Aelbert Jacobsz Cuyp (October 20, 1620 - November 15, 1691) was one of the
leading Dutch landscape painters of the 17th century. The most famous of a
family of painters, the pupil of his father Jacob Gerritsz. Cuyp
(1594–1651/52), he is especially known for his views of the Dutch countryside
in early morning or late afternoon.
The Negro Page circa 1652, oil on canvas; on display at The Royal Collection,
WindsorAelbert Cuyp was born in Dordrecht on October 20, 1620, and also died
there on November 15, 1691. Known as the Dutch version of Claude Lorrain,
this landscape artist went on to inherit a considerable fortune. His family were
all artists, with his uncle and grandfather being glass stainers. Jacob Gerritsz
Cuyp, his father, was a portraitist.
Sunlight in his paintings rakes across the panel,
accentuating small bits of detail in the golden light. In large, atmospheric
panoramas of the countryside, the highlights on a blade of meadow grass, the
mane of a tranquil horse, the horn of a dairy cow reclining by a stream, or the
tip of a peasant's hat are all caught in a bath of yellow ocher light. The
richly varnished medium refracts the rays of light like a jewel as it dissolves
into numerous glazed layers. Cuyp's landscapes were based on reality and on his
own invention of what an enchanting landscape should be.
The Maas at Dordrecht (National Gallery of Art, Washington DC) Cuyp's drawings
reveal him to be a draftsman of superior quality. Light-drenched washes of
golden brown ink depict a distant view of the city of Dordrecht or Utrecht. A
Cuyp drawing may look like he intended it to be, a finished work of art; but it
was most likely taken back to the studio and used as a reference for his
paintings. Often the same section of a sketch can be found in several different
Cuyp signed many of his works but rarely dated them, so that a chronology of his
career has not been satisfactorily reassembled. A phenomenal number of paintings
are ascribed to him, some of which are likely to be by other masters of the
golden landscape, such as Abraham Calraet (1642–1722), whose initials A.C. may
be mistaken for Cuyp's.
However, not everyone appreciates his work and River Landscape (1660), despite
being widely regarded as amongst his best work, has been described as having
"chocolate box blandness".
After he married Cornelia Boschman in 1658, the
number of works produced by him declined almost to zero. This may have been
because his wife was a very religious woman and a very big patron of the arts.
It could also be that he became more active in the church under his wife's
guidance. He was also active as deacon and elder of the Reformed Church, and a
member of the high court of Holland. - From Wikipedia, the free
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