Old Master Paintings, Drawings, and British Portraits


JAN SNELLINCK III (Rotterdam 1640 – Rotterdam before 1691) 

An Italianate Hilly and Wooded River Landscape with Shepherds and their Flock at Rest

oil on panel

18 ⅛ x 24 ⅜ inches        (46 x 62 cm.)


Three unidentified red collector’s seals on the reverse, all identical with the initials C.V.W. around a rook surmounting a shield divided into four sections with three rooks forming an inverted triangle in each section

Unidentified red collector’s seal on the reverse with an iron cross and two curving lines

Private Collection, Worcestershire, England



Columbus, Georgia, The Columbus Museum, Two Republics, 17th Century Dutch & 19th Century American Art for the Common Man, October 5, 2014 – January 11, 2015, no. 20



Kristen Miller Zohn, Two Republics, 17th Century Dutch & 19th Century American Art for the Common Man, exhibition catalogue, The Columbus Museum, Columbus, Georgia, 2014, p.12, Figure 20, illustrated


Jan Snellinck III was the son and pupil of Cornelis Snellinck a Rotterdam painter of landscapes.  Cornelis was possibly the son of the Flemish landscape artist Jan Snellinck II.  Jan Snellinck III was known for his landscapes and moonlight scenes.  Members of the Colonia family of painters provided staffage for some of his works.  Only a very small number of fully signed paintings by the artist survive.  His paintings are in the museums of Leipzig, Montpellier and Rotterdam. [1]

Besides these few facts very little else is known about Jan Snellinck III.  Part of the problem is that his paintings are often taken to be by other artists.  Paintings that are signed with the monogram J.S. have mistakenly been thought to be by Jan Gabrielsz. Sonjé, a pupil of Adam Pynacker working in Rotterdam at the same time as Snellinck.  (For an example see RKD no. 42923, Jan Snellinck and Adam Colonia, Southern Landscape with Herders on a Path, traditionally called Jan Gabrielsz. Sonjé, reattributed by Marijke de Kinkelder).  The other artist that Snellinck is often confused with when his works are unsigned is Sonjé’s master Adam Pynacker.  A case in point is a painting by Snellinck in the Musée Fabre, Montpellier, Paysage, inventory number 836.4.49.  This landscape on panel, measuring 33.5 x 29 cm., was published by Hofstede de Groot among others as by Adam Pynacker.  Marijke de Kinkelder recognized the painting to be by Jan Snellinck III, making for an important addition to the artist’s oeuvre. [2]  Similarly we are grateful to her for the identification of our painting to Snellinck.  Until it was recently cleaned our panel bore the false signature of Adam Pynacker and must have been taken as such for generations.

The labeling of Snellinck as Pynacker is telling.  This work incorporates many compositional traits employed by Pynacker in his Italianate landscapes, especially prior to his departure for Amsterdam in 1661, when working in nearby Schiedam.  Schiedam was not an artistic center, unlike Rotterdam just a few miles to the east.  Pynacker first apprenticed there with Cornelis Saftleven and the influences of Rotterdam artists such as Ludolf de Jongh are evident in his work. [3]  Although unrecorded it is very probable that Snellinck and Pynacker had direct contact.

Derivative of Pynacker’s dramatic use of light is Snellinck’s rendering of a passing cloud’s diffusion of the sun for the resulting dazzling display of light and shade.  Further echoing Pynacker compositionally are the contrasting landscapes of dense woods and open hills and plains divided by a waterway framed by silver-edged foliage accentuated by the focal point of a gnarled tree.  A Romanesque fortification is anchored to the hillside.  In the midground a standing shepherd gazes upwards while shading his eyes to take in the heavenly light show.  The white and blue of his outfit along with the bright reds of his companions serve to draw the viewer’s eyes into the composition and accentuate the landscape’s harmonious hues of brown, whites and grays. [4]  Snellinck’s elements collectively play tribute to Pynacker’s inventiveness and lyricism as well as their shared passion for idyllic views.

We are very grateful to Marijke C. de Kinkelder of the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorishe Documentatie, The Hague for her identification of the painting as by Jan Snellinck III.



[1] Liesbeth van der Zeeuw, “Jan Snellinck III” in Rotterdamse Meesters wit de Gouden Eeuw, Historisch Museum Rotterdam, Waanders Uitgevers, Zwolle, 1995, pp. 298-299.

[2] Quentin Buvelot, “Jan III Snellinck” in Tableaux Flamands et Hollandais du Musée Fabre de Montpellier, Institut Néerlandais, Paris – Musée Fabre, Montpellier, 1998, p. 296.

[3] Laurie B. Harwood, “Schiedam”, exhibition catalogue Sterling and Francine Clark Institute, Williamstown Massachusetts, A Golden Harvest: Paintings by Adam Pynacker, July 23 – September 11, 1994, p. 25.

[4] Ibid., pp. 28, 38, 46, 48, 50, 54, 70.

Lawrence Steigrad Fine Arts

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