Figures in Woody Landscape


Figures in Woody Landscape



Little is recorded about the life of the Dutch landscape painter Knibbergen. He was born c. 1597 in The Hague; he travelled to Milan and crossed the Alps in 1614 in the company of the Utrecht artist Terbrugghen; by 1629, after a stay in Amsterdam, he settled in The Hague where, in 1636, he received permission to hold an auction. Thereafter he is unmentioned in documents. The latest known date on a work by him is 1665. In his treatise of 1678, Samuel van Hoogstraten relates that Knibbergen, Jan van Goyen, and Jan Porcellis competed to see who could paint the best landscape in a single day (Knibbergen’s was the largest and depicted mountains, trees, and “dashing” waterfalls) and that Porcellis won.

Knibbergen’s landscapes appear occasionally at the auction but are uncommon in museums; some are signed; only a few are dated. For the most part, they reflect van Goyen’s style and predilection to paint scenes of dunes and rivers. This rare dated example (1630) is of particular importance because it records Knibbergen’s pre-van Goyen style, albeit less Italianate than a presumably still earlier, signed landscape sold at Sotheby’s in 1995. It has been suggested that the small, well-dressed figures and hunch-backed beggar in the foreground of the Tata panel were painted by another artist active in The Hague, Esaias van de Velde, who, like Knibbergen, absorbed elements of Flemish Forest scenes by Gillis van Conixloo and especially David Vinckboons.

Sir Ratan Tata Art Collection


European Paintings



Object Type

Oil Painting


Oil on Panel




Oil painting


17th Century CE


The Netherlands