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Balthasar Denner (seated) and hisfamily (Self-portrait). Source: Wikipedia Commons
Balthasar Denner, born 15 November 1685 at Hamburg and died 14 April 1749 at Rostock, was one of the most important portrait painters of his time. His father was Jakob Denner, the well-known Dompelaar preacher of Hamburg-Altona; his mother was Katharine Wiebe. In 1710 Offenbach relates that among the important persons he visited in Hamburg was the Denner family; concerning Denner's parental home he remarks, "They [the Mennonites] in general all seem to be very fine and pious people." One of his best pupils was Dominicus van der Smissen, who married his sister Katharina.

Wichmann reports in his history of Altona that Balthasar Denner had to paint an annual portrait of Countess Reventlow in payment for the use of the church in which his father preached for the Dompelaars.


Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie. Leipzig, 1875-1912: V, 54-57.

Hamburger Künstlerlexikon.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 414.

Lichwark, Alfred. Das Bildnis in Hamburg. Hamburg: 1898: I, 132-143.

Wichmann, Ernst Heinrich. Geschichte Altona's. Altona: Haendcke & Lehmkuhl, 1865.

Author(s) H van der Smissen
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

van der Smissen, H. "Denner, Balthasar (1685-1749)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 29 May 2016.,_Balthasar_(1685-1749)&oldid=94326.

APA style

van der Smissen, H. (1956). Denner, Balthasar (1685-1749). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 May 2016, from,_Balthasar_(1685-1749)&oldid=94326.

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 36. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.

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