In Dietrich landscape, genre and portrait painting come together, if we allow his studies after old men to figure as portraits. The painter of saints Gabriel Donath (1684?-1760) painted church paintings after Flemish-Dutch recipe [i][i], a variety that was much loved in Frankfurt am Main.

Gabriel Donath  
Interior of a picture gallery in Dresden dated 1737
oil paint / copper, 27,3 x 33,6 cm
lower center :  CUMPRI / VILEGIO. / Anno 1737 / Gabriel Donath barbatus faciebat Dresdae
London (England) (Christie's), 2010-12-07 - 2010-12-08, no. 174

Gabriel Donath  
View of a Gothic church in Dresden dated 1745
oil paint / canvas, 46,5 x 61 cm
art dealer  kunsthandel Schlichte Bergen, Amsterdam

When we look at the professional landscapists separately, we first have to devote some words to Alexander Thiele (1685-1752).55 Thiele was a pupil of Adám Mányoki, but he was mainly formed as a landscapist by Christoph Ludwig Agricola and can artistically best be compared with Franz de Paula Ferg (1689-1740), who also stayed in Dresden for a short while. Thiele was accustomed to see nature with 17th-century eyes and his Saxon prospects are embellished in a romantic way and enriched after the examples of Roelant Roghman [i], Allaert van Everdingen [i], Aert van der Neer [i], Herman Saftleven [i] , Jan Both and others [i],56 with whose views he became acquainted in the Dresden Gallery.

Thiele came from Erfurt and had first spent several years as court-painter in Arnstadt; but he also offered other princes the products of his brush, e.g. landscapes ‘in various tastes‘ to the Duke of Mecklenburg. Basically, Thiele preferred the Italianate Dutch landscapists to Jacob van Ruisdael and Meindert Hobbema (fig. 87) [i]. This trend, that is the style of Nicolaes Berchem and Jan Both, had gained therefore a certain importance for Saxon landscape painting.

Alexander Thiele  
View of the river Elbe at Neuendorff and Pieschen, near Dresden dated 1741
oil paint / canvas, 105 x 153 cm
lower right :  peint par A. Thielen.1741
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, no. GG 3590

Alexander Thiele  
View of the so-called 'Plauensche Grund', a popular place for daytrips near Dresden dated 1741
oil paint / canvas, 105 x 152 cm
lower right :  peint par A. Thielen.1741
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, no. GG 3605

Alexander Thiele  
View of the Spa 'Augustusbad' at Radeberg dated 1743
oil paint / canvas, 105 x 164 cm
lower right :  nach dem Leben gemahlt von Alex. Thielen.1743
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden

Alexander Thiele  
View of the river Elbe at Sörnenwitz with the sun rising in the frosty morning dated 1741
oil paint / canvas, 104,5 x 155 cm
lower right :  peint par A. Thielen.1741
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, no. GG 3154

Johann Christian Vollerdt (1708-1769) followed Thiele’s manner, although his work is less topographic and more romantic [i].57 He even used compositions by Jacob van Ruisdael, that he restyled with the help of Herman Saftleven and Jan Both [i][i][i].

Johann Christian Vollerdt  
Landscape with a house, figures and a ruined tower in the background dated 1760
oil paint / canvas, 61,5 x 71,5 cm
lower left :  Vollerdt f. / 1760
Keulen (Lempertz), 2016-11-17 - 2016-11-19, no. 1122

Johann Christian Vollerdt  
Rhine landscape with hunting party c. 1760
oil paint / canvas, 49 x 61 cm
art dealer  Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder, The Hague

Johann Christian Vollerdt  
Panoramic river valley with a castle dated 1762
oil paint / panel, 21 x 26,5 cm
lower left :  Vollerdt p. 1762
Keulen ( Van Ham Kunstauktionen), 2009-11-20, no. 195

Johann Christian Vollerdt  
Extensive river landscape with ruins dated 1763
oil paint / canvas, 61 x 75 cm
location unknown :  Vollerdt p. 1763
London (England) (Christie's), 1995-02-24, no. 54

Johann Georg Wagner (1744-1767) drew frequently in the taste of Jan Both and Dietrich, whose pupil he was [i][i]. There also exist animal studies à la Berchem by him [i][i] and compositional drawings in the manner of Adriaen van Ostade [i].58

Johann Georg Wagner  
Cows fording a brook ca. 1758
graphite / paper, 206 x 161 mm
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna, no. 4734

Johann Georg Wagner  
Farmer family in front of a house (1758 - 1767)
graphite / yellow paper, 148 x 99 mm
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna, no. 4689

Johann Georg Wagner  
Landscape with waterfall, bridge and herd dated 1765
tempera / paper, 480 x 667 mm
lower left :  W: p. 1765
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna, no. 14577

Johann Georg Wagner   after Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich  
Trees on the rocks along water dated 1759
graphite / paper, 145 x 199 mm
lower right :  in the water
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna, no. 4730

Johann Georg Wagner  
Fording a brook (1760 - 1767)
graphite / paper, 158 x 186 mm
Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna, no. 4715

Somewhat more important is Johann Christian Klengel (1751-1824), another pupil of Dietrich, who painted landscapes animated with mythological scenes in the spirit of Cornelis van Poelenburch or Dirk van der Lisse [i][i], river valleys like Jan Griffier and landscapes with animals in the manner of Adriaen van de Velde and Paulus Potter [i][i].59 In contrast with other observers, I detect very little real feeling for nature, to which the time had slowly become receptive.

Johann Christian Klengel  
Shepherd with cattle in a landscape (1766 - 1824)
oil paint / canvas, 55,5 x 75,5 cm
Keulen (Lempertz), 2009-11-21, no. 1136

Johann Christian Klengel  
Italian landscape with nymphs (1770 - 1827)
oil paint / panel, 17 x 23,5 cm
Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo, no. NG.M.00064

Johann Christian Klengel  
Italian landscape with nymph, cattle and a ruin (1770 - 1827)
oil paint / panel, 17 x 23,5 cm
Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo, no. NG.M.00063

Johann Christian Klengel  
Landscape with the Minerva Medica ruin near Rome c. 1791
oil paint / canvas, 51 x 75 cm
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, no. 3796

The landscape art of Johann Christian Reinhart (1761-1847) can here only be touched on lightly [i][i].60 In his youth he copied some of Berchem’s paintings in Dresden. Since he had been in Rome, however, his perception of nature widened, and his work -- starting from Claude Lorrain's forms -- took on a classicistic character [i].61

Johann Christian Reinhart  
Group of large trees with cattle drinking near a small waterfall dated 1836
oil paint / canvas, 70,5 x 98 cm
lower right :  J.C. reinhart / Roma 1836
Neue Pinakothek, Munich, no. WAF 818

Johann Christian Reinhart   after Anthonie Waterloo  
Tall oak-tree standing next to a country road 1778-1789
aquarel paint (watercolor) / paper, 277 x 314 mm
lower left :  J.C. Reinhart fec. 1781
Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, Leipzig, no. Graphische Sammlung NI. 676

Johann Christian Reinhart  
Two horsemen in a dense oak forest dated 1786
graphite / paper, 210 x 249 mm
bottom left of the middle :  C. Reinhart f. 1786
Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, Leipzig, no. I 6690

The Norwegian Johann Christian Clausen Dahl (1788-1857), who had worked in Dresden [i] since 1818, copied [i][i] Jacob van Ruisdael’s great and massively constructed paintings [i][i][i].62 Eventually, he came to a personal and deepened conception of nature. In the meantime, the romantic creations of Caspar David Friedrich had presented the Germans with a sensitive image of landscape, that was in no way connected with the art of the Old Masters.

Johan Christian Dahl  
Nordic mountain valley dated May 1821
oil paint / canvas, 96,8 x 134,6 cm
lower left :  JDahl May 1821
Thorvaldsen Museum, Copenhagen, no. B186

Johan Christian Dahl  
Norwegian mountain landscape with waterfall dated 1817
oil paint / canvas, 188 x 250 cm
... 1817
SMK - National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, no. KMS43

Johan Christian Dahl  
A castle near a waterfall in a landscape (1811 - 1857)
oil paint / canvas, 170 x 246 cm

Copenhagen (Bruun Rasmussen), 2005-11-29 - 2005-12-13, no. 1028

Johan Christian Dahl  
View of Dresden by Moonlight dated 1839
oil paint / canvas, 78 x 130 cm
Gemäldegalerie Neue Meister (Dresden), Dresden, no. 2206 D

Johan Christian Dahl   after Jacob van Ruisdael  
Mountainous landscape with waterfall 1812
oil paint / canvas, 101 x 87,5 cm
Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo, no. NG.M.00050

Johan Christian Dahl   after Jacob van Ruisdael  
Mountainous landscape with waterfall 1813
oil paint / canvas, 101,5 x 87,5 cm
Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo, no. NG.M.00049


55 [Gerson 1942/1983] Stübel 1914. [Van Leeuwen 2018] Marx 2002-2003.

56 [Van Leeuwen 2018] Marx compared this work with Philips Koninck, but remarks that the landscape by Koninck in Dresden cannot have been its model, as that work was acquired as late as 1905 (Marx 2009, p. 337).

57 [Van Leeuwen 2018] The landscape illustrated here, however, is very similar to the (volcanic) landscape around the southern German town of Singen (Hohentwiel) (observed by Jan Kosten, 2010).

58 [Gerson 1942/1983] Albertina, Vienna. [Van Leeuwen 2018] 85 drawings in the Albertina online.

59 [Van Leeuwen 2018] On Klengel: Fröhlich 2005.

60 [Van Leeuwen 2018] On Reinhart: Feuchtmayr 1975 and Rott et al. 2012-2013.

61 [Gerson 1942/1983] His early animal drawings are discussed by Preime 1939. In contrast with this author, I do not think that the animal piece is more spontaneous than the landscape, that developed ‘the German strength from the related Dutch school of the 17th century’. The relationships to Berchem are rather obvious. [Van Leeuwen 2018] Obviously Gerson was rubbed the wrong way by the nazi-like language of Preime. However, one could say, that German landscape painting was developed from the study of Dutch landscape painting. Reinhart clearly studied Dutch landscapists when he worked in Leipzig and Dresden (1778-1789), i.e. Anthonie Waterloo, whom he copied. I don’t see much connection to Berchem; the animal studies Gerson referred to were made in Rome (e.g. RKDimages 289864).

62 [Gerson 1942/1983] Copies of 1812-1813 in the National Gallery Oslo after Ruisdael paintings of the collection Von Moltke in Copenhagen. Paintings in the style of Ruisdael e.g. in Kassel and in the Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen. [Van Leeuwen 2018] Dahl mainly studied the old masters from whose works he could learn techniques and ideas for rendering the different types of landscapes ̶ Jan Both and Claude Lorrain for Southern landscapes, Everdingen and Ruisdael for landscapes in 'Norwegian character', Meindert Hobbema for forest scenes, and Aert van der Neer for moonlight effects (Bang 1987, vol. 1, p. 115). For a direct copy after Hobbema: RKDimages 70314; after Jan Both: RKDimages 257482 and 289818. On Dahl and the Old Masters: Bang 1987, vol. 1, p. 28-33 and Rønberg et al. 2001, p. 20-35. The painting in Kassel Gerson mentions (Bang 1987, no. 191 (222,5 x 160,5 cm) , had been cut into six pieces in, or just after, World War II. Three fragments are back in Kassel and three are in the collection Georg Schäfer in Schweinfurt.