CUYP, Benjamin Gerritsz.
(b. 1612, Dordrecht, d. 1652, Dordrecht)


Cuyp is the name of a family of Dutch painters of Dordrecht, of which three members gained distinction.

Jacob Gerritsz. Cuyp was the son of a glass painter and a pupil of Abraham Bloemaert at Utrecht. He is thought of today mainly as a portrait painter - his portraits of children are particularly fine - but in old biographies is lauded principally for his views of the countryside around Dordrecht.

Benjamin Gerritsz. Cuyp was the half-brother of Jacob. He is noted principally for paintings of biblical and genre scenes which use Rembrandtesque light and shadow effects.

Houbraken stated that Benjamin studied with his half-brother Jacob. Benjamin entered the Guild of St Luke on 27 January 1631, at the same time as his brother Gerrit Gerritsz. the Younger. In 1641 Benjamin gave evidence in a medical affair, which has prompted speculation that he may have trained as a doctor, but in 1643 he is twice recorded in The Hague as a painter, living with other artists. Seventeen of his paintings appeared at auction at Wijk-bij-Duurstede in 1649. At the time of his death, he was living in Dordrecht with another half-brother, who was a glassmaker.