The Four Rivers of Paradise

about 1615, Artist: Peter Paul Rubens



The Four Rivers of Paradise

According to the conventional interpretation, the four continents are depicted here as female allegoric figures paired with the gods of their respective rivers. Slightly elevated above the others, Europe is sitting on the left, accompanied by the river god of the Danube, and facing Asia on the right with the Ganges. At the back is America with the god of the Rio de la Plata. The Nile has his arm around the black beauty Africa. A new interpretation, however, sees the river figures as an allegory for the four great rivers of the ancient East, or the four rivers of paradise.

Location: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Saal XIV

Object data

Object Name





about 1615


Peter Paul Rubens (1577 Siegen - 1640 Antwerpen) - GND




allseitig beschnitten: Overall: 208 x 283 cm
Framed: 240 x 318 x 11 cm

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie

Inv. No.

Gemäldegalerie, 526


1685 Imperial Coll. Prague; 1733 Imperial Coll. Vienna

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