Two Republics: 17th Century Dutch &
19th Century American Art for the Common Man
Object information:
An Italianate Hilly and Wooded River Landscape with Shepherds and their Flock at Rest
17th century
oil on panel
18 1/8 x 24 3/8"
Jan Snellinck III
Dutch, 1640-1691
Lawrence Steigrad Fine Arts

Given the character of the Dutch land, which is low and as flat as the sea itself, landscapes were very important in the art of the Dutch Republic. In the 1600s the Dutch undertook the largest reclamation project ever attempted in the history of the world, recovering more than 425 square miles of land from the sea and inland lakes with a complex system of dikes and drainage (Mitchell 40). Admiration for this engineering feat manifested itself in part by an increase in an interest in scenic paintings.

In the seventeenth century, landscape was the most common and least expensive type of painting in the Netherlands, and there was great variety in subjects and styles. Painterly or highly finished, monochromatic or colorful, Dutch landscapes included both familiar scenery and foreign locales. An Italianate Hilly and Wooded River Landscape with Shepherds and their Flock at Rest by Jan Snellinck III depicts thick foliage and distant hills separated by a waterway and path. A fortification stands on a hillside, and the bright clothing of the figures glowing in dramatic light punctuates the roadway.

Jan Snellinck III was the son and pupil of a Rotterdam painter of landscapes. He was known for his landscapes and moonlight scenes, and only a very small number of fully signed paintings by him survive.

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Jan Snellick, Italianate landscape, Lawrence Steigrad Fine ArtsJan Snellick, Italianate landscape, Lawrence Steigrad Fine Arts