This is one of the most important early landscapes in the Tate Collection and one of several Siberechts painted of this view of Henley-on-Thames. The figures to the left, pulling the heavily-laden barge along the river Thames, remind us that this is a working countryside, and that waterways were vital for the transportation of food and goods. The detail, light and shadow are typical of his Flemish style and even though the perspective is distorted and the view has been embellished a little, the image is far more realistic in style than landscapes by British artists of the same period.
Landscape with Rainbow, Henley-on-Thames
81.9 x 102.9 cm
Date of work
Born in Antwerp the son of a sculptor, Siberechts was one of hundreds of Flemish painters to come to England in the seventeenth century. He is best known as the first professional painter of ‘portraits’ of English country houses, having worked on commissions of Longleat, Chevely and Chatsworth among others. He was one of the first of a long line of Flemish painters to paint the estates of British nobility and he remained in Britain for the rest of his life.