A River Scene, with Fishermen laying a Net

The Dutch economy in the 17th century relied heavily on the country's waterways. The rivers were an important resource for the country's important fishing industry, and shippers used them to transport goods to the different towns and cities. The extremely low horizon gives great prominence to the cloudy sky (it covers five sixths of the picture). Across the calm waters a square church tower can be made out in the distance. It has been suggested that it is the spire of the Grote Kerk in Dordrecht, a town Van Goyen frequently depicted in his paintings. The muted palette of greys and browns is typical for Van Goyen's tonal works of the late 1620s and '30s.

Key facts

Artist dates
1596 - 1656
Full title
A River Scene, with Fishermen laying a Net
Date made
Medium and support
Oil on oak
31.1 x 25.8 cm
Inscription summary
Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit
Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number
Location in Gallery