Storied River: The Nile in splendid works of art

by | Jan 24, 2023 | Maritime Art, Culture and History

The Nile is considered the longest river in the world with its total length of 6,650 kilometres (4,132 miles). Rising south of the Equator, it flows northward through northeastern Africa to drain into the Mediterranean Sea. Its significance, however, goes beyond it physical characteristics or its contribution to the development of ancient Egyptian civilisation. The Nile is mentioned multiple times in the Holy Bible. In the Sunnah, the collection of the Prophet Muhammad’s teachings and sayings, it it is identified as one of the four rivers flowing from Paradise (Jannah).

The following are just a few of the many depictions of the Nile done by artists in the 19th and early 20th centuries:

View on the Nile–Ferry to Gizeh
Lithograph print
David Roberts (Scottish,1796–1864), artist
Louis Haghe (Belgian, 1806–1885), lithographer
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

An Eastern Bazaar, Upper Nile, 1909
Augustus Osbourne (English, 1877–1930)
Courtesy of Abbott and Holder gallery

Nile Birds, 1898–1899
Oil on canvas
Laurits Bernhard Holst (1848–1934)
Photo credit: Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum
Courtesy of Art UK under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence

Moses in the Bullrushes, 1921
Oil on wood panel
Henry Ossawa Tanner (American, 1859–1937)
Courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Bords du Nil à Marg, effet du soir, between 1900 and 1925
Oil on canvas
Émile Bernard (French, 1868–1941)
Courtesy of Musée d’art et d’histoire de Narbonne via Wikimedia Commons

Towing on the Nile, 1875
Frederick Arthur Bridgman (American, 1847–1928)
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Afterglow on the Nile, 1911
Watercolour and gouache, with scraping, on white wove paper
Albert Goodwin (English, 1845–1932)
Courtesy of The Clark Art Institute

~ Barista Uno

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