Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691) is one of the great seventeenth-century Dutch landscape painters. He was a master of golden light and became famous for his sun-drenched landscapes with cows and tranquil river views near Dordrecht.
Cuyp was very much a local artist in his day, virtually unknown beyond his hometown. He lived and worked his entire life in Dordrecht and the buyers of his landscapes came almost exclusively from his birthplace. It was only after his death that he was discovered by British collectors and artists. From around 1750 there was a veritable Cuyp mania in England. The British aristocracy were so captivated by Cuyp’s sun-drenched landscapes that by around 1800 there were no longer any important works by the Dutch master to be found in the Netherlands. A Cuyp was a must-have in the great English country house.
The British were especially taken with Cuyp’s extraordinary light and serene atmosphere. Midway through the eighteenth century, countless artists would seek inspiration from the work of the seventeenth-century master. Among them were luminaries such as Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable and J.M.W. Turner. Works from all of these painters will be on view at the Dordrechts Museum for the exhibition “In the Light of Cuyp” until 6 March 2022. The catalogue provides further background information on these works and the ways they were inspired by Aelbert Cuyp.
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