Jacob Pynas (Dutch, Amsterdam 1592/93–after 1650 Amsterdam (?))
Oil on wood
19 x 28 7/8 in. (48.3 x 73.3 cm)
Gift of Emile E. Wolf, 1971
Not on view
Inscription: Inscribed (bottom center, on step): PL [monogram]
[Leslie Hand, London, until about 1953, as by Pieter Lastman; sold to Wolf]; Emile E. Wolf, New York (about 1953–71)
Sacramento. E. B. Crocker Art Gallery. "The Pre-Rembrandtists," December 7, 1974–January 26, 1975, no. 10.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Patterns of Collecting: Selected Acquisitions, 1965–1975," December 6, 1975–March 23, 1976, unnumbered cat.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 18, 2007–January 6, 2008, no catalogue.
C. C. Cunningham. "Jacob Pynas—Adoration of the Magi." Wadsworth Atheneum Bulletin (Winter 1959), p. 11 n. 8, fig. 7, accepts the Lastman signature as genuine but calls the painting "extremely close to Jacob Pynas"; reads the final digit of an inscribed date as "7".
Otto Benesch. Letter to Emile E. Wolf. January 10, 1961, attributes it to Jacob Pynas and suggests that the signature was originally that of Pynas and was changed at a later date to that of Lastman.
John Walsh Jr. "New Dutch Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum." Apollo 99 (May 1974), pp. 342–44, 349 n. 6, figs. 5, 6 (overall and detail), dates it to about the 1620s; discusses and illustrates the alteration of the signature [see Notes].
Astrid Tümpel inThe Pre-Rembrandtists. Exh. cat., E. B. Crocker Art Gallery. Sacramento, 1974, pp. 29, 70–72, no. 10, ill. (color), dates it to the 1620s; calls Lastman's 1614 painting of the subject (whereabouts unknown) the model for this picture.
Christian Tümpel inThe Pre-Rembrandtists. Exh. cat., E. B. Crocker Art Gallery. Sacramento, 1974, p. 149 n. 74.
Anthony M. Clark inThe Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1965–1975. New York, 1975, p. 92, ill.
Albert Blankert. Amsterdams Historisch Museum: Schilderijen daterend van voor 1800, voorlopige catalogus. Amsterdam, 1975/1979, p. 171, under no. 222, under the entry for Lastman's painting of this subject in the Amsterdams Historisch Museum, notes that the attribution of the MMA picture has recently been correctly changed from Lastman to Pynas.
Bob Haak. The Golden Age: Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. New York, 1984, p. 193, fig. 395, relates its composition and subject matter to Lastman.
Peter C. Sutton. A Guide to Dutch Art in America. Grand Rapids, Mich., 1986, p. 180, states that it is "based on a lost composition by Pieter Lastman".
Astrid Tümpel inPieter Lastman: The Man Who Taught Rembrandt. Exh. cat., Museum Het Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1991, pp. 20–21, 23, pl. 6, dates it 1617; notes the unmistakable influence of Lastman, comparing the various versions of this subject by Pynas and Lastman.
Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, pp. 536–38, no. 138, colorpl. 138.
Elmer Kolfin inThe Image of the Black in Western Art. Ed. David Bindman and Henry Louis Gates Jr. Vol. 3, part 1, From the "Age of Discovery" to the Age of Abolition: Artists of the Renaissance and Baroque. Cambridge, Mass., 2010, p. 380 n. 49.
The inscription "PL" that appears on the painting was at some point superimposed over Pynas's original monogram in order to pass off the picture as the work of Pieter Lastman. Traces of the original monogram, apparently reading "JACP f", are still faintly visible, and correspond to Pynas's monogram of 1621 reproduced by Kurt Bauch in "Beiträge zum Werk der Vorläufer Rembrandts, III. Die Gemälde des Jakob Pynas," Oud Holland 53 (1936), p. 84. These traces were first noticed by John Mortensen in a seminar report on March 8, 1972.
Another version of this subject by Pynas, dated 1628, is in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
Lastman also painted two versions of the subject, one of 1614 (whereabouts unknown) and one of 1617 (Amsterdams Historisch Museum).