Albert Eckhout

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Brazilian fruits and clouds

Albert Eckhout (* around 1607 in Groningen ; † late 1665 or early 1666 in Groningen) was a Dutch painter of portraits and still lifes . His paintings represent a significant documentation of early colonial Brazilian history.

Other forms of name are Albert (van den / van der) Eyckhout, Albert Eeckhout, Albert Eeckholt, Albert Eyckholt, Albert Eckout, Albert Eckholt, Albert Achout and Albert Ae (e) ckhout.

Live and act

Tarairiu dancers
Urutaurana ( Spizaetus ornatus ), from the Hoflößnitz

Nothing is known about Albert Eckhout's artistic training.

From 1637 to 1644 Eckhout took part in the eight-year expedition to Brazil under the governor and commander-in-chief Johann Moritz von Nassau-Siegen in addition to the painter Frans Post , the historiographer Caspar van Baerle , the doctor and botanist Willem Piso and the cartographer and astronomer Georg Marggraf of the Dutch West India Company , which, in addition to pacifying the region, had the task of natural history research in Brazil. Unlike Frans Post, Eckhout's focus was not on the Brazilian landscapes, but on the people and their ethnic diversity. In the years 1641–1644 he portrayed Indians, blacks and mulattos in their respective surroundings and thus enabled considerable insights into their way of life at that time. He also painted still lifes with detailed views of tropical fruits as well as plants and birds.

Returned to the Netherlands in 1645, he lived in Groningen and Amersfoort for a few years . On the recommendation of Johann Moritz, he became court painter to Johann Georg II of Saxony in Dresden in 1653 . It is assumed that he painted the ceiling in the Hoflößnitz in Radebeul from 1653–1659 , but the pictures are unsigned and undated. They show eighty Brazilian birds. During this time, he is said to have painted ten oil paintings of exotic people for Pretzsch Castle , who had been in Schwedt Castle since 1928 and burned there in 1945. In 1663 he returned to Groningen, where he received city rights in 1664.

Johann Moritz gave numerous paintings by Eckhout to his nephew Friedrich III in 1652 . from Denmark and Norway . A larger part of his works, a total of 23 paintings, is therefore in the National Museum in Copenhagen . Hundreds of drawings were given away to Friedrich Wilhelm von Brandenburg and came to the Prussian State Library ( shelf mark Libri Picturati A 32–38). After they had been relocated during World War II and they disappeared, they were not rediscovered until 1977 in the Jagiellonian Library in Krakow .

In 1678 or 1679 Johann Moritz gave Louis XIV of France eight paintings that Eckhout had painted on his return to the Netherlands. After these tapestries were made in The Hague in 1668 , a second series of tapestries was made in the Gobelin Manufactory from 1687 . The paintings are no longer preserved.


  • Rudolf Bangel: Eeckhout (Eyckhout, Eyckholt) Albert van der . In: Ulrich Thieme (Hrsg.): General Lexicon of Fine Artists from Antiquity to the Present . Founded by Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker . tape 10 : Dubolon – Erlwein . EA Seemann, Leipzig 1914, p. 354–355 ( Text Archive - Internet Archive ).
  • Thomas Thomsen: Albert Eckhout, a Dutch painter and his patron Moritz the Brazilian. A cultural image from the 17th century. Munksgaard, Copenhagen 1938.
  • BPJ Broos : Eckhout, Albert. In: Jane Turner (Ed.): The Dictionary of Art Vol. 9, Macmillan, London 1996, pp. 702-703.
  • Sönke Lundt: The view of the New World: Albert Eckhout's trip to Brazil 1637-1644 , Kiel 2000, 111 p., Numerous. Fig. University publication: University of Kiel., MA 2000.
  • Eddy Schavemaker : Eckhout, Albert . In: General Artist Lexicon . The visual artists of all times and peoples (AKL). Volume 32, Saur, Munich a. a. 2002, ISBN 3-598-22772-8 , pp. 104-106.
  • Quentin Buvelot (Ed.): Albert Eckhout. A Dutch artist in Brazil. Waanders et al., Zwolle 2004, ISBN 90-400-8969-8 .
  • Rebecca Parker Brienen: Visions of Savage Paradise. Albert Eckhout, Court Painter in Colonial Dutch Brazil. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam 2006, ISBN 90-5356-947-2 .
  • Denise Daum: Albert Eckhout's “painted colony”. Image and knowledge production about Dutch Brazil around 1640. Jonas-Verlag, Marburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-89445-418-0 review .

Web links

Commons : Albert Eckhout  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. The year of birth around 1610 , which is usually given in the literature, must be revised according to Parker Brienen 2006, pp. 28–29.
  2. See for example Christiane Quaisser: Bird paintings between art and science . In: Heinrich Magirius (Ed.): 600 years Hoflößnitz. Historical winery complex . Sandstein Verlag, Dresden 2001, ISBN 3-930382-60-1 , p. 74-82 .
  3. According to Schavemaker 2002, p. 105 and Parker Brienen 2006, p. 42–43 (with further literature) the works in Hoflößnitz and Schwedt are questionable attributions to Eckhout.
  4. Schavemaker 2002, p. 105.