National Gallery of Art Custom Prints

Herman Saftleven

Imaginary River Landscape, 1670

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Mark Rothko: Paintings on Paper
Rothko is renowned for his towering abstract paintings on canvas, but few people know that he also created nearly 1,000 paintings on paper over the course of his career.
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About the Artwork

Imaginary River Landscape, monogrammed and dated 1670, is one of Herman Saftleven's most charming and delicately rendered depictions of this meandering river valley. Here he has harkened back to the worldview landscapes of Pieter Brueghel the Elder, positioning the viewer in an elevated position so that the expansive vista extends to the distant horizon. Saftleven's earthy colors and precisely executed foreground elements gently morph into a more suggestive rendering of faraway pictorial motifs such as walled towns, church towers, and villages along the river, all of which are bathed in atmospheric misty blues. Figures enliven the scene, including travelers on mountain trails and a shepherd guarding his flock. At the landing, a boatman tends to his cargo ship, while others have just set out on the winding waterway. All of these details and color effects can be fully enjoyed because of the painting's excellent condition.

A native of Rotterdam, Herman Saftleven the Younger likely trained with his father before settling in Utrecht in 1632. Saftleven initially painted genre scenes of peasant life, but he soon turned to landscapes, producing close to 120 known ones over the course of his long career. After the end of the hostilities of the Thirty Years' War in 1648, he journeyed along the Rhine River, a trip into the German countryside that inspired many of his finest works: fanciful panoramas of the Rhineland's hilly landscape.

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About Our Prints

National Gallery of Art Custom Prints is your exclusive source for custom reproductions authorized and available for purchase directly from the National Gallery of Art. All items that are offered are produced using gallery-quality materials and the color is managed in a manner that produces a reproduction as true to the original as modern technology will allow.
Many of the works offered through this store are exclusive and not available anywhere else. In addition, new works are continually added to the offering, so come back often to see our new releases.
You have found the work that speaks to you. Now what? Using our innovative custom framing tool you can preview exactly what your finished and framed art will look like. We offer many different moulding styles so there is sure to be a match for any type of decor.

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Circle Members will receive a 20% discount for all Custom Prints orders processed through our kiosk or website. During the checkout process, enter the coupon code you received from the membership office and your discount will be applied.