Dutch Baroque Era Painter, ca.1600-1655
Dutch painter, draughtsman and etcher, active in France and Italy. His first signed and dated works are two views of Paris dated 1623 (Brunswick, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Mus.). He was in Rome from 1629 to 1641. His earliest dated painting there is an Old Testament Scene (1630; The Hague, Mus. Bredius; see fig.), a compositional formula that he often used, with some variations, in Rome. A flat, low foreground is closed on the left by a house and a tree; on the right is a distant hilly scene; and groups of figures are disposed horizontally. This design, derived from Cornelis van Poelenburch, is well suited to van Swanevelt's many landscapes with biblical and mythological subjects. The large tree extending beyond the frame gives a monumental touch to the composition.