Attributed to Otto van Veen

Leiden 1556 – Brussels 1629

Landscape with Baptism of Christ in the River Jordan by St. John (Matthew 3: 13 – 17)

Oil on copper
H. 23,4 cm. W. 31 cm.


Private collection


In the foreground of the present picture the Baptism of Christ in the River Jordan is depicted, as described in the Gospel of Matthew: “When Jesus was baptized, He came right out of the water. And behold, there the heavens opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descend like a dove and come down upon Him. A voice came from heaven and said, “This is my Beloved Son, in whom I delight“. The Baptism of Christ emphasizes two important Christian truths of faith. Not only the Incarnation of Christ, but also the revelation of the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In the present composition the Holy Trinity is depicted in a vertical line, with the Heavens upper left, a dove representing the Holy Spirit in the sky, right above Christ.

This beautiful river landscape on copper shows great similarities with an ‘Otto Veni f. 1586’ signed and dated landscape on copper, which was auctioned at Christie’s New York in January 2023. On the New York version the ‘stoffage’ figures and a some birds are missing. Though unsigned, the present picture can ben attributed to Otto van Veen.