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A View of the Flat Rock on the Schuylkill, near Philadelphia

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A View of the Flat Rock on the Schuylkill, near Philadelphia 1827

Not on display

This painting shows the falls of Flat Rock on the Schuylkill River, eight miles from Doughty's home town of Philadelphia. It was painted in 1827 at the request of Doughty’s friend, Philip Tidyman of Charleston. He presented it to the Royal Institution in Edinburgh the following year, so that it may ‘raise the reputation of a worthy and eminent Artist’. It is believed that Doughty was planning a trip to Europe, and that his friend was ensuring that his work was known before he arrived. This serene scene of leisurely pursuits with a resting woodcutter ignore the recent industrial developments of the river. By 1827, the Schuylkill Navigation Company had completed a vast new canal and waterway system, which transformed both the appearance of the river, and the pace of life around Philadelphia.

Glossary Open

Royal Institution

Founded in Edinburgh in 1819, the Royal Institution for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts in Scotland was a privately funded and largely aristocratic body, modelled on the British Institution in London. The Royal Institution (RI) initially staged exhibitions of Old Master paintings, but from 1821 to 1830 it also mounted contemporary exhibitions to stimulate patronage for modern Scottish art. The RI’s fifth exhibition occupied a new building dedicated to the arts on The Mound. This building, originally named the Royal Institution, was shared with other bodies and learned societies. It is now called the Royal Scottish Academy building. In the 1820s the RI began to form a national collection of paintings, most of which was later housed in the adjacent National Gallery of Scotland.

Royal Institution


  • Acc. No. NG 179
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 71.20 x 101.80 cm
  • Credit Presented to the Royal Institute by Philip Teddyman 1828; transferred 1859