The Banks of a River

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The Banks of a River 1649

On Display Scottish National Gallery

This is an imaginative panoramic river scene based on studies made from nature. The large expanse of sky, and the contrast between the wooded hillside and the open view of the river and its opposite bank contribute to the scene’s spacious grandeur. The distant town, inspired by Ruisdael’s drawings of the town of Rhenen, on the Rhine, includes the distinctive tower of the church of St Cunera and the twin towers of the watergate. The figures were probably painted by his friend Nicolaes Berchem or by Philips Wouwerman. Collaboration between Dutch artists with different specialities was not uncommon.


  • Acc. No. NGL 033.84
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 134.00 x 193.00 cm
  • Credit Sir James Erskine of Torrie Bequest to the University of Edinburgh 1835, deposited on loan 1845 with the Royal Institution; loan transferred to the National Gallery 1859