Jacob van Geel
(active in Middelburg, Delft and Dordrecht c.
Panel, 32 cm diameter
Acquired in 1946; inv. 5920
We know almost nothing about Jacob van Geel, a painter who probably came from the southern provinces and who worked in three Dutch towns in succession. His oeuvre – some thirty paintings, a few of which he dated in the 1630s – is just as mysterious: craggy mountain landscapes and woodland scenes with strange, rampant vegetation, which are evidently wholly imaginary and seem somewhat old-fashioned for the period in which they were made. They are akin to the work of Flemish immigrant painters such as Roelant Savery (cf.
no. 11) and Alexander Keirincx, but differ in their more exuberant design idiom.