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Jan Both, 'A View on the Tiber', about 1641

Key facts
Full title A View on the Tiber, near the Ripa Grande, Rome(?)
Artist Jan Both
Artist dates about 1615 - 1652
Date made about 1641
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 42.1 × 55 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876
Inventory number NG958
Location Room 19
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
A View on the Tiber
Jan Both

Jan Both was one of a group of Dutch artists that made the long and often dangerous journey across the Alps to Italy, said at the time to be the heart of great painting. He stayed for ten years, becoming a leader in the development of Dutch Italianate landscape showing hardy peasants against softly glowing skies.

This painting is unusual for Both. He shows an urban view of architecture rather than a landscape and his view of the Ripa Grande – the old port of Rome – is partly imaginary. In his other paintings from a different viewpoint the scene is more recognisable. It seems that in painting this picture on his return to the Netherlands, Both is painting partly from memory and partly from imagination, but always with affection for the sunlit land he had left.

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