als kulturhistorische Quellen (Munich 1981) 137-165
Benesch, Otto, ‘Schütz und Rembrandt’, in Walter Gerstenberg, Jan LaRue, and Wolfgang Rehm (eds.), Festschrift Otto Erich Deutsch zum 80. Geburtstag am 5. September 1963 (Kassel 1963) 12-19; in English as ‘Schütz and Rembrandt’ in Benesch, Collected Writings, ed. Eva Benesch, 4 vols. (London 1970-1973) I, 228-234
Benesch, Otto, The Drawings of Rembrandt, rev. Eva Benesch, 6 vols. (London 1973)
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This essay, although written close to ten years ago, sat for most of those years awaiting promised publication in a journal that effectively ceased operation in the meanwhile; I owe its appearance here to the friendly intervention of Judith Noorman and Jeroen Vandommele. Both the character of the text itself as well as external circumstances have precluded any but minor revisions – although fortunately, nothing in the subsequent literature has really demanded more. I should draw special attention, however, to Judith Noorman’s independent, if necessarily abbreviated, treatment of the same subject in ‘Rembrandt in Friendship Books’. Going back further in time, I continue to owe warmest thanks to the two dedicatees for information and encouragement, and to Michael Zell, who also encouraged my research and offered several helpful suggestions.
- See, fundamentally, Benesch, The Drawings of Rembrandt, II, 67 (no. 257); also Royalton-Kisch and Schatborn, ‘The Core Group of Rembrandt Drawings, II’, 329-330 (no. 20), and Strauss and van der Meulen, The Rembrandt Documents, 111 (no. 1634/6). For the original, see The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, 133 C 14 – C (Album amicorum II), fol. 233.5v-233.6r; Noorman, ‘Rembrandt in Friendship Books’, 104–105 and 107, writes mistakenly that the inscription appears on the verso of the leaf with the drawing: Rembrandt entered the drawing on a verso of a leaf already inscribed on the recto in 1630 (fol. 233.5r; see note 21 below), the signature on the recto of a leaf still blank on both sides, although not for long (fol. 233.6v; see notes 7 and 27 below). The spelling of Grossmann’s given name – the one standard, in fact, among Dutch scholars, and hence in the international Rembrandt community – follows autograph examples on fol. 94r and 211.1r of the same source; German-language scholars referring to him or his father more often use ‘Burckhard’. Both Grossmanns spell the family sometimes with, sometimes without, the doubled s or n.
- See Benesch, ‘Schütz und Rembrandt’, in 18-19 (‘Schütz and Rembrandt’, 233-234).
- See Broos, review of Strauss und van der Meulen, The Rembrandt Documents, 252 and 254; and Schwartz, Rembrandt, 186-188 and 369.
- See Rifkin, ‘Heinrich Schütz und seine Brüder’, esp. 166–167. Inevitably, portions of this article overlap more than a little with that one.
- Cf. Schwartz, Rembrandt, 187, and the further discussion below. On the practice of keeping more than one album, see Schnabel, Das Stammbuch, 142-143.
- See, for instance, notes 48 and 50 below; also Schnabel, Das Stammbuch, 163-164.
- I draw this and much of the other information to follow from the online catalogue of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (http://opc4.kb.nl/DB=1/SET=2/TTL=1/SHW?FRST=3), which – to my immense gratitude – provides colour scans of every entry in both albums; see also Kende, Katalog, 60-61. The convoluut as a whole bears the call number 133 C 14, with Album amicorum I given the sub-designation B, Album amicorum II C. In their original state, the albums consisted, respectively, of 228 and 144 leaves, many of which still bear their original foliation, apparently in Grossmann’s hand; their remounting by Hemmann as oblong-format ‘windows’ in larger upright leaves (cf. Schwartz, Rembrandt, 187; and Noorman, ‘Rembrandt in Friendship Books’, esp. the illustration p. 105) seems essentially to preserve the original order. The numbering system of the library refers, first, to the upright leaf, then to the individual item nested within it, always counting in rows outward from the inner margin; recto and verso indications refer equally to both – hence on the page reproduced by Noorman, ‘233.5v’ represents the side of the fifth of the smaller oblong leaves visible on the larger page fol. 233v (counting, to the eye reading from the left, 2 1 4 3 6 5); somewhat confusingly, the sixth item, to the left of no. 5, belongs to a subsequent leaf in Grossmann, the recto of which appears a page earlier as no. 6 on fol. 233r. Hemmann’s leaves accommodate mostly two original leaves each of Album amicorum I, six of Album amicorum II, with the rather unbalanced result that Grossmann’s albums occupy fol. 94-210 and 211-235 of the convoluut, respectively. For convenience, I shall preface folio references with the album to which they belong.
- Copies of the funeral announcement (Zeisold, Rector Academiae Ienensis … Et si quidem Diogenes), printed on a large oblong sheet, survive in Gotha (Forschungs- und Landesbibliothek, quer2° 268/5 (86)) and Jena (Thüringer Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek, 2 Hist.lit.VI,6 (266)); for a description and reproduction, see VD 17, VD17 547:622659U. Information not otherwise documented comes from this source. Lauterwasser, Angst der Höllen und Friede der Seelen, esp. 17-18 and 377, has drawn attention to a manuscript account of Grossmann’s life by the seventeenth-century Jena chronicler Adrian Beyer (Athenae Salanae XV, fol. 327r-v; my thanks to Johanna Triebe of the Jena library for providing information and a reproduction on short notice); this turns out, however, to depend almost word for word on Zeisold – or did Beyer, who had served as Grossmann’s tutor (see Lauterwasser, 1), wrote a poem for him on his departure from Jena in 1624 and another on his wedding (see notes 18 and 35 below), signed his first album on 3 January 1631 (Album amicorum I, fol. 170.1r), and, according to Zeisold, heard Grossmann’s confession, in fact supply the essential text for Zeisold?
- The reference to his birthplace as ‘Vinas’ in Schwartz, Rembrandt, 186, rests on a misreading of the designation ‘Vinariensis’, or ‘Vinariensis Thuringensis’, that accompanies his name in several places.
- On Burchard Grossmann the Elder, see Lauterwasser, Angst der Höllen, esp. 1-17, as well as Hallof and Hallof, Die Inschriften der Stadt Jena bis 1650, 189-190.
- Since Benesch, however, the distinction between them appears to have faded from view; Noorman, ‘Rembrandt in Friendship Books’, 105, in fact gives the son the father’s dates – a mistake already recognized in advance by Schwartz, Rembrandt, 186. See also note 53 below.
- See Lauterwasser, Angst der Höllen, also Anguish of Hell and Peace of Soul.
- Zeisold, Rector Academiae Ienensis … Et si quidem Diogenes; see also Lauterwasser, Angst der Höllen, 6 and 17. I cite dates according to the place involved. Grossmann’s part of Germany still held to the Julian calendar; Holland had already adopted the Gregorian. In tracing Grossmann’s itineraries I assume old-style dating unless otherwise indicated.
- No biographical source for the elder Grossmann – neither his will (Weimar, Thüringisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Hofgericht Jena, Generalia 120, fol. 1r-15v; cf. Lauterwasser, Angst der Höllen, 1 and 366); his funeral announcement, also by Zeisold (Rector Academiae Ienensis … Exsequias hodie eundum est, VD 17, VD17 547:622727Q; cf. Lauterwasser, 1, 6-7, and 378); nor his grave in the Johanneskirche of Jena (see Hallof and Hallof, Die Inschriften der Stadt Jena, 190) – mentions any child but Burchard the Younger. I have yet to determine whether Regina Grossmann, Burchard the Elder’s first wife and mother of their son, had any children in her previous marriage to the Weimar court secretary Timotheus Kirchner (cf. Lauterwasser, Angst der Höllen, 6). See also note 52 below.
- See Erler, Die jüngere Matrikel I, 130. On such early enrollments, see, among other sources, pp. lvii-lviii in the same work.
- For Grossmann’s schooling, see Zeisold, Rector Academiae Ienensis … Et si quidem Diogenes; also Lauterwasser, Angst der Höllen, 17.
- For the oath, see Erler, Die jüngere Matrikel I, 149; although the matriculation book does not give the date, it identifies the rector as Wilhelm Schmuck III, who served in that capacity in summer semester 1624 (Erler, I, c), and who wrote an inscription for Grossmann on 6 June 1624 (Album amicorum I, fol. 118.1r).
- For Beyer’s poem (Viaticum Elegiacum), see VD 17, VD17 23:701838A. The last chronologically certain entries from Jena for 1624 in Album amicorum I bear the date 14 May (fol. 149.2v, 172.1v, 173.2r), the earliest entry from Leipzig comes from 28 May (fol. 185.2r). Academics entering inscriptions in late April and early May included the rector, Valentin Riemer (fol. 106.2r, 26 April), and the professors Quirin Cubach (fol. 161.2r, 30 April), Johannes Himmel (fol. 112.1r, 27 April), Heinrich Hofman (fol. 163.2r, 29 April), Philipp Horst (fol. 166.1v, 30 April), Eusebius Schenk (fol. 116.2r, 1 May), and Daniel Stahl (fol. 164.1v, 27 April).
- The last entries in Leipzig date from 10 January 1625 (Album amicorum I, fol. 106.1r); entries resume, in Jena, on 20 January (fol. 186.1v; year added by Grossmann) or 5 April (fol. 149.2r). For the visit to Dresden, also a possible brief return to Jena during the summer of 1624, see Rifkin, ‘Heinrich Schütz und seine Brüder’, 162.
- Between January 1625 and June 1629 Album amicorum I records only the following – obviously very brief – stays elsewhere (references separated by a semicolon give outer dates): 7 August 1625, Weimar (fol. 187.2r; see also note 51 below); 6-7 January 1626, Torgau (fol. 113.1r; fol. 136.2r); 11 March 1626, Lobeda (fol. 154.1v); and finally visits to Weimar 1 April 1626 (fol. 117.1r), 15 November 1626 (fol. 119.1r), 30 May 1628 (fol. 195.1v), 29 March 1629 (fol. 143.1v), and 23 April 1629 (fol. 188.2v). Of these destinations, only Torgau does not lie in the immediate vicinity of Jena; did Grossmann again spend some time in Leipzig, not far from Torgau? In biographical notes added to both Alba amicorum (I, fol. 94.1r; II, fol. 211r), Hemmann wrote that Grossmann studied law. Hemmann clearly took most or all of his information about Grossmann from the albums themselves; but I have not yet located the entry or entries from which he drew this assertion. See also note 53 below.
- For Grossmann’s matriculation at Altdorf, see Steinmayr, Die Matrikel der Universität Altdorf I, 213, as well as II, 245. Grossmann reached Nuremberg by 28 March 1630 (Album amicorum II, fol. 234.2r); further entries for the period show him alternately in Nuremberg (3 May, fol. 219.5r), Altdorf (5 May, fol. 225.2r; 6 May, fol. 221.1v, 224.1r, 224.3v, 224.6v, 226.4v, 227.4v, 230.5v, 230.6v, 232.5v, 233.5r, 234.6v, 235.2v), Nuremberg (6 May, fol. 226.4v; 7 May, fol. 230.6r, 234.4r), and finally, from 16 May (fol. 229.3v) to 20 June (fol. 221.6v), Altdorf. On 6 May in Nuremberg he himself entered an inscription in the album of the patrician Georg Christoph Volckamer; see Die Handschriften des Germanischen Nationalmuseums Nürnberg I, 3 (nos. 52, 29). He returned Jena by 6 July (Album amicorum I, fol. 130.1r, 131.2v). See also notes 93 and 94 below.
- See Schnabel, Das Stammbuch, 426.
- See Album amicorum II, fol. 234.6r (4 March 1630) and 229.4v (7 March 1630), Album amicorum I, fol. 166.1r (12 October 1630), and frequently afterwards.
- See, for example, Album amicorum I, fol. 185.1r (16 October 1630: ‘Dem Ehrenvesten, Vorachtbahrn vnd Mannhafften Herrn BURCKHARD GROSZMANN designirtem Fendrichen’), 170.1v (27 October 1632: ‘der löblichen studenten Compagnie Commandeur vndt Hauptmann’), and 124.2r (15 February 1641: ‘meinem fenrich’, signed ‘Nicol Rheiner Capitain Vnndt Paumeister’); on the rank of ‘Fendrich’, see the articles ‘Fähnrich’ and ‘Fähnlein’ in Militär-Lexikon, 194. In his biographical note to Album amicorum I (fol. 94.1r) Hemmann wrote that Grossmann served in the Saxe-Weimar militia. Although I see no reason to question this information – Weimar and Jena both belonged to the duchy of Saxe-Weimar – I also have yet to determine its basis.
- See, for ‘Artis et Martis’, Album amicorum I, fol. 179.1v (2 December 1639) and 204.2v (19 March 1641), similarly fol. 204.2r (24 May 1641) and 207.2v (19 January 1641); for the others, see, respectively, fol. 192.1v (28 February 1638), 210.1r (6 March 1644), and 123.2r (15 July 1641). Although Schnabel (Das Stammbuch, 405 and 426-427) seems to interpret the frequent appearance of the motive ‘Arte et Marte’ in seventeenth-century albums as more often than not essentially symbolic in its meaning, its more concrete significance in connection with Grossmann seems to me inescapable.
- During this period, Album amicorum I documents only the following, brief, absences from Jena: 20-26 September 1630, Weimar (fol. 135.1v; fol. 121.2r); 26-27 April 1631, Thörey (fol. 185.1r; fol. 159.2r); 25-28 June 1632, Leipzig (see p. 000 below); 14 June 1633, Weimar (fol. 159.1r).
- Following an entry of 5 May in Jena (Album amicorum II, fol. 231.5r), the album documents the following stops: 10 May, Leipzig (fol. 220.2v); 15 May, Zerbst (fol. 225.4r); 18 May, Magdeburg (fol. 228.1v); 24 May, Hamburg (fol. 230.2v); 17-21 June (n.s.), Amsterdam (fol. 223.2r + 223.1v, 230.3v; fol. 223.2v, 229.5v-229.6r); 3-7 July (n.s.), The Hague (fol. 222.5v; fol. 217.1r); 14-16 July (n.s.), Leiden (see note 95 below); 21-22 July (n.s.), ’s-Hertogenbosch (fol. 230.3v; fol. 234.5r, 234.5v); 26 July (n.s.), Wesel (fol. 233.6v); 2 August (n.s.), Düsseldorf (fol. 228.5v); 5 August (n.s.), Cologne (fol. 222.1v); 11 August (n.s.), Koblenz (fol. 227.4r); 12 August-11 September, Frankfurt am Main (fol. 220.3r; fol. 220.4r); 13-14 October, Eisenach (fol. 223.4r; fol. 220.6r, 229.5r); 15 October, Gotha (fol. 230.1r); 21 October, Erfurt (fol. 229.3r); 25-29 October, Weimar (fol. 230.2r; fol. 217.3r); 5 November, Jena (Album amicorum I, fol. 128.2v), immediately afterwards 19 November-8 December Bucha (fol. 229.4r; fol. 227.1r). Grossmann traveled to ’s-Hertogenbosch and perhaps beyond with a medical student from Breslau by the name of Joachim Elsner, who had held a disputation at Jena in March; see Album amicorum II, fol. 230.3v, and Elsner, Disputatio medica de angina (VD 17, VD17 23:239587T). Not least because Elsner’s album entry lays special emphasis on the stretch from Hamburg to Amsterdam (‘vnser von Ham= | burg nach Amsterdam gethanen Reÿse’) we may presuppose a longer stay in the Hanseatic city than the single relevant entry in Album amicorum II attests. Indeed, even with ten ‘lost’ days for moving from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, a notable amount of time separates that entry from the next one, of 17 June (n.s.) in Amsterdam; moreover, Hamburg represented a not inconsiderable detour on the way from Leipzig to Amsterdam – and to my knowledge nothing, despite the effects of the war, would have stood in the way of a more direct route like one through Braunschweig and Osnabrück.
- On the Convent of Frankfurt, see Jesse, ‘Mecklenburg und der Prager Friede 1635’, esp. 186-205. Oxenstierna had signed Grossmann’s ‘home’ album two years earlier (Album amicorum I, fol. 98.1r, Jena, 6 December 1632).
- Grossmann seems not to have left Jena at all in 1635 or early 1636; a reference to Weimar in an entry of the former year (fol. 158.1r: ‘Vinariens:’; see also note 67 below) denotes the origin of the writer, not the place of writing.
- For a detailed itinerary, see Rifkin, ‘Heinrich Schütz und seine Brüder,’ 164, note 62. On the siege of Leipzig, see Große, Geschichte der Stadt Leipzig, II/1, 235-236.
- See Album amicorum II, fol. 229.1r (Christoph Heinrich Scheichel, 15 September; for the text of the inscription, see Rifkin, ‘Heinrich Schütz und seine Brüder’, 164, note 64), also fol. 215.3r (Georg Jacob zu Herberstein, 15 September) and fol. 215.1r (Julius zu Herberstein, 1636). On the family Herberstein, see Stramberg, ‘Herberstein’; for Georg Jacob and Julius specifically, see Stramberg, 120. Of the various definitions for ‘Hofmeister’ in Grimm and Grimm, Deutsches Wörterbuch, X, col. 1693-1694, I suspect no. 4, which stresses his role in the education of the family children (‘aufseher und bewahrer des gesindes und der kinder des hauses … auch erzieher der kinder’), best applies to Grossmann.
- Although Album amicorum I shows no entries from Jena securely datable before 29 July 1637 (fol. 160.2v), Grossmann surely arrived there within a day or two of a stop at Naumburg on 16 May (Album amicorum II, fol. 232.6r). For the death of his father, see Zeisold, Rector Academiae Ienensis … Exsequias hodie eundum est; Hallof and Hallof, Die Inschriften der Stadt Jena, 189-190; and Lauterwasser, Angst der Höllen, 14 and 17.
- The Jena matriculation book records the enrollment of a Burchard Grossmann, also from Weimar, in summer semester 1639; see Mentz and Jauernig, Die Matrikel der Universität Jena, 130, also Schwartz, Rembrandt, 186. In Leipzig, at least, a student did not have to re-matriculate to return to studies (see Erler, Die jüngere Matrikel I, xlvii); nevertheless, since Grossmann, himself an only child, did not have a son at the time – let alone one born in Weimar – this can only refer to him or to an as yet unidentified nephew or great nephew of Burchard the Elder.
- See Festivitati nuptial,; and Zeisold, Rector Academiae Ienensis … Et si quidem Diogenes. Grossmann had spent the day before in Weimar; see Album amicorum I, fol. 124.2r.
- See Festivitati nuptiali, esp. fol. [A4]r and Br; and Album amicorum I, fol. 204.1v, 205.1r, 205.1v, and 205.2v (Heinrich Glaser, Gera, 14 March 1641); a further member of the bride’s family contributed an entry to Album amicorum I on 19 March (fol. 202.4v).
- Except for what look like brief visits to Jena in July 1641 (fol. 123.2r), October 1641 (fol. 172.2r-v, 183.1r-v), and June 1642 (fol. 188.1r-v), every entry in Album amicorum I from March 1641 until shortly before Grossmann’s death comes from Gera.
- See Album amicorum I, fol. 206.1r (27 February 1645).
- Hemmann obviously fell into some confusion concerning Grossmann, writing that he died single and in straitened circumstances (Album amicorum I, fol. 94r: ‘in Ziemlicher dürfftig- | keit’; Album amicorum II, fol. 211r: ‘lediger weiße V. sonder Vermögen’); on Grossmann’s title page to Album amicorum II, moreover, he added a notice reading ‘†. Gera, An(no). 16 .. |: nî fallor : | etliche 70.’ (fol. 211.1r).
- The funeral announcement for Grossmann (Zeisold, Rector Academiae Ienensis … Et si quidem Diogenes) refers to his military career with the words ‘Militiam quoq; ex parte fuit sectatus’, that for his father (Zeisold, Rector Academiae Ienensis … Exsequias hodie eundum est) somewhat more fully, if not much more informatively: ‘à quo togatam partim, partim sagatam militiam sectato sua sibi commoda Respubl. pollicetur’.
- See Weimar, Thüringisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Hofgericht Jena, Generalia 120, fol. 3r (‘Meinem Sohn, habe Ich sein müßiges Leben, eine ge- | raume Zeitthero, Wöchentlich, mit Einem Tahler Kost- | gelde Verlohnen Vnd Besolden müssen’), 3v (‘Zur bezahlung eines Pferdes, auch meinem Sohne 20. Taler | Zahlen müßen’), 6r (‘mein einziger Sohn :/: deme Ich | Von seiner Kindheit ahn, nur privatim 22. Præcepto- | res unterhalten :/: Wohl Vnd Geistlich erzogen, | Zue den Studijs befördert, Vnd wo nicht bey denselben /: denn, hierinnen, hat er mich mit Unwahrheit aus- | getragen, Alß hette Ich einen großen Doctorem | aus ihme haben wollen :/ Jedoch bei der edlen | Schreibfedern erhalten’), and 7v (‘alle sein Großmütterlich Erbe | welches er so Vnnütze vnd Vergeblich mit Reisen, Zwe- | rung Vnd Müssig gangk durchgebracht’); also Lauterwasser, Angst der Höllen, 17.
- Schwartz (Rembrandt, 186) already called attention to the ‘distinguished people – rulers, military men, university professors, humanists, government officials, artists – [Grossmann] encountered in his travels’. See also p. 000 below.
- See Album amicorum II, fol. 212.1r (Johann Georg II., August, s.l., 1636), 212.2r (Christian, Moritz, s.l., s.d.), 217.4r (Hoë von Hoënegg, 19 October), and 228.2v (Schütz, 21 October), as well as Rifkin, ‘Heinrich Schütz und seine Brüder’, 164-165. Despite the absence of a location or of any date beyond the year for the entries of the elector’s sons, all clearly belong together and could come from no other place or time.
- For the following, see Rifkin, ‘Heinrich Schütz und seine Brüder’, 165-166; also Stauff, ‘Canons by Tobias Michael and Others’.
- To the information on this tablature in Rifkin, ‘Heinrich Schütz und seine Brüder’, 165, I might add that the Paulus Röder of Kochberg identified there as the possible composer surely had a family relationship – probably that of son and father – to the pastor of the same name and same city who published an attack on a Calvinist Bible translation (Röder, Biblia der H. Schrifft … auff die Prob gesetzt; see VD 17, VD17 3:302216L) in the same year, 1607, as my suggested Röder, clearly a younger man, enrolled at university in Jena. I should also correct the indication of lute tuning given in the earlier article, which omitted one course: it properly reads f′ d′ b@ g d A G F E@ D. My thanks for information on this and related points to John Griffiths, François-Pierre Goy, and Andreas Schlegel.
- See Schwartz, Rembrandt, 186; while Schwartz refers to ‘an “album amicorum”’ in the singular, the context suggests that he conflated the two albums – and in any event, the remark applies equally to both. For Heyblocq, see Noorman, ‘“schatten van de konst”’.
- I should perhaps stress the distinction between the artists discussed below, insofar as we know their positions or activities, and the Briefmaler or Wappenmaler whom contributors often paid to enhance their inscriptions, most commonly with gouaches or painted coats of arms; cf. Schnabel, Das Stammbuch, 104-107, 345-346, and 474-476, also note 86 below. The enumeration that follows does not include such items, nor does it record sketches of military fortifications and the like. I also omit from consideration Johann Batista Kraus, known through an engraved battle scene of 1645 (Kurtze aber doch warhafftige Beschreibung; see VD17, VD17 23:676180B), who signed Grossmann’s second album in Dresden (fol. 218.5v, 18 October 1636); since he did not include a drawing and identified himself as a former quartermaster to Count Mansfield, his presence may owe more to Grossmann as officer than to Grossmann as a devotee of art.
- See Album amicorum II, fol. 221.6r (‘Jörg Christoff Eimmardt burger Vnd Maler in Regenspu[rg]’, 4 July 1636), 224.5r (anon., s.l., s.d.), 232.2r (Samuel Tewrer [?], s.l. 1636), 233.2v (s.l., s.d.), 232.4r (Augustus Richter, Leipzig, 13 December 1636), 232.6v (Valltien Kurtz, s.l., s.d.), 234.1v (‘David Mentzel Mahlerge …’, s.l., s.d.), and 235.1v (‘Johann deuerling Mahler | in leipzig. Nach der belä = | gerung. i637 den 4 appril’). For August Richter (1608-1668), see Schröder, ‘Richter, August’; for Eimmart (1603-1658), see anon., ‘Eimmart, Georg Christoph’. The refractory signature that I read as ‘Tewrer’ could suggest, especially given the confluence of the year with Grossmann’s Viennese sojourn, an identification with Samuel Deyrer – known also as Teuer, Teirer, and similarly – a painter active in the Austrian town of Steyr; see Geissler, Zeichnung in Deutschland I, 126-127, who refers in turn to Wastler, Das Kunstleben am Hofe zu Graz, which I could not consult. The claims for inclusion in this company of Kurtz and the two nameless contributors rest not least on their adoption of the format – a full leaf with no, or at best a very minimal, inscription – typical of the professional artists, as well as the proximity of their drawings to most of the others, including that of Rembrandt (see note 2 above): Grossmann appears largely to have followed the common practice of reserving particular portions of his album for contributors of shared social or professional status; see Schnabel, Stammbuch, 137-139 and 551-553, also below, p. 000. With Kurtz, moreover, what looks like a fragmentary letter under his name could have formed part of an inscription identifying him as ‘Mahler’.
- See Album amicorum I, fol. 159.1v (‘Martin Thurschalla Maler’, Jena, 1 May 1636), 176.2r (‘friderich wil= | helm franck | Mahler’, s.l., s.d.), and 177.1r (‘Andreas Zeideler | Academic9 in ihena’, 1625). Martin Thurschalla, a member of a well-known family in Eisenach, matriculated at Jena in the winter semester of 1636 (see Mentz and Jauernig, Die Matrikel der Universität Jena, 333); according to Thieme and Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler XXXIII (1939), 502, he decorated the pulpit of a church in Bardowiek near Lübeck in 1655. See also fig. 7 and note 67 below. For Friedrich Wilhelm Franck, see Gericke, ‘Franck, Friedrich Wilhelm’, to which I might add the following indications of activity in Arnstadt or its immediate surroundings: an epitaph of 1617 in the parish church of Witzleben (thanks to Claudia Marschner of the Schlossmuseum Arnstadt for the reference); an epitaph dated 1620 in the Oberkirche, Arnstadt (thanks to Oliver Bötefür of the Evangelische Kirchengemeinde Arnstadt for details on this painting); and a letter dated Arnstadt, 25 November 1629, in which Franck seeks payment to Count Günther XLII of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen for a grotto in the court palace at Arnstadt (Rudolstadt, Thüringer Stadtsarchiv, Kanzlei Arnstadt, 1601, fol. 1r-1v + 2v; my thanks to Helga Scheidt of the Schlossmuseum Arnstadt for the reference). Andreas Zeideler, from Jena, matriculated there with the designation ‘pictor’ in summer semester 1611 (see Mentz and Jauernig, Die Matrikel der Universität Jena, 373). The death date of 1632 supplied by Grossmann rules out an identification with the draftsman and engraver of the same name listed in Thieme and Becker XXXVI (1947), 432; but we might plausibly imagine a family connection with the Wenzel Zeideler (1589-1642) from Kahla, near Jena, mentioned on the same page.
- See Album amicorum I, fol. 144.2r (anon., s.l., s.d.), 146.1v (anon., s.l., s.d.), 150.1r (anon., s.l., s.d., with inscription fol. 150.2v), 153.2r (anon., s.l., s.d.), 158.1r (‘N Goyer’, possibly ‘Coyer’, s.l., s.d.; the online catalogue of the Hague library implausibly reads the initial as ‘A’), 178.1v (Christian Braun, Jena, 14 April 1629; cf. Mentz and Jauernig, Die Matrikel der Universität Jena, 31), 179.2v (Johann Friedrich Lauhn, Jena, 2 December 1639; see also note 66 below, as well as Mentz and Jauernig, 180), 180.1r (anon., s.l., s.d.), and 196.1v. (anon., s.l., s.d.). For all but the sixth of these items, the format corresponds to that described in note 47 above as typical of professional drawings.
- See Album amicorum I, fol. 193.1r (‘Andreas Bretschneider Maler’) and 198.2r (Hans Daniel Bretschneider), both Leipzig, 26 June 1632. For Andreas Bretschneider, see Hinneburg, ‘Bretschneider, Andreas (III)’; and Geissler, Zeichnung in Deutschland, II, 185. According to Grossmann, both Bretschneiders died in 1632. See also below, p. 000 and fig. 8.
- See Album amicorum I, fol. 178.2r (‘Christian Richter Mahler’, Weimar, 7 August 1625), 178.2v (‘Jeremias Richter Mahler’, s.l., August 1630), and 179.1r (‘Christian Richter’, s.d., amplified by Grossmann with ‘Iunior | Weimmar’ and subsequently a cross and the date ‘1637’). On the court painter Christian Richter, see Jeutter, ‘Christian Richter in den Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg’, esp. 15-27. On Christian Richter the Younger, I can find no information beyond the death date supplied by Grossmann. The signature, puzzlingly, looks identical to that of the father both on fol. 178.2r and in a number of further examples reproduced in Jeutter, 34-35 – could the father have signed for the son? For previously documented activity of Jeremias Richter – at Frankfurt am Main in 1644-1645 and at Jena (including a portrait of Johannes Zeisold) in 1650-1651 – see Scheidig, ‘Richter, Jeremias’; and Mortzfeld, Die Porträtsammlung der Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, under A 24735 and A 21862 (XXV (1993), 35; XXVIII (1995), 229; XXXVI (2003), 340; XXXVII (2004), 389). It would seem plausible to identify him with the brother of Christian Richter baptized at Altenburg on 18 September 1591; see Mentzel, ‘Christian Richter’, 128. The date and place of his entry, however, raise the possibility of an identification with the Jeremias Richter, also from Altenburg, who matriculated at Jena in summer semester 1629, although this could more likely refer to a clergyman later found at the nearby town of Kosma (1609-1651; see Mentz and Jauernig, Die Matrikel der Universität Jena, 260, and VD17 VD17 39:107892G). Whichever the Jeremias, the entry of his drawing on the reverse of the leaf containing that of Christian Richter the Elder surely reflects a familial bond..
- ‘Meinem Viehlgünstigen lieben | Herrn Schwagern’; see note 51 above. Although the musicological literature has sometimes regarded ‘Schwager’ as a kind of general term of friendship (see, for instance, Moser, Heinrich Schütz, 179), in every instance I can check it has its literal meaning. The exact connection between Richter and Grossmann, however, presents something of a conundrum, as Grossmann, then only nineteen and still unmarried, had no known siblings, and possible half-siblings through his mother remain untraced; see note 14 above.
- See Held, ‘Rembrandt’s Aristotle’, 43, note 151 (Rembrandt Studies, 57, note 151); and Schwartz, Rembrandt, 186. Not everyone, admittedly, has followed this lead: Courtright, ‘Origins and Meanings of Rembrandt’s Late Drawing Style’, 489, calls Grossmann a jurist, while Lammertse and van der Veen, Uylenburgh & Son, 52, describe him as a ‘scholar’ – an identification echoed, perhaps because of the misconception about Grossmann’s age (see note 11 above), in Noorman, ‘Rembrandt in Friendship Books’, 105.
- See note 20 above.
- For Uylenburgh, see below, esp. note 77. For Christoph Grossmann, see Album amicorum I, fol. 189.2v (Leipzig, 25 June 1632: ‘Seinem So Wohl Von gemuht als geblüht | Sehr trewenn Sonderlichen Freunde’), and Album amicorum II, fol. 219.2v (Leipzig, 5 November 1636), where he calls himself ‘Kauffmann’.
- I base this information principally, but not entirely, on VD 17.
- Insofar as I could examine the curricula vitae in an admittedly smaller sample of funeral sermons for which I had access to the complete text – a sample, however, that also includes material not covered in VD 17 – I cannot find evidence of any merchant’s having attended university.
- See Schwartz, Rembrandt, 186-187.
- See Schwartz, Rembrandt, 186-187.
- For princes and princes’ children, see the entries of the following in Album amicorum II, all on pages dated 1634 without indication of place: Frederik Hendrik of Orange (fol. 214.5v); Johann Ernst of Saxe-Eisenach (fol. 212.3r + 212.4r); Albrecht and Ernst of Saxe-Weimar (later Saxe-Eisenach and Saxe-Gotha, respectively; both fol. 213.3r); Johann Moritz and Heinrich of Nassau-Siegen (fol. 222.4r); Friedrich I of Hesse-Homburg (fol. 216.4r); Johann Ludwig, the teenaged son of Johann II of Pfalz-Zweibrücken (fol. 213.2r); Ernst von Brandenburg, the teenaged son of Johann Georg of Brandenburg (fol. 213.4r); and the three surviving sons of the Winter King Friedrich von der Pfalz, Karl Ludwig (fol. 212.5r), Moritz (fol. 212.6r), and Eduard (fol. 213.1r). For Joachim de Wicquefort, see fol. 229.5v-229.6r (Amsterdam, 21 June).
- See, in Album amicorum II, the entries of Joachim Friedrich von Blumenthal (fol. 222.2v, 29 August), Laurentius Braun (fol. 221.4v, 25 August), Sylvester Braunschweig (fol. 222.3v, 6 September), Johannes Dehnart (fol. 220.3r, 12 August), Franciscus Eulenhaubt (fol. 222.5r, 23 August), Georg Franzkius (fol. 221.3v, s.d.), Siegmund von Holtzen (fol. 218.6v, 28 August), Matthias Kleist (fol. 222.4v, 7 September), Andreas Lar (fol. 226.1v, 8 September), Jonas Mastorski (fol. 220.3v, 3 September), Melchior Nering (fol. 235.6r, 4 September), Valentin Purgollt (fol. 220.4r, 11 September), Balthasar Rinck (fol. 225.6r, 8 September), Andreas Rorsch (fol. 222.3r, 30 August), Christoph Rüger (fol. 227.6v, 14 August), Abraham von Sebottendorf (fol. 221.4r, 24 August), Gabriel Tünzel (fol. 219.4v, 21 August), and Hans von Zeidler alias Hofmann (fol. 218.2r, 21 August).
- Zunckel, Rüstungsgeschäfte im Dreißigjährigen Krieg, 46-47. I owe my thinking about a possible connection between Grossmann’s voyage and matters of arms to Schwartz, Rembrandt, 186, and discussions with Benjamin A. Rifkin.
- So far as I can tell, however, the identification by Schwartz (Rembrandt, 186) of ‘many’ among those who contributed entries to Album amicorum II as ‘the builders and designers of fortifications’ rests more on inference from the nature of some sketches in the book than from information provided by the signatures. Needless to say, drawings of military structures or implements could simply reflect the interests of a soldier.
- Grossmann’s itinerary in 1636 could suggest a military or political background as well, including as it does stays in Vienna, Prague, and Dresden, the capitals of the principal allies against France and Sweden, and in Nuremberg, a major player in arms manufacture and dealing. For the general situation and the roles of Saxony and the Empire, see, for example, Wedgwood, The Thirty Years War, 386-391, 395, and 407; or Zeeden, Handbuch der deutschen Geschichte IX, 108-109. For Nuremberg, see Schütze, ‘Waffen für Freund und Feind’.
- Schwartz, Rembrandt, 186. I should stress that Schwartz advances this notion very cautiously.
- Of the drawings, only that of Christian Richter the Elder has such an inscription directly accompanying the image (see note 52 above), while that of Lauhn (see note 49 above) has an inscription on the facing verso page (fol. 179.1v) to which Grossmann added the annotation ‘pictii [?] & scrip:’.
- See note 48 above; the earlier inscription dates from 1635. The figure of Hercules clearly derives from Aedrien deVries’s fountain in Augsburg depicting the same subject, although the lower part of the drawing could suggest the mediation of Jan Muller’s print after de Vries (see Filedt Kok, ‘Jan Harmansz. Muller as Printmaker, III, 22-23); Thurschalla departs from both in depicting the later phrase in the conflict when Hercules has already deprived the beast of all but one of its heads.
- See notes 47 and 50 above. The inscription added to the page with Deuerling’s drawing bears the date 2 May 1637, that on the reverse of Richter’s 23 December 1637; the inscriptions added to Bretschneider’s page come from 1639, 1640, and an uncertain date between 1632 and 1638.
- On visits to artists’ studios by art lovers in Holland, see van de Wetering, ‘Rembrandt’s Beginnings, 31-34; and van de Wetering, ‘Rembrandt as a Searching Artist’, 95-96.
- See note 55 above.
- See note 50 above; and Album amicorum I, fol. 102.1r (Jacob Freiherr von Windischgrätz; cf. Erler, Die jüngere Matrikel I, 510), 148.1v (Rudolphus Hanisius; cf. Erler, I, 161), and 189.2r (Marcus Chemniz, ‘Ephorus’ of Windischgrätz). Given Andreas Bretschneider’s date of birth, estimated at ca. 1578 (cf. note 50 above), I wonder if we should not imagine Hans Daniel as a son or nephew closer in age to Grossmann – and also his primary contact among the pair.
- See Album amicorum I, fol. 142.2v (Christian Michael; cf. Erler, Die jüngere Matrikel I, 293) and fol. 187.1v (Elias Freystetter; Erler, I, 117). On Michael, see, most fully, Steude, ‘Michael’, col. 161; see also the additional information in Rifkin, ‘Heinrich Schütz und seine Brüder’, 166, note 76, repeated in Stauff, ‘Canons by Tobias Michael and Others’, 160.
- See Album amicorum I, fol. 127.2v.
- For a larger, if temporally somewhat distant, context for Michael’s canon, see Wegman, ‘Musical Offerings in the Renaissance’.
- The traditional birth date for Rembrandt, 15 July 1606, would make him and Grossmann almost exact contemporaries. But see de Baar and Moerman, ‘Rembrandt van Rijn en Jan Lievens’, 26-27; and Binstock, ‘The Birth of Rembrandt’. Grossmann’s attributes inevitably recall those of Jan Visscher Cornelisen, the standard bearer in Rembrandt’s Nightwatch – on whom see, most fully, Dudok van Heel, ‘Frans Banninck Cocq’s Troop in Rembrandt’s “Night Watch”’, 53-54 and 78-79 notes 48-64.
- Benesch, ‘Schütz und Rembrandt’, 19. Benesch added, in explanation, ‘Rembrandt is the only artist among the 144 entries’ – an assessment obviously not based on first-hand examination and, indeed, appropriated simply from Hofstede de Groot, Die Urkunden über Rembrandt, 32.
- See Album amicorum II, fol. 235.5r; Broos, review of Strauss and van der Meulen, The Rembrandt Documents, 254; Broos, ‘De bronnen over Rembrandt anno 1983’, 18-19; and Lammertse and van der Veen, Uylenburgh & Son, 52-53 (the reference in the same book on p. 16 to Saskia as Uylenburgh’s ‘niece’ presumably rests on a mistranslation of the potentially ambiguous Dutch nicht). On the wedding, see also Schama, Rembrandt’s Eyes, 361 and 714, note 113 – although noting that the old-style wedding date of 22 June translates in this period to 2 July and not, as Schama has it, 4 July. References to Amsterdam in Album amicorum II cover only the days 17-21 June, but gaps on both sides open the possibility that Grossmann’s stay there lasted somewhat longer; see note 27 above.
- See Benesch, ‘Schütz und Rembrandt’, 19. Rembrandt’s fame would spread soon enough, of course; but for the early years of the decade, Benesch’s conclusion seems to hold. The longstanding assumption that Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione in Genoa knew etchings of Rembrandt by 1634 has no foundation – see Jeutter, Zur Problematik der Rembrandt-Rezeption, esp. 22-25, 28-29, notes 27-45, 71-77, and 118-19, notes 1-11; also Rutgers, ‘Sijn’ kunst-faem over ’t spits der Alpen heen gevlogen’, 4. Similarly, while the French-texted music in one of Sebastian Stoskopff’s two still lives with reproductions of early Rembrandt etchings supports the assumption that both predate Stoskopff’s return from Paris to his native Strasbourg in or around 1640, the estimate ‘Vers 1631-1635’ in Heck, Sébastien Stoskopff, 136-137 and 160-161, clearly rests on supposition alone; see also Heck, 24 and 99, and Hahn-Woernle, Sebastian Stoskopff, esp. 49-51, 180-181, and 190-191. Among paintings, the two given by Robert Kerr to Charles I of England by 1639 and possibly before 1633 appear not to have brought any others in their wake until well after the artist’s death (see, among other sources, Schwartz, Rembrandt, 60, 64-65, and 81-82); and however plausible the speculation that Richelieu’s agent Alfonso Lopez purchased Balaam from Rembrandt in the late 1620s, some ten years before their first documented contact (see Schwartz, 132; and van de Wetering, ‘Rembrandt as a Searching Artist’, 93), this transaction, too, seems not to have had any immediate successors. Nor do the etchings after paintings by Rembrandt, Lievens, and possibly Gerrit Dou associated with the Antwerp-born Willem de Leeuw necessarily attest to knowledge of Rembrandt in Flanders around 1633 (see Schwartz, 52 and 169-170): not only, as readily seen from the conspectus in Bruyn et al., A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings I (1982), 47-51, does the sole dated item among them lack de Leeuw’s monogram and in fact include one clearly belonging to someone else, but we have no evidence that de Leeuw resided in Antwerp after his presumed training there under Pieter Soutman; indeed, the account of de Leeuw in Michiels, Histoire de la peinture flamande VIII (1869), 379-382 and 385, states that he spent time in Holland, although the basis for the assertion remains unclear. See also Rose-de Viejo, ‘On the Madrid Provenance of “Anna and the Blind Tobit”’, esp. 620. On the question of whether Rembrandt paintings reached Germany in the 1630s, see note 88 below.
- See Strauss and van der Meulen, The Rembrandt Documents, 111; Broos, review of Strauss and van der Meulen, 252; Schwartz, Rembrandt, 187; and Schama, Rembrandt’s Eyes, 361.
- I draw this inference from observations like those in North, ‘The Transfer and Reception of Dutch Art’, 301-303.
- See also note 99 below.
- See Benesch, ‘Schütz und Rembrandt’, 18.
- On Rembrandt’s drawings in alba amicorum – apart from that for Grossmann Benesch nos. 913, 914, and 1057 – see, most recently, Courtright, ‘Origins and Meanings’, esp. 487-489 and 497; Zell, ‘The Gift Among Friends’, 183-186; and Noorman, ‘Rembrandt in Friendship Books’ and ‘“schatten van de konst”’, esp. 23 and 26.
- See note 47 above.
- Schwartz in fact seems to hint at such a possibility; see Rembrandt, 187.
- For the critics, see Schnabel, Das Stammbuch, 508-511; see also the subchapter ‘Verwendungsintentionen’, Schnabel, 167-177. Although some impoverished album owners appear to have coupled requests for a signature with pleas for a handout to help them on their way (Schnabel, 353), the common description of this practice – which in any event has no bearing on the situation with Grossmann and Rembrandt – as an ‘abusus’ itself tells us much about underlying attitudes; and remarks like ‘Der Maler wil auch sein bezahlt/ | Hat viel in Stammbücher gemalt’ (Johannes Leib, Studentica (Coburg 1627), quoted in Schnabel, 508, note 805) surely refer to the Briefmaler who decorated the entries of others (see note 46 above) rather than to artists like Eimmart, Christian Richter, or Rembrandt – a point implicitly made as well by Noorman, ‘“schatten van de konst”’, 26. For Rembrandt’s inscription, see, among other discussions, Schwartz, Rembrandt, 187-188; Alpers, Rembrandt’s Enterprise, 105-106; Schama, Rembrandt’s Eyes, 361-362; and Noorman, ‘“schatten van de konst”’, 26. Some more inclined to hidden motives, of course, might argue that Grossmann offered Rembrandt payment, which the artist haughtily refused.
- On Rembrandt and patrons, compare, for example, Schwartz, Rembrandt, 362-363, and Alpers, Rembrandt’s Enterprise, 4, from which the above quotation comes; see also Crenshaw, Rembrandt’s Bankruptcy, 34-36, 110-135, and 183-191, as well as Magnani, ‘1666: Een onbekende opdracht uit Genua voor Rembrandt’. As Michael Zell points out to me, our knowledge of Rembrandt’s dealings with patrons comes mostly from the years after 1640; his earlier letters to Constantijn Huygens about the Passion paintings commissioned by Frederik Hendrik, moreover, leave no doubt that he knew how to play the register of courtly obsequiousness when necessary. On the other hand, I wonder how much we can infer from that example about the artist’s relations with members of other social milieus.
- Although Schwartz, Rembrandt, 8) identified ‘German princes’ as the ‘first known owners’ of certain history paintings, the documented ownership of the three works he appears to have in mind does not go back beyond the eighteenth century (see Schwartz, 177-182), nor does it involve families with which Grossmann had more than the most tenuous connections: I find no contacts whatever with the Schönborns, nor anything more than glancing contacts with electoral Saxony; and his meeting in 1634 with Prince Ernst of Brandenburg (see note 60 above), whose older brother Friedrich Wilhelm Schwartz tentatively implicates in the creation of Samson Threatening his Father-in-Law, can hardly count for much, as Friedrich Wilhelm himself lived from 1634 to 1638 in Leiden and because he could in any event just as readily have acquired the painting through his later dealings with the Amsterdam art market (cf. Lammertse and van der Veen, Uylenburgh & Son, esp. 79-80 and 256; and Schwartz, Rembrandt, 230).
- See Benesch, ‘Schütz und Rembrandt’, 19. Benesch made the proposal in connection with the subsequently discredited argument for identifying Schütz as the subject of the now de-attributed Portrait of a Musician in the Corcoran Gallery – on which, see Bruyn et al., A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings II (1986), 794-799, no. C76.
- See Album amicorum II, fol. 215.5r and 225.6v. Schwartz (Rembrandt, 186) already noted the entry of Heinsius.
- The latest evidence for Grossmann at Jena in the spring of 1629 comes from an entry in Album amicorum I dated 29 April (fol. 177.2r) – which, given the old-style datings in use in Germany, corresponded to 9 May in Leiden.
- Cf. Du Rieu, Album studiosorum, esp. cols. 217-219. The lengthy period with no entries could raise the question of whether the album has suffered losses. But while Grossmann noted the theft of seven leaves, five of them including drawings or engravings, from Album amicorum I (fol. 112.1v), Album amicorum II includes no comparable notice, and the original foliation – autograph, and clearly carried out before at least the bulk of the entries – shows no substantial gaps.
- During Grossmann’s semester at Leipzig in 1624, Album amicorum I shows no entries from September through December, and not many on either side. His stay in Nuremberg and Altdorf did, however, produce quite a few (see note 21 above) – although after 16 May none until 18 June, just before his departure (Album amicorum II, fol. 223.6v, 224.4v, 225.3v, 226.4r). The elder Grossmann, we might note, although matriculated at Leipzig in 1593, abandoned his studies but nevertheless stayed there for a year; see Lauterwasser, Angst der Höllen, 3.
- Album amicorum II records the following stations prior to Grossmann’s arrival in Nuremberg (see note 21 above; all dates new style): 22 February, ’s-Grafenfeldt (fol. 227.1v); 27 February-4 March, The Hague (fol. 234.3r; fol. 234.6r); 7 March, Dordrecht (fol. 229.4v); 22-24 March, Cologne (fol. 228.4v; fol. 232.1r, 232.1v + 232.2v, 232.3r). Somewhat disconcertingly, Album amicorum I contains two entries from Jena dated, respectively, 8 January and 4 February 1630, both obviously old style (fol. 191.2r; fol. 141.1v). In the first instance we might ask, however, whether the writer did not make a slip so soon after the new year; in the second case, Grossmann himself added the year at a later point – possibly even as late as 1640, in the course of noting the writer’s doctorate. Whatever the explanation, the path from Jena to Nuremberg hardly goes through the Netherlands and Cologne, nor does it seem very likely for anyone to have got from Thuringia to the western tip of Holland in barely over a week.
- See, in Album amicorum II, the entries of Frans van Schooten (fol. 229.2r, 14 July; to the identification in Schwartz, Rembrandt, 187, as ‘professor of mathematics (and fortification)’ one might add ‘brother of the painter Joris van Schooten’) and of Johann Schulz (fol. 228.1r, 14 July) and Hening Bachman (fol. 231.1v, 16 July), for both of whom see Du Rieu, Album studiosorum, cols. 264-265. I should note, however, that Grossmann probably met Bachman at church, as the date of the entry fell on a Sunday; this would account as well for remaining entry, made on the same day by the Lutheran pastor Rudolph Heger (fol. 222.6r).
- On awareness of the young Rembrandt in Leiden, see, particularly, van de Wetering, ‘Rembrandt’s Beginnings’, 29-31, although with reference to the cautions on Petrus Scriverius referred to in note 98 below.
- The German entry belongs to Frans van Schooten (see note 95 above), the German-Dutch mixture to Cornelis Michielsen Soetens (Album amicorum II, fol. 222.5v, The Hague, 3 July 1634; cf. Schwartz, Rembrandt, 187). On whether Uylenburgh, too, mixed Dutch and German, see note 110 below.
- For Heinsius and alba amicorum, see Becker-Cantarino, ‘Die Stammbucheintragungen des Daniel Heinsius’, esp. 137 and 152-153. On the question of Rembrandt and Scriverius, see, principally, Schwartz, Rembrandt, 23-25, 35-39, and 44-45, but in the light of the questions about the History Painting of 1626 raised by Bob van den Boogert in The Mystery of the Young Rembrandt, 142-147, esp. 147, and van Straten, Young Rembrandt, 301-313, esp. 313, note 41 – but noting, too, that Dudok van Heel, De jonge Rembrandt onder tijdgenoten, 187-192 and 233-234, notes 74-129, upholds Schwartz’s position.
- An extended stay in Leiden or nearby could, perhaps, have provided the occasion for Grossmann to have learned about the Dutch art market before his visit to Amsterdam in 1634. This does not, however, really weaken my earlier observations about him and Uylenburgh; for if Leiden had an active art market at this time, this would only increase the chances that Grossmann would at least have known of Rembrandt.
- On the larger background of Rembrandt and gift-giving, see Zell, ‘The Gift Among Friends’, as well as the same author’s ‘Landscape’s Pleasures’. Some could find the lack of a personalized inscription in Rembrandt’s portrait troubling. But as we have seen, such inscriptions hardly constitute the rule in artist’s drawings; even Christian Richter the Younger, who clearly knew Grossmann well, accompanied his drawing with nothing more than his name – and perhaps not even that (see note 51 above). For that matter, none of Rembrandt’s own later contributions to alba amicorum, including that of his good friend Jan Six, show dedicatory inscriptions, although those for Six do name the recipient; cf. note 83 above. Nor, I suspect, must we seek a personal connection in Rembrandt’s choice of subject – although on this point, we might fruitfully look again at the scenario imagined by Schwartz, Rembrandt, 187.
- For the most recent discussions of these etchings – nos. 177 and 178 in Bartsch, Catalogue I, 157-158; nos. 131 and 132 in Hinterding and Rutgers, New Hollstein Rembrandt, Text II, 211-212 – see Hinterding, Rembrandt Etchings I, 327-330; and Hinterding, Rembrandts Radierungen, 50-51. Ger Luijten suggests that Rembrandt gave his own face to the peasant on the left; see Hinterding, Luijten, and Royalton-Kisch, Rembrandt the Printmaker, 125.
- For literature, see Bruyn et al., A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings IV (2005), 64, note 132.
- According to Hinterding, Rembrandt Etchings I, 329 (similarly in Rembrandts Radierungen, 50), ‘Rembrandt translated the words quite literally’; as becomes clear from the accompanying endnote (Rembrandt Etchings I, 330 note 6), however, Hinterding meant this principally as a correction to previous authors who read ‘dats niet’ as contradicting the first peasant (‘not at all’ or ‘that’s not true’).
- Stephanie S. Dickey suggests a similar role for recollected conversation in Rembrandt’s knowledge of a classical source; see ‘Saskia as Glycera’, 237. More immediately, understanding Rembrandt’s inscription in this fashion chimes neatly with the suggestion in Schwartz, Rembrandt, 187, already referred to in note 100 above. In regard to modern languages, Rembrandt’s German pupil Joachim von Sandrart may have exaggerated when he wrote that the artist could not read even his native Dutch very well; see Sandrart, Teutsche Akademie, 326 (‘nur schlecht Niderländisch lesen … können’). Nevertheless, I feel less sanguine about his German comprehension than Tümpel, ‘Die Rezeption der Jüdischen Altertümer’, 186, and, following him, Golahny, Rembrandt’s Reading, 137 (which, I think, also gets the grammar and meaning of Sandrart’s German wrong in the translation on p. 51). If, according to Tümpel, Dutch ‘is so related to German that Rembrandt surely could understand it’, I would note that even today, when travel and media facilitate greater contact with foreign tongues, I know native speakers of both languages who cannot speak or read the other one; and for obvious reasons, I cannot fully share Tümpel’s conviction that the Beham inscriptions attest to Rembrandt’s linguistic skills. Nor do I see any compelling evidence that Rembrandt seriously engaged with the text of three illustrated German books that he owned (see Golahny, 137-179). The identity of the first two remains unclear; and even if we accept Golahny’s candidates for both (138-163), she finds no more than a single passage in either on which a pictorial interpretation might have depended (159-160) – and this comes from a classic work long familiar in Dutch translation. The third book, an edition of Flavius Josephus with woodcuts designed by Tobias Stimmer, could seem to hold greater promise, as Tümpel has shown that Rembrandt drew several times on Josephus – see, particularly, ‘Die Rezeption der Jüdischen Altertümer’, 185-192, but also ‘Studien zur Ikonographie der Historien Rembrandts’, 125-126, and Tümpel and Tümpel, Rembrandt legt die Bibel aus, nos. 8 and 9. Yet not only, as Tümpel demonstrates, did other Dutch artists turn equally to this well-known body of writing, but nothing indicates that Rembrandt relied specifically on the German translation. Golahny (165-166) revives what looks like the most persuasive argument in that direction, the interpretation of the temple in the etching Peter and John Healing the Cripple at the Gate of the Temple (Bartsch, Catalogue I, 97-98, no. 94; Hinterding and Rutgers, New Hollstein Rembrandt, Text II, 301-303, no. 312) by Landsberger, ‘Rembrandt and Josephus’; in doing so, however, she overlooks the refutation of Landsberger’s key point in Wischnitzer, ‘Rembrandt, Callot, and Tobias Stimmer’, 228. Indeed, even if, as Golahny stresses (164), we lack a record of a Dutch Josephus in Rembrandt’s possession – or would we have found it among the fifteen unnamed ‘books in different format’ in the inventory of his house (see, among other places, Golahny, 77-78)? – I would think it obvious that he obtained his German edition precisely because an already thorough knowledge of Josephus in his own language fueled at least a historical interest in Stimmer’s illustrations (although see note 106 below).
- Of the other suggested borrowings from Beham cited in Broos, Index to the Formal Sources of Rembrandt’s Art (see the index at p. 130), none has very much credibility. Although de Winkel, Fashion and Fancy, 248 (also Bruyn et al., A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings IV, 64), seems also to imply that Rembrandt might have depended on Beham in other instances, none of the sources she cites at 328, note 284 in fact provides any examples.
- If we limit ourselves to the most secure identifications, the list hardly goes beyond Altdorfer and Dürer. For Rembrandt’s use of images from the former’s Fall and Redemption of Mankind, see Broos, ‘Rembrandt Borrows from Altdorfer’. The same author conveniently assembles the clearest borrowings from Dürer in Rembrandt en zijn voorbeelden, 44-49 (nos. 33-39); see also the somewhat more inclusive view in Schwartz, ‘Rembrandt’s Dürer’. What, if anything, Rembrandt took from Tobias Stimmer (see note 104 above) or Matthaeus Merian the Elder would appear uncertain at best. As already noted in Golahny, Rembrandt’s Reading, 176, few resemblances to Stimmer go beyond the general; for the most plausible example – although still fairly inexact, and not involving a work assuredly by Rembrandt rather than a pupil – see Tümpel, ‘Studien zur Ikonographie’, 125-126; or his ‘Die Rezeption der Jüdischen Altertümer’, 185-186. Proposed connections with Merian appear even more tenuous, and seem indeed most likely to reflect common traditions rather than direct borrowing; see, for instance, Bruyn et al., A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings II, 307. On a putative borrowing from Lucas Cranach the Elder, see Hinterding, Rembrandt Etchings I, 203-204. See also immediately following in the main text.
- See Bartsch, Catalogue I, 163, no. 187; Hinterding and Rutgers, New Hollstein Rembrandt, Text II, 135, no. 231; White, Rembrandt as an Etcher, 186; and B. Rifkin, ‘Problems in Rembrandt’s Etchings’, 124. For a pair of apparent further borrowings from Aldegrever, see Tümpel, Rembrandt legt die Bibel aus, no. 14; and Bruyn et al., A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings II, 296.
- According to Lammertse and van der Veen, Uylenburgh & Son, 13, Hendrick would have followed his brother Rombout from Kraków to Danzig sometime after 1612, and remained there until 1620.
- See Lammertse and van der Veen, Uylenburgh & Son, 21.
- According to Lammertse and van der Veen (Uylenburgh & Son, 53), Uylenburgh used German for his self-identification as ‘consthandler’. But not only does this formulation strike me as closer to the Dutch ‘cunsthandelaer’ (see Lammertse and van der Veen, 126) than to anything I know in German of this or any period, but the spelling ‘const’ occurs frequently in contemporary usage (see, for example, van de Wetering, ‘Rembrandt as a Searching Artist’, 79, 92, and 95). Uylenburgh’s script, moreover, shows typically Dutch traits, most notably in the formation of the letter e. I would thus sooner suspect, as the authors themselves allow, that Uylenburgh’s Dutch ‘was … perhaps not quite impeccable’. In that connection I would also note that the German signature to a Polish-language document reproduced in Uylenburgh & Son, 19, fig. 5, comes from neither Uylenburgh’s hand nor, in all probability, that of his brother Rombout but most likely from the Georgius Schade also named there.