More important for our work are the two Zicks, Johann, the father, and Januarius, the son.161 They originated from Southern Germany, but their professional activity extended mainly over the areas of Würzburg and Mainz as well as Trier. Johann Zick (1702-1762) is supposed to have been in Venice and to have studied with Giambattista Piazetta. This is quite possible, as the Italian schooling is clearly noticeable in his work, especially in the fresco technique.162 But the cabinet paintings of his later years, especially the lighting effects and even the figure types in his biblical representations, demonstrate that he took Rembrandt and his dramatic compositions as a model.163 He copied Rembrandt’s Blinding of Samson, then in the collection Schönborn [i][i], whose lighting effects he took as the basis for one of his own compositions of a Judith and Holofernes painting [i][i]!164

Johann Zick  
Judith beheading Holofernes and concealing the head in a sack (Judith 8-16) dated 1754
oil paint / canvas, 73 x 100,5 cm
lower left :  Johann Zick inv. et pinx. 1754
Mittelrhein-Museum, Koblenz (Germany)

The blinding of Samson (Judges 16:21) dated 1636
oil paint / canvas, 206 x 276 cm
bottom left of the middle :  Rembrandt.f.1636.
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, no. 1383

attributed to Johann Zick   or attributed to Januarius Zick   afterRembrandt  
The blinding of Samson probably 1749-1751
oil paint / canvas, 38,5 x 49,5 cm
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne, no. WRM 2387

Johann Zick  
The good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) dated 1753
oil paint / canvas, 70 x 100 cm
lower right :  Joca... Zick inv: et pinxit 1753
Vienna (Dorotheum), 2011-04-13, no. 431

A Descent from the Cross (art market) [i]165 makes use of motifs from Rembrandt’s etchings. A Flagellation of Christ [i],166 Seneca’s Death in Karlsruhe [i], and many more paintings and ‘character heads’ testify to the same. He loved the early Rembrandt, his sharp light, fanciful architecture and effective composition. The cellar light also reminds us of the painters from Utrecht (Nikolaus Knüpfer and Jacob Duck), the ghostly movement of Leonart Bramer and the yellow-green color of Adriaen Verdoel. Did Rembrandt followers of Frankfurt influence him? Trautmann’s ‘Rembrandt’ is also a bizarre transformation in the sense of Bramer. Apart from an Italian-Southern German component in the works of Zick, one can clearly point out borrowings from Van Dyck. He uses his Christ-type in the above mentioned Flagellation of Christ, furthermore, even the Seneca looks like a Van Dyck’s Christ. In spite of all this we do not want to infer that Zick has nothing personal; on the contrary, the several elements have been woven into a unity with great flair (Ill. 93) [i].

Johann Zick  
The death of philosopher Seneca (1721 - 1762)
oil paint / canvas, 56 x 45 cm
lower left :  Jo. Zick inv. / et Pinx
Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, no. 948

Johann Zick  
The descent of the cross (1720 - 1762)
oil paint / canvas, 98,5 x 64,5 cm
lower right :  Jo : Zick inv.e ..p...(?)
Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, no. 2236

Johann Zick  
The Flagelation of Christ (1717 - 1762)
oil paint / canvas, 57,5 x 41,5 cm
private collection  Generalkonsul C. von Weiberg, Frankfurt am Main

Januarius Zick  
The Entombement of Christ (1745 - 1797)
oil paint / canvas, 55 x 72 cm
Stockholm (Bukowski), 1948-04-14 - 1948-04-16, no. 210

This is even more applicable to his son Januarius Zick (1732-1797). Initially he was taught by his father, was then in Paris (1757) and a year later in Rome with Raphael Mengs. From 1760 he settled in Ehrenbreitstein, where he flourished as a court painter in Trier. Like Seekatz and Brinckmann he created suppraportes in the French manner (Boucher) for several castles. But even these works are not purely French, for like the painters from Frankfurt, everything is shifted to the coarse and rustic. In his cabinet paintings the French element is even more of an exception. Already in the early paintings with biblical content, made under the eyes of his father, he delighted in Rembrandt-like, spooky chiaroscuro, which cuts across a concentrated beam of light. To strengthen the uncannily impression, he dressed his figures with preference in fanciful, Oriental costumes. David before Saul (Trier) [i]167 and the Arrest of Christ (Church of Our Lady, Coblenz) [i] are telling examples of this.168 His style formed itself on the early Rembrandt and on the works of the pupils or imitators of the young Rembrandt, like Leonaert Bramer and Adriaen Verdoel, whose green grey colors he also preferred.

Januarius Zick  
David playing the harp for Saul (1 Samuel 19:9-10) 1752-1753
oil paint / canvas, 68 x 85 cm
Whereabouts unknown

Januarius Zick  
Christ before Pontius Pilate who washes his hands in innocence 1736 to be dated
oil paint / canvas, 160 x 238 cm
bottom left of the middle :  Zick inv: et pinx
church (institution)  Liebfrauenkirche (Koblenz), Koblenz

The Christ on the Mount of Olives [i] distinguishes itself from this group only in the fact, that the main character has been modelled after an elegantly moving figure of Rubens;169 the soldiers are again in Bramer’s style. His stipple technique also is reminiscent of Bramer and Egbert van Heemskerck. Especially the Old Testament themes are understood in Rembrandt´s spirit: Abraham Receives the Three Angels (Munich) [i], The Sacrifice of Isaac (multiple compositions) [i][i], Saul and the Witch of Endor (Würzburg; 1752) [i] are such paintings, the last one again completely in Bramer’s manner. A Crucifixion [i]170 unites Rubens’s Coup de Lance with Rembrandt’s light and painterly technique.

Januarius Zick  
The ghost of Samuel appears to the witch of Endor; Saul falls prostrate to the ground(1 Samuel 28:1-25) dated 1752
oil paint / canvas, 35 x 45 cm
lower right :  Jan. Zick junior inv. et pinxit 1752
Martin-von-Wagner-Museum der Universität Würzburg, Würzburg, no. F 501

Januarius Zick  
The crucifixion, Longinus pierces Christ's side with a lance (1745 - 1797)
oil paint / canvas on cardboard, 88,9 x 62,2 cm
lower right :  Janu. Zick inv. ...
San Francisco (Butterfield & Butterfield), 1999-11-18, no. 3014

Januarius Zick  
Christ and the Agony in the Garden: an Angel comes to comfort Him 1760s
oil paint / canvas, 51 x 40 cm
Whereabouts unknown

Januarius Zick  
Abraham waiting on the three angels (Genesis 18:8-12) (1745 - 1797)
oil paint / canvas, 43,7 x 58,9 cm
left center :  Ja:Zick f.
Staatsgalerie im Schloß Johannisburg, Aschaffenburg, no. 9002

Januarius Zick  
An Angel prevents Abraham to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22:11) (1745 - 1797)
oil paint / canvas, 43,5 x 58,5 cm
Staatsgalerie im Schloß Johannisburg, Aschaffenburg, no. 9001

Januarius Zick  
An Angel prevents Abraham to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22:11) dated 1775
oil paint / canvas, 91,5 x 122 cm
location unknown :  ............. 1775
Galerie Neuse, Bremen (Germany)

The Healing of the Cripple in Würzburg [i] still recalls of the Samson and Delilah compositions by Rembrandt, which his father copied.171 A Raising of Lazarus (Collection Werne) [i]172 is a ‘free translation’ of Rembrandt’s etching of 1642 (B 72) [i]. A copy by Zick after Rembrandt’s etching B. 19 (Oranienbaum Castle) was perhaps made earlier [i][i]. 173 Zick now and again stuck to Rembrandt compositions of the middle period, but he dramatized them anew through a fantastic lighting and restless movements.

attributed to Januarius Zick   afterRembrandt  
Double portrait of Rembrandt and Saskia (1745 - 1797)
oil paint / panel, 33 x 25 cm
Anhaltische Gemäldegalerie - Schloss Georgium, Dessau (Saksen-Anhalt)

Self portrait with Saskia dated 1636
etching / paper, 105 x 95 mm
upper left :  Rembrandt.f / 1636
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, no. RP-P-OB-34

manner of Januarius Zick  
Saints Peter and John healing healing of a lame beggar at the Beautiful Gate of the temple (Acts 3-4) 1730-1760
oil paint / canvas, 51 x 61 cm
Martin-von-Wagner-Museum der Universität Würzburg, Würzburg, no. F 396

Januarius Zick  
The Raising of Lazarus 1770s
oil paint / canvas, 56,5 x 71 cm
Whereabouts unknown

The raising of Lazarus (small plate) dated 1642
etching / paper, 149 x 114 mm
lower left :  Rembrandt / f 1642
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, no. RP-P-1961-1027

His genre paintings with dancing maids are however Flemish in the sense of Pieter Angellis [i][i][i]. Zick’s late works are classically calmed down, the colors brighter and the modelling smoother. He drew closer again to Adriaen van der Werff, he even painted together with Angelika Kaufmann! The portraits now only look ‘Dutch’ insofar as they are not French. A group portrait like that of the Remy family of 1776 (collection Ernst von Claer)174 [i] can best be compared with the work of Johann (John) Zoffany. Free from reveling in Dutch light, they stand as realistically captured and greatly conceived figures at the beginning of the new Classicsm.

Januarius Zick  
Portrait of the Remy Family from Bensdorf near Koblenz while making music, drinking coffee, discussing and playing pool dated 1776
oil paint / canvas, 200 x 276 cm
Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Neurenberg, no. 1557

Januarius Zick  
Dancing farmers in front of the inn c. 1756-1757
oil paint / canvas, 70 x 96,5 cm
Städtische Kunstsammlungen Augsburg, Augsburg, no. L 783

Januarius Zick  
Merry company with dansing peasants c. 1753
oil paint / canvas, 80,3 x 121,5 cm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, no. 1567

Januarius Zick  
Peasants dancing in a tavern c. 1752
oil paint / canvas, 49 x 78 cm
lower right :  ja:Zick iunior inv: et pinc
Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, no. 1479

The Dutch schooling had not been in vain, but at the end of his life he had attained the style of his era. Without doubt Januarius Zick owed the acquaintance with Rembrandt in the first place to the teaching of his father. As Johannes Zick had been Tiepolo’s pupil in Venice, Feulner defended the thesis that the complete Rembrandt orientation came to him by way of Venice.175 This explanation seems far-fetched to Leber and to me.176 Venetian easel painting was by no means an offshoot of Rembrandt’s art, and yet the Zick’s choose to follow the Dutch masters precisely in this way. They copied paintings and etchings by Rembrandt and indeed they wanted to imitate the impetuous, dramatic painting of the young Rembrandt and his school, that was unknown in Venice. Why should we assume a different source of Rembrandt inspiration for the Zicks than for Brinckmann and Trautmann of Frankfurt?

The influence of Rembrandt is by no means limited to the two personalities of father and son Zick. Anonymous paintings like the Liberation of Saint Peter and the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist in Frankfurt [i][i] show a similar style, in this case clearly following the Rembrandt pupil Aert Jansz. Marienhof.177 

The Mannheim collection offered the artists of this circle a rich choice of pictures by Rembrandt, Rubens and other Netherlandish and Venetian painters. Especially the etchers, such as Andreas Ludwig Bissel (1773-1847), Johannes Pieter de Frey (1770-1834),178 Heinrich Sintzenich (1752–1812) and others, got their inspiration here.

Johann Georg Trautmann  
The beheading of Saint John the Baptist c. 1750
oil paint / panel (oak), 30,7 x 38,4 cm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, no. ES 6

Also in this area we find, apart from Rembrandt imitators, landscapists, who continued the Nicolaes Berchem and Jan Both tradition, like Daniel Hien (1725-1773) [i][i] and his pupil Georg Friedrich Meyer (1733/35-1779) [i][i].179 Hien also painted still-lifes in the Dutch and Flemish taste [i][i][i][i]. Catharina Treu (1743-1811), the still-life painter from Bamberg, was a court painter in Mannheim, before she went to Düsseldorf as a professor.180

Daniel Hien  
Still life with woodcock dated 1754
oil paint / canvas, ? x ? cm
lower right :  D. Hin fecit / 1754.
Paris (Drouot Richelieu), 1997-07-08 - 1997-07-09, no. 139

Daniel Hien  
Still life with wild duck dated 1754
oil paint / canvas, ? x ? cm
lower right :  D. Hin fecit / 1754.
Paris (Drouot Richelieu), 1997-07-08 - 1997-07-09, no. 139

Daniel Hien  
Still life with dead rabbit and oranges dated 1754
oil paint / canvas, ? x ? cm
lower right :  D. Hin fecit / 1754.
Paris (Drouot Richelieu), 1997-07-08 - 1997-07-09, no. 139

Daniel Hien  
Still life with white duck dated 1754
oil paint / canvas, ? x ? cm
lower right :  D. Hin fecit / 1754.
Paris (Drouot Richelieu), 1997-07-08 - 1997-07-09, no. 139

Daniel Hien  
Idealized Landscape dated 1768
oil paint / canvas, 119,7 x 169,6 cm
Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Neurenberg, no. Gm481

Daniel Hien  
Landscape with ruins and cattle (1737 - 1773)
oil paint / unknown, ? x ? cm
Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich, no. 6111

Georg Friedrich Meyer  
Landscape with shepherds, resting dated 1764
aquarel paint (watercolor) / paper, 121 x 179 mm
lower right :  Meyer 1764
Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, no. 1955-10

Georg Friedrich Meyer  
Landscape with a robbery c. 1765-1769
oil paint / canvas, 38 x 46 mm
Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, no. 390

Gottlieb Welté (1748/49-1792) from Mainz focused more on the peasant painting à la Teniers and Ostade, which is conceived in a French way [i][i].181 Friedrich Müller (1749-1825), called Maler Müller [Müller the Painter] drew in all kinds of ways: wild Rembrandt drawings and also sheets with landscapes in the style of the Italianate Dutch masters [i][i].182 Lorenz Schönberger (1768-1846), who belonged to a later generation, harked back rather to Ruisdael compositions, when he occasionally wanted to paint something Dutch for a change.183

Friedrich Müller  
Serenade at an inn dated 1776
sepia ink / paper, ? x ? mm
lower right :  Müller f 1776
Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München, Munich

Friedrich Müller  
Landscape with figures on horseback dated 1775
black ink / paper, 256 x 263 mm
upper left :  F. Müller del. / 1775.
Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, no. 723

Gottlieb Welté  
Two women with a drunk man at a gate dated 1777
oil paint / panel, 34 x 25 cm
Stuttgart ( Felix Fleischhauer), 1928-04-24 - 1928-04-25, no. 111

Gottlieb Welté  
Impertinent drunk before an inn dated 1777
oil paint / panel, 34 x 25 cm
Stuttgart ( Felix Fleischhauer), 1928-04-24 - 1928-04-25, no. 112


161 [Gerson 1942/1983] Feulner 1920; Feulner 1922; Feulner 1929, p. 186 and 241; Feulner 1936 (and on that: Goering 1938, p. 99-100); Leber 1924, p. 124, 145; Benesch 1924, 159-168. [Van Leeuwen 2018] Strieder 1990; Roth/Strasser et al. 1993; Strasser 1994; Bank/Fachbach et al. 2018.

162 [Van Leeuwen 2018] Although his biographer Oefele mentioned a stay with Piazetta in Venice, this is considered unlikely (Feulner 1920, p. 3, Strieder 1990, p. 9-11, J. Fachbach in Bank/Fachbach et al. 2018, p. 18).

163 [Van Leeuwen 2018] On Januarius Zick and Rembrandt: Manuth 1993 and G. Kölsch in Bank/Fachbach et al. 2018, p. 57-62

164 [Gerson 1942/1983] Painting of 1754, collection Weinberg, Frankfurt; Biermann 1914, ill. 123. [Van Leeuwen 2018] According to Strasser, the copy is neither by Johann, nor by Januarius Zick (Strasser 1994, p. 462, no. Gc10). Johann Zick also used the same grotto setting for the more peaceful scene of The good Samaritan (RKDimages 234505). Januarius Zick used Rembrandt’s composition for his own version of the subject as well (RKDimages 285715).

165 [Gerson 1942/1983] Cologne 1934, no. 2.

166 [Gerson 1942/1983] Collection Weinberg, Frankfurt; Biermann 1914, ill. 122.

167 [Gerson 1942/1983] On the back a notice: ‘ .. in the taste of Rembrandt and the melting together of the colours is better’. (!)

168 [Gerson 1942/1983] Förster 1936.

169 [Gerson 1942/1983] Förster 1936, p. 227.

170 [Gerson 1942/1983] Auction Vienna, 22-11-1927, no. 43.

171 [Van Leeuwen 2018] Not considered anymore as a work by Januarius Zick (Strasser 1994, p. 465, no. Gc67).

172 [Gerson 1942/1983] Feulner 1922, ill. 25a.

173 [Gerson 1942/1983] 578.

174 [Van Leeuwen 2018] Sold to the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg in 1938.

175 [Van Leeuwen 2018] Gerson meant Piazetta, not Tiepolo. Feulner already rejected the hypothesis that Johann Zick was in Venice (Feulner 1920, p. 3). See also above, note 50.

176 [Gerson 1942/1983] Leber 1924, p. 143.

177 [Gerson 1942/19983] Feulner 1922, ill. 29.

178 [Van Leeuwen 2018] J.P. de Frey was born in Amsterdam and worked in Paris from 1802. Gerson obviously assumed that he also worked in Mannheim, which is quite possible. His sister Aletta (Anna) de Freij (1768-1808) moved to Mannheim after her marriage in 1804 and lived and worked there until her death in 1808; maybe her brother visited her there in those years. It would have been appropriate if Gerson had mentioned her instead of her brother. Several works in RKDimages.

179 [Van Leeuwen 2018] On Hien and Meyer: Roland 1959, p. 32-64.

180 [Van Leeuwen 2018] Treu became an honorary professor of the academy in Düsseldorf in 1776, but remained in Mannheim for the rest of her life (Schmidt-Liebich 2005, p. 477-478). On Treu: § 2.1.

181 [Gerson 1942/1983] Auction Stuttgart (Fleischhauer) 24 April 1928, nos. 111-112.[Van Leeuwen 2018] Welté never worked in Mainz and belonged to the circle of the Schütz family in Frankfurt, before he left for Estonia.

182 [Van Leeuwen 2018] On Maler Müller: Denk 1930, Roland 1959, p. 65-75. So far we have not found a ‘wild Rembrandt drawing’ by his hand.

183 [Van Leeuwen 2018] Although Schönberger died in Mainz and travelled a lot, he was principally a Viennese artist and should have been treated by Gerson in his chapter on Austria. He was in Amsterdam in 1826 and became a member of the Koninklijk Academie van Beeldende Kunsten and exhibited at the ‘Levende Meesters’ since (many records in the Hofstede de Groot index cards, RKDexerpts). However, so far we have not found any Ruisdael-like work by him.