The Dutch branch was active in Delfshaven (now Rotterdam). Heinrich Kobell, a Rotterdam merchant, was father of Hendrik Kobell and Jan Kobell I, and brother of Balthasar Kobell, founder of the German branch of the family. Hendrik's son Jan Kobell II (1778-1814) was born shortly before his father's death. He became a successful painter. Jan I's daughter Anna Kobell (1790-1847)and his son (5) Jan Kobell III (1800-1838) were also artists.
The members of the German branch were originally from Frankfurt am Main and were active in Mannheim and Munich in the 18th and 19th centuries. The two branches are related through Balthasar Kobell, the brother of Heinrich Kobell.
Balthasar Kobell, a treasury official from Mannheim, had two sons who were artists: Ferdinand Kobell (1740-1799) and Franz (Innocenz Josef) Kobell. Ferdinand was primarily a landscape painter and was profoundly influenced by 17th-century Dutch painting and the work of Claude Lorrain. Nevertheless, he intimated a new approach to the genre that would be typical of the 19th century. Franz was a painter, draughtsman and etcher who lived in Rome from 1779 to 1784 and became influenced by Claude and Poussin. Ferdinand's two sons Wilhelm von Kobell and Egid von Kobell (1772-1847) were also artists. Wilhelm developed his father's style of landscape painting as well as producing a number of battle pictures. Egid was primarily a draughtsman and dilettante whose principal occupation was Privy Councillor in the Bavarian government. The majority of his works are landscapes in sepia, pencil or ink.