- Jan Siberechts 1627–c.1700
- Oil paint on canvas
- Support: 819 x 1029 mm
frame: 1040 x 1262 x 95 mm
- Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1967
One of the most important early landscapes in the Tate's collection, this view of Henley-on-Thames is one of several the artist made of the subject, the last dated picture being painted in 1698. Such realistic representations of landscape were not prevalent among British artists, and Siberechts's skilful use of light and shadow and meticulous attention to detail reflect his Flemish background. His depiction is not entirely accurate - the view is embellished and the perspective distorted - but it has an appearance of realism and shows recognisable features. The church on the right of the picture still stands.
Sir Thomas Willoughby, 1st Baron Middleton, commissioned from Siberechts prospects of Wollaton Hall in Nottinghamshire. Over a number of years, he also commissioned from the artist a series of views of various places in England, including a view looking towards Henley-on-Thames, dated 1692. It is not known if Lord Middleton commissioned this picture as well, or if it was painted with a different audience in mind. Its contemplative nature sets it apart from typical commissioned work.
Simon Wilson, Tate Gallery: An Illustrated Companion, London, revised 1991, p.19, reproduced in colour
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Jan Siberechts 1627–c.1700
T00899 Landscape with Rainbow, Henley-on-Thames circa 1690
Canvas, 32¼ x 40½ (82 x 103).
Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1967.
Coll. Major Perceval of Ballymote, Co. Sligo, having probably belonged to the Perceval family since the 18th century; sold c. 1962–3 to Gerald Kenyon, Dublin; Marshall Spink, from whom purchased by the Friends of the Tate Gallery.
The site of this landscape has not been identified though it seems quite definitely to show a specific place. Henley on Thames has been suggested but a scene in Nottinghamshire or Derbyshire seems more likely. Probably a late work.
Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1966–1967, London 1967.
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