Cuyp’s Cushions

Author: Maureen Steenks

Aelbert Cuyp – The market & the man

When hearing the name Aelbert Cuyp, many will immediately make the link with the famous market in the heart of Amsterdam. But not everyone knows who the man actually was. Time for a little introduction: Aelbert Cuyp was a painter from the 17th century, his story is completely unique, because Cuyp has worked and lived in Dordrecht all his life. He was a local artist who, before his death, was virtually unknown outside his hometown. The buyers of his landscapes almost all came from his birthplace.

True Cuyp-mania

It was only after his death that he was discovered by English collectors and artists. From about 1750 a real Cuyp craze arose there. The British aristocracy was so fond of the sun-drenched landscapes that around 1800 no important work by Cuyp could be found in the Netherlands. A Cuyp could not be missing in the large English country houses. Even Queen Elizabeth II owns two masterpieces by Cuyp.

The golden light of Cuyp

Cuyp is known for its idyllic landscapes with riders and cows in misty sunlight. ‘The golden light’ of Cuyp in his works is magical. So magical that his work and technique had a huge impact on British landscape painting. British famous painters such as Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable and J.M.W. Turner was inspired by Cuyp. The Dordrechts Museum currently hosts the exhibition ‘In the Light of Cuyp’ with thirty works by the painter. A ride to the oldest city in the Netherlands and the museum is fun anyway, but do you prefer to look online? Then you can. Because the Dordrechts Museum has two guided tours of about ten minutes, with the curator of the exhibition that you can view online.

‘Portrait of Michiel Pompe van Slingelandt’ | 1649, Jacob Gerritz. Cuyp

Cuyp’s cushions

Cuyp was a real animal painter, especially cows, horses and other (stable) animals are often depicted in his works. The creative team behind the MuseumShop Collection of the Dordrechts Museum have given ‘the animals’ van Cuyp a leading role in a collection of cushions. Rightly so. Four animals from important works by Cuyp have been highlighted and brought to life in a modern way. When purchasing one of ‘the animals’, a card is included with the story of the work. Each animal has its own label with the story of the work. Have you fallen in love with Cuyp, just like the British royals and aristocrats, but is a ‘real’ one above budget? Then these ‘cushions from Cuyp’ would certainly not look out of place on the sofa of a chic and eclectic (canal) building. This way you sit comfortably and you keep the story of our grandmaster Aelbert Cuyp alive. How unique is that! Cuyp cushions are available in the physical museum shop of the Dordrechts Museum and online via the Dutch Museum Gift Shop.

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