Skip to main content
A River Landscape
Jan van Goyen

Time has not been kind to Jan van Goyen’s river landscape, and his soft muted colours have been dimmed under a coat of yellowed varnish. But we sense the tranquillity of the scene – the vast sky, the quiet ripple of the water under the small boat heading upriver and the patient cows cropping the grass close to us.

Passengers settle on the insubstantial-looking craft moored on the far bank, apparently unconcerned by the heavy wagon pulled by two horses on board. The little village between the trees seems to be a jumble of rooftops huddled together, culminating in the spire of the church piercing the clouds.

We don’t know if the painting depicts a particular Dutch village. It hasn’t been identified, but it is one of several versions of the same view painted by van Goyen during his career.

Key facts
Artist Jan van Goyen
Artist dates 1596 - 1656
Full title A River Landscape
Date made 1645
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 66 x 96.5 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Mrs S.F. Hodges, 1852
Inventory number NG151
Location in Gallery Not on display
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.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Download low-resolution image

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

Creative Commons Logo