Photo: © Aelbert Cuyp
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Aelbert Cuyp exhibition extended

Mar. 29, 2022

The Dordrechts Museum has extended the run of its large exhibition about the Dutch artist Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691) and his impact on English landscape painters. In the light of Cuyp. Aelbert Cuyp & Gainsborough – Constable – Turner will be open until to 8 May 2022. Cuyp, the master of hazy, golden evening light, is Dordrecht’s most famous painter. The exhibition shows around 30 of his most important paintings, temporarily bringing them back to the city where they were made. For the first time In the light of Cuyp will focus on the appreciation of Cuyp and his influence on British painters with over 30 works by famous artists such as Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable and J.M.W. Turner amongst others.

To make this extension possible, the museum has added six previously unknown paintings by Aelbert Cuyp to the exhibition. These works are all from private collections and have never before been on public view. Although these paintings appear in old publications, their present location had been a mystery until now. Investigation work by the museum and liaison with art dealers led to the six landscapes being traced. Almost all turned out to be in the Netherlands, with one even being found in Dordrecht itself. Thanks to the great willingness of the private collectors involved, it has been possible to extend the Cuyp exhibition until 8 May 2022.

One of the finest cattle pieces

One of the highlights is Landscape with Six Cattle near Dordrecht, which for many years was in the collection of Anton Philips. It ranks among Aelbert Cuyp’s finest cattle pieces and beautifully complements the cattle paintings than have been borrowed from Scotland and Hungary. The painting shows three cattle standing, and three lying down, their coats wonderfully illuminated by the golden light of the sun, Cuyp’s trademark.

Beautiful Cuyps in the Netherlands

The new paintings give a good impression of the Cuyps still to be found in the Netherlands. The Cuyp mania that raged in England in the 18th and 19th century meant that the vast majority of Cuyp’s work ended up in Britain. The Rijksmuseum and the Dordrechts Museum were able to buy back important paintings by Cuyp from British collections in 1965 and 1978 respectively. Now it has turned out that there are also fine works by Cuyp in Dutch private collections, the majority of which were also in England in the 19th century. Prompted by the current exhibition, one of the owners even contacted the Dordrechts Museum directly. This came as a huge surprise to the museum: a magnificent Italian landscape by Cuyp previously only known from a photograph, and the work even turned out to be in Dordrecht.

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