Crucifixion with portraits of the land commanders of the Teutonic Order, Bailiwick of Utrecht

General information
Original location Utrecht, bailiwick of Utrecht, Teutonic Order
Current location Utrecht, Duitse huis, inv. no. PR 7.05
Provenance Still in original location
Commissioner Most probably Jacob Taets van Amerongen, land commander of the Teutonic Order, in a campaign to restore the religious character of the order and its allegiance to the Deutschmeister and the emperor (Meeuwissen, sections 2.3-2.4)
Artist Master of the Duitse huis (first 7 panels)
Roelof Willemsz. van Culemborg (the head of Jacob Taets van Amerongen)
Date ca.1576/80-now (the entire series)
ca.1576-1580 (the fifth panel, including the body of Jacob Taets van Amerongen)
1592 (the head of Jacob Taets van Amerongen, as mentioned in the registers of the Order)
Material Oil on panel
Dimensions 85 x 208 cm (seventh panel)
Visual elements
Short description 21 panels with portrait series of the land commanders of the Teutonic Order in Utrecht, since 1239 until now. On the first panel at the left side a crucifixion, followed by the row of portrayed persons turned towards Christ. These are displayed in full length, kneeling in front of an altar, their hands folded in prayer, except for the portraits made since the 1990's, which portray the persons half length, standing, and turned towards the viewer. Under the portraits is a text field with information about the portrayed persons.
Depicted pilgrim (seventh panel, fifth person from the left)
Personal information
Name Jacob Taets van Amerongen
Social status / profession Land commander of the Teutonic Order (since 1579); Studied in Louvain (1560), Orleans (1565), Pavia (1568), Padova (1569/70); member of the Utrecht confraternity of Jerusalem pilgrims, of the Kalends, and of St Anthony
Coat of arms On cloth over altar in front of him: semicircular shield - per pale, I: in zilver a black cross; II: in silver a red fess (gedeeld, I: in zilver een zwart kruis; II: in zilver een rode dwarsbalk)
Text In text field under portrait: Anno M vic ende xii sterff heer Jacob Taets van Amerongen, ridder vander Duutscher orden en was die xxxi lantcomenduer vander balije van Utrecht. God heb de ziel
Year of pilgrimage to Jerusalem 1569
Attributes Jerusalem pilgrimage Palm over left shoulder
Date of death 4 December 1612
Additional information
General remarks Jacob van Amerongen is also mentioned in the travel diary of the German knight Hans von Hirnheim, according to whom he landed in Jaffa on 30 August 1569. (see Lampen, p. 289)
The body and head of Jacob Taets van Amerongen were painted separately, by different painters, with an interval of about twelve years.
Jacob Taets van Amerongen is the only person in the entire series to be displayed with signs of the Jerusalem pilgrimage. This is remarkable, since we might expect that more of the land commanders had made the pilgrimage. It might be coincidental, since, if Jacob Taets van Amerongen had ordered the series, the previous land commanders were already dead and did not have influence in how they were portrayed. And shortly after Taets van Amerongen, the order turned protestant, so the need for pilgrimage vanished. However, it might also be a conscious attempt to establish a visual relation between his office of land commander and the long tradition of the Teutonic Order, which was founded in the Holy Land during the crusades.
Jacob Taets van Amerongen was related to Antonis Taets van Amerongen, depicted in the panel with two members of the Utrecht confraternity of Jerusalem pilgrims.
  • Lampen, Willibrord, 'Hollandsche Jerusalemvaarders in vroegere eeuwen', Bijdragen voor de geschiedenis van het Bisdom van Haarlem 45 (1928), pp. 265-293
  • Meeuwissen, Daantje, Gekoesterde traditie. De portretreeks met de landcommandeurs van de Utrechtse Balije van de Ridderlijke Duitsche Orde (Hilversum 2011), cat. 31 (7.05)
  • Tongerloo, Louise van, 'Grablegung und Totengedenken bei Pilgerbruderschaften in Utrecht, mit einer Neuinterpretation von Scorels und Mors Bildnisreihen von Jerusalemfahrern,' in: Truus van Bueren en Andrea van Leerdam (eds.), Care for the here and the hereafter: memoria, art and ritual in the Middle Ages (Turnhout 2005), pp. 221-247, 235
MeMO ID 674
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