Vistas of 10 great rivers in glorious works of art

by | Feb 27, 2022 | Latest Post, Maritime Art, Culture and History

Beauty, physical dimensions and history — all three factors combine to make a river great. But there is another element that elevates a river’s status so that it stands above the rest: the power to inspire artists, poets and other creative spirits through the ages. The following are 10 such rivers which share this last characteristic.

Hover your mouse over the name of each river for a brief factual description. — BU

It floods, it runs over
its continents like the fame
of a great king, upright,
infallible, reigning by the Laws
under cool royal umbrellas.

— from Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translation by A. K. Ramanujan

A Moonlit Night on the Danube near Schloss Persenbeug with Steamship, late 19th century
Artist unidentified
Courtesy of Dorotheum auction house

The River Elbe Downstream of Hamburg by Moonlight, c. 1828
Christian Ernst Morgenstern (German, 1805–1867)
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Volga near the Zhiguli Mountains, 1887
Ivan Aivazovsky (Russian, 1817–1900)
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Seine, Paris, c. 1865
Stanislas-Victor-Édouard Lepine (French, 1835–1892)
Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

View of the Mississippi River front of New Orleans, 1840s
Henry Lewis (British-born American, 1819–1904)
Lithograph, illustration from Das illustrirte Mississippithal, (published 1854-1857)
Courtesy of Wikimedia Common

Hudson River Scene, 1857
John Frederick Kensett (American, 1816–1872)
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Amazon River, 1883
Artist unidentified
Illustration from the journal Die Gartenlaube (The Garden Arbor), 1883

The Nile Near Aswan, 1914
Max Slevogt (German, 1868–1932)
Courtesy of the Google Cultural Institute

Myriad Miles of the Yangtze River, Qing dynasty (1644–1911/12)
Wang Fei (Chinese, no details available)
Courtesy of the National Palace Museum, Taiwan
Licence: CC BY

Ten Thousand Miles along the Yellow River,
datable to 1690–1722
Artist unidentified
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Did you like this article?  Buy me a coffee

Let us know what you think of this article

Don't Miss the Brew!

Sign up to be notified of updates to Marine Cafe Blog

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest