At the age of twelve Lingelbach moved with his parents from Frankfurt to Amsterdam. He was to become one of the most important “Dutch” painters of Italianate scenes. It is not known whom he studied painting with. At the age of 20, in 1642, he moved to Paris and then further to Rome. He returned to Amsterdam in 1650 and passed away there in 1674.
Our painting is a fictitious Capriccio view of the port of Livorno; the monument at right is inspired by the famous Monument of the Four Moors.
About Johannes Lingelbach
Dutch painter of German origin
Frankfurt am Main 1622 – 1674 Amsterdam
Important painter of landscapes and of genre scenes.
He is best known for his views of Rome and for his harbour scenes.
Lingelbach was above all a gifted figure painter and therefore an important staffage (figure) painter (staffageur) for numerous Dutch landscape painters, such as Abraham Beerstraaten, Jan Hackaert, Jacob de Heusch, Meindert Hobbema, Jan van Kessel, Phillips Koninck, Frederik de Moucheron, Jacob van Ruisdael, Jan Wijnants and many others.
Lingelbach arrived in 1634 in Amsterdam at the age of twelve with his parents from Frankfurt in Germany. He remained in Amsterdam until 1641. He is said to have already started working here as a painter in 1637, at the early age of fifteen. It is not known whom he studied under.
Johannes’ father was reportedly a tailor. After his arrival in Amsterdam he ran first the Old Labyrinth, from 1648 onwards the New Labyrinth (‘Nieuw Doolhof’), a pleasure garden with automated diversions, that could move or play music, depicting biblical and mythological scenes.
According to Arnold Houbraken (1660 – 1719), who published in 1718 his famous “De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen”, a biography of all important Dutch painters, our painter lived in Paris from 1642 until 1644, and in Rome from 1644 until 1650. His earliest dated paintings are from 1650. According to Thomas Kren paintings given to the so-called Master of the Small Trades are in fact early works by Johannes Lingelbach.
From 1650 until his death in 1674 Lingelbach remained in Amsterdam. He got married here in 1653 and had nine children.
During his Roman years our painter was strongly influenced by Pieter van Laer (1599 – probably 1642), after his return in Amsterdam by Philips Wouwerman (1619 – 1668) and also by Jan Baptist Weenix (1621 – 1660/61).
Lingelbach was one of the most important Dutch painters of the second generation of ‘Bentveughels’ (Nordic painters) in Rome.
About the ‘Bentveughels’
For many centuries Rome and Italy have attracted numerous painters who come to study its contemporary and ancient Roman art, to enjoy its marvelous light and colourful population, or who just came to work there.
The Dutch, Flemish and also some German painters of Rome came together in the informal society of the ‘Bentveughels’ (‘group of birds’), also known as the ‘Schildersbent’ (‘group of painters’). Although created as a support for compatriots it soon became well known for its rather convivial meetings, in so far that in 1720 this joyful society was forbidden by papal decree for too many feasts had ended in the greatest disorder.
Every member got a surname, a so-called ‘Bentname’. Strangely enough Lingelbach’s has remained a mystery.
The first generation of Bentveughels was in Rome during the 1620’s and 1630’s. Its most famous members were Cornelis van Poelenburgh, Bartholomeus Breenbergh and Pieter van Laer ( who was nicknamed ‘Bamboccio’)
The second generation stayed in Rome during the 1640s. Best known are Jan Both, Jan Asselijn, Claes Berchem, Jan Baptist Weenix, Adam Pynacker en Karel Dujardin and our Johannes Lingelbach.
The third generation was active in Rome during the third quarter of the 17th century. To this group belong Johannes Glauber, Jan-Frans
van Bloemen en Hendrick van Lint.
In the artistic production of the first generation there is practically no difference between paintings executed in Rome or those painted after their return in the Low Countries. Within the paintings of the second generation this difference is very apparent.
The third generation did not return from Italy; they stayed active their complete career in Rome.
The Tuscan port city of Livorno was traditionally known to the English as Leghorn. It was the main harbour of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. At the end of the 1580s Grand Duc Ferdinand I turned it into a free port, which explains its successful story.
In 1653 was fought here the famous sea-battle of Leghorn, during the First Anglo-Dutch war. The Battle was a victory of a Dutch fleet under Commodore Johan or Jan van Galen over an English squadron under Captain Henry Appleton. The Battle gave the Dutch command of the Mediterranean, placing the English trade with the Levant at their mercy, but Van Galen was mortally wounded, dying two weeks later on 23 March.
At the extreme right in our compostition the statues are inspired by Livorno’s most famous monument, the Monument of the Four Moors, commemorating the victories of Ferdinand I of Tuscany over the Ottomans.
Giovanni Bandini created the original statue of Ferdinand I between 1595 and1601, which was later replaced. Pietro Tacca created the so-called statues of the Four Moors, actually representing Ottomans, between 1623 and 1626. The two famous fountains with marine monsters from the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata in Florence were originally also intended for the Livorno monument, but following Tacca’s death in 1641 they were placed in Florence on either side of Giambologna’s equestrian monument of Grand Duke Ferdinand I (which was actually finished by Tacca at his master’s death).
Why should you buy this painting?
Because this fully signed, serene painting proofs you why first the Dutch and later the English Grand Tour travellers fell madly in love with Lingelbach’s art.