About David Colijns
Rotterdam circa 1582 – 1664/1666 Amsterdam
Painter of landscapes, genre, history and church interior scenes. Best known for his biblical scenes.
It is not known whom Colijns studied under, but it must probably have been his father, Crispiaen Colijns, who was also a painter. David’s father originally came from Mechelen in Flanders. Being a Protestant he had fled to Rotterdam in Holland the persecution by the Spanish and Flemish Catholics.
The famous history and portrait painter Salomon Koninck (1609 – 1656) was a pupil of our David Colijns, as was Jacob I Koninck (1614/16 – after 1690), a lesser kown painter of landscapes and of portraits.
Colijns is documented as being active in Amsterdam from 1606 until his death around 1665.
Already in 1607 Colijns was one of the buyers inscribed at the sale of paintings in Amsterdam of the late Gillis van Coninxloo II, the famous painter of wooded landscapes.
He got married in Amsterdam in 1616.
Around 1635/1640 he painted the monumental scenes from the life of King David that served as shutters for the organ of the Nieuwezijdse chapel of Amsterdam. Today they have a prominent place in the Catharijneconvent Museum of Utrecht.
About the subject of our painting
Our painting represents an errant, prosperous tribe: there is a lot of cattle and there are many babies and small children. It must be a scene from the Old Testament, probably from the book Genesis.
Might it represent a scene from the life of Jacob or from that of Joseph?
- Jacob shows Laban his first wife Lea with her four sons?
- Joseph arriving at his brothers’ camp where Benjamin discovers the silver cup?
None of these interpretations is convincing.