Skip to main content

Giovanni Battista Viola, Landscape with a River and Boats

Key facts
Full title Landscape with a River and Boats
Artist Giovanni Battista Viola
Artist dates 1576 - 1622
Date made early 17th century
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 95.3 × 132.1 cm
Acquisition credit Holwell Carr Bequest, 1831
Inventory number NG56
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Landscape with a River and Boats
Giovanni Battista Viola

A number of boats navigate a pale turquoise lake that is surrounded on all sides by dark trees. The white sail of the vessel in the middle ground provides a bright accent, its curve complementing the shape of the branches at top left. In the foreground, two men stand on the shore, talking and leaning on their fishing rods; to the right, a passenger plays the lute as his boat pushes off. Few seem concerned with work.

Idealised, imaginary landscape views were extremely popular in seventeenth-century Italy. It is possible that this one, like its companion piece Landscape with Hunting Party, was made to hang above a door in the Palazzo Giustiniani in Rome. Viola has borrowed certain details within the painting – the sailing boat left of centre, for example – from a work by the celebrated painter Domenichino (private collection). He is also known to have studied the work of Annibale Carracci, to whom this painting was once attributed.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo