Dutch River Scene by Augustus Wall Callcott (1779-1844). c.1819-c.1842. Oil on canvas. H 39.4 x W 69.5 cm. Collection: Sudley House, Liverpool. Accession number WAG 194, bequeathed by Emma Holt, 1944. Kindly released for re-use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial licence (CC BY-NC).

Like so many artists of the nineteenth-century, Callcott found inspiration in the scenes painted by Dutch painters, especially after the popular exhibition of their work at the British Institution in 1815 (see Brown 15). The German art historian, Gustav Friedrich Waagen (1794-1868), is quoted in the Art-Journal as praising Callcott for his "fine feeling ... for the picturesque in conception"; Waagen felt that "he unites a delicacy of drawing most favourably seen in his figures and animals, which are most tastefully introduced" (qtd. in "British Artists," 11). This kind of subject matter, a village scene with activity stirring at the start of the day, was very congenial to him, and there is a pleasant warmth in such scenes which pervades the colouring as well as the interplay of villagers and their picturesque setting. River and sea scenes were exerting a hold on Callcott too, and proving very popular with the public. — Jacqueline Banerjee


Alfrey, Nicholas. “London, Tate Gallery. Augustus Wall Callcott.” The Burlington Magazine 123, no. 937 (1981): 245–56.

"British Artists, Their Style and Character, with Engraved Illustrations XI: Sir Augustus Wall Callcott." Art-Journal 1856. Internet Archive. From a copy in the Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Web. 14 April 2023.

Brown, David Blayney. Augustus Wall Callcott. London: Tate Gallery, 1981.

Dutch River Scene. Art Uk. Web. 14 April 2023.

Created 14 April 2023