CUYP, Aelbert
(b. 1620, Dordrecht, d. 1691, Dordrecht)

Evening Landscape with Horsemen and Shepherds

1655-60
Oil on canvas
Royal Collection, Windsor

Cuyp also made paintings of the lively activity on the great rivers of the Netherlands, most often the wide Merwede that forks at Dordrecht into the North Maas and Lower Maas. It was Dordrecht's location at this juncture that made it one of the principal cities of the country until traffic on the Maas was diverted to Rotterdam.

Cuyp's river scenes are usually set late in the afternoon and are seen against a luminous, sunny sky that sparkles and glistens on the calm water. He knew Dutch river life intimately. He travelled up the Rhine, and along the Maas, and the Waal making numerous drawings of huge sailing vessels, small craft, rafts, and also views of the land from the water. He was equally at home working on a large or a small scale, and could fill a canvas with the massive dark hull and rigging of a clumsy passage boat making way to a pier or with the decorative and elegant silhouettes of colourful figures on horseback riding into the evening sky . In grandeur of composition Cuyp often matches Ruisdael and the best of Hobbema's work. As a colourist he seems even superior by the glow and richness of his warm palette both in his land and sea pictures.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 13 minutes):
Franz Schubert: Der Hirt auf dem Felsen (The Shepherd on the Rock) D 965