Aelbert Cuyp DPG4, DPG128
DPG4 –View on a Plain with Rhenen in the Distance
c. 1644; oak panel, 48 x 72.2 cm
Signed, bottom centre: A. cúÿp
?;1 Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 29, no. 303 (‘Unhung / no. 34, Landscape, cattle, sheep, figures, flat country – [C corrected to] P[anel] Cuyp’; 2'7" x 3'4").
Cat. 1817, p. 3, no. 4 (‘FIRST ROOM – South Side; A Landscape, with Cattle and Figures; Cuyp’); Haydon 1817, p. 370, no. 4;2 Cat. 1820, p. 3, no. 4; Patmore 1824a, p. 173, no. 26;3 Patmore 1824b, p. 15, no. 68;4 Cat. 1830, p. 3, no. 9; Jameson 1842, ii, pp. 444–5, no. 9;5 Clarke 1842, no. 9 (‘an open summer Landscape, glowing with a rich but temperate light’); Hall 1846–7, ii, pp. 1–2 (with the etching by Cousen, Related works, no. 3c); Denning 1858 and 1859, no. 9 (1858: ‘This is probably genuine’); Sparkes 1876, pp. 44–5, no. 9; Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 44, no. 9;6 Wallis 1881, p. 223;7 Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, p. 2, no. 4; HdG, ii, 1908, p. 197, no. 694 (Engl. edn 1909, p. 208); Cook 1914, pp. 6–7, no. 4; Cook 1926, p. 6, no. 4; Reiss 1953a, p. 34, no. 351 (J. G. Cuyp);8 Reiss 1953b, p. 45 (also by Jacob Cuyp, before 1650); Cat. 1953, p. 17, no. 4 (A. Cuyp); Gerson 1953b (A. Cuyp); Paintings 1954, pp. 12, ; Duits 1968, p. 5; Burnett 1969, pp. 374–5, fig. 7, 380 (note 15); Somerville 1975, p. 33, fig. 3; Reiss 1975, pp. 75, 210, no. 42 (rejecting his earlier attribution to Jacob Cuyp); Van Gelder & De Groot 1977, pp. 118–19 (under no. 43), 150–51 (under no. 59), 158–9 (under no. 63); Murray 1980a, p. 47;9 Murray 1980b, p. 12; Deys 1981, pp. 38–9 (fig. 101); Yapou 1981, p. 163; Chong 1992, n.p., no. 69 (Early Italianate Landscapes); Chong 1993, pp. 314–15, no. 68; Chong 1995, p. 46; Hassall, Plender & Spring 1995; Beresford 1998, pp. 80–81; Spring 2001, pp. 68–9 (figs 5, 6), 71–2; Wheelock 2001a, pp. 118, under no. 13 (Wheelock: DPG4 dated c. 1644), 192, note 4, under no. 14 (A. Rüger); Chong 2003, p. 24; Spring & Keith 2009, p. 85 (notes 60 and 62); Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, pp. 59, 60, 66; RKD, no. 225941: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/225941 (Dec. 9, 2017).
London/Leeds 1947–53, n.p., no. 4; London 1952–3, p. 69, no. 351; London 1973, n.p., no. 6 (S. Reiss); London 1995, pp. 20 (fig.), 48–9, no. 7 (C. Hassall, S. Plender and M. Spring); Houston/Louisville, 1999–2000, pp. 174–5, no. 58 (D. Shawe-Taylor); Williamsburg/Fresno/Pittsburgh/Oklahoma City 2008–10, pp. 52–3, no. 12 (I. A. C. Dejardin).
Two-member oak panel with a horizontal join and bevelled edges. White chalk ground followed by thin orange-brown priming. The pigment lead tin yellow was identified during technical analysis in the 1990s, confirming that this work was painted no later than the early 18th century, thereby supporting its (previously disputed) attribution to Cuyp. This is also supported by the use of green earth mixtures, the absence of Prussian blue and the use of a chalk ground. The panel has a slight convex warp. A canvas strip covers the join on the back of the panel, and the entire back of the panel is painted black. There is some blanching and discolouration of the green paint, particularly in the foreground, due to the inclusion of a fugitive yellow-lake pigment in the green paint mixture. The paint in the sky has been abraded and the impasto slightly flattened. Along the join in the sky, oil from previous overpaint has stained and darkened the original paint. Previous recorded treatment: prior to 1995, at least three campaigns of restoration were carried out; 1991, technical research proved that this work is not an 18th-century imitation as previously suggested, L. Sheldon and C. Hassall; 1995, cleaned and restored, S. Plender.
1a) Aelbert Cuyp, View of Rhenen, before 1641, graphite, black chalk, yellow, grey and some red wash, 190 x 305 mm. Teylers Museum, Haarlem, P*42 .10
1b) Aelbert Cuyp, Standing Shepherd, c. 1642–6, black chalk, grey wash, 191 x 96 mm. Private collection (VdS), Vorden, the Netherlands .11
1c) Aelbert Cuyp, Five Sheep lying down, c. 1644–8, black chalk, brush in grey, grey wash, 155 x 199 mm. Present whereabouts unknown (I. Q. van Regteren Altena collection sale, 8–10 July 2014, lot 53) .12
1d) Aelbert Cuyp, Cow lying down, black chalk, with brush drawing in grey wash, corrected in white (mostly oxidized), 75 x 140 mm. BM, London, 1836,0811.113; Hind 36 .13
1e) Aelbert Cuyp, Three Cows on Grass with Dock Leaves, black chalk, with grey, yellow and red wash, 139 x 190 mm. BM, London, Gg,2.294; Hind 33 .14
2a) Aelbert Cuyp, Landscape near Rhenen: Cows at Pasture with a Shepherd playing the Flute, c. 1650–55, canvas, 170 x 229 cm. Louvre, Paris, 1190; Chong 115 .15
2b) Aelbert Cuyp, View of Rhenen, panel, 67.5 x 90.5 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder, The Hague, 1991); Chong 83 .16
2c) Jacob and Aelbert Cuyp, A Couple with their Daughter, Sheep, and a Dog. Rhenen in the Background, signed and dated JG cuyp. Fecit. / 1641 (JG in monogram), canvas, 106.5 x 148.5 cm. Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativa, Buenos Aires, 3591; Chong 18 (then in Switzerland) .17
2d) (with the same standing shepherd as in 1b) Aelbert Cuyp, A Landscape, signed, c. 1647, panel, 48 x 73.5 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (Sotheby’s, New York, 17 Jan. 1985, lot 173); Chong 67.18
2e) (with the same standing shepherd as in 1b) Aelbert Cuyp, Cattle and Herders with the Huis te Merwede in the Distance, signed, panel, 38.1 x 50.8 cm. NG, London, NG1289; Chong 138.19
2f) (with a standing shepherd similar to that in 1b) Aelbert Cuyp, Landscape with Shepherds and Shepherdesses, panel, 77.5 x 107.5 cm. Private collection, Belgium; Chong 77.20
2g) Copy: D. A. Ross collection, Victoria, B.C.21
3a) Aelbert Cuyp, Cows, first of a series of etchings, 68 x 73 mm. BM, London, S.7314 .22
3b) Copy: Ralph Cockburn, A Landscape, with Cows, c. 1816–20, aquatint, 166 x 231 mm (Cockburn 1830, no. 3). DPG .23
3c) Copy: John Cousen (1804–80), The Noon-day Rest, etching, 222 (trimmed) x 274 mm, lettered state. BM, London, 1861,1109.56. Working proof 210 x 282 mm. BM, London, 1926,0331.110 .24
Lent to the RA to be copied in 1879 and 1930.
View on a Plain (with cattle and shepherd) with Rhenen in the Distance, c. 1644
panel (oak), oil paint 48 x 72,2 cm
lower center : A cuijp
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG4
Panoramic view of Rhenen from the east, c. 1641
paper, graphite, black chalk, colored wash 190 x 305 mm
Haarlem, Teylers Museum, inv./cat.nr. P* 42
Standing shepherd, c. 1642-1646
paper, black chalk, grey wash 191 x 96 mm
Five lying sheep, c. 1644-1648
paper, black chalk, black oil chalk, grey wash 158 x 200 mm
Christie's (London (England)) 2014-07-08 - 2014-07-10, nr. 53
Cow lying down
paper, black chalk, grey wash 75 x 140 mm
London (England), British Museum, inv./cat.nr. 1836,0811.113
Three Cows on Grass with Dock Leaves, c. 1640-1645
paper, black chalk, yellow, grey and red wash 139 x 190 mm
London (England), British Museum, inv./cat.nr. Gg,2.294
Landscape near Rhenen: Cows at Pasture with a Shepherd playing the Flute, c. 1650-1655
canvas, oil paint 170 x 229 cm
lower left :
Paris, Musée du Louvre, inv./cat.nr. 1190
View from the Koningstafel at the Heimenberg towards the town Rhenen with travelers, farmers, horses and sheep
panel, oil paint 67,5 x 90,5 cm
lower right : A.cuyp
Jacob Gerritsz. Cuyp and Aelbert Cuyp
Couple with their Daughter, Sheep, and a Dog. Rhenen in the Background, dated 1641
canvas, oil paint 106,5 x 148,5 cm
Buenos Aires (Argentinia), Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo, inv./cat.nr. 3591
DPG4 depicts an extensive landscape with windmills and the tower of a church – St Cunera at Rhenen, the tower of which was built between 1492 and 1531. Rhenen lies at the junction of the Rhine and the southernmost part of a chain of hills known as the Utrechtse Heuvelrug.25 Town and church were popular scenes for painters. In one painting, interestingly, Cuyp substituted the figure of a woman for the church, indicating that it was the compositional emphasis rather than the specificity of the geography that was important to him (Related works, no. 2f).
Cuyp visited and sketched a view of Rhenen in 1641 from a distance, probably from the Grebbeberg, a hill to the east of the town (Related works, no. 1a) .26 DPG4 almost exactly replicates this drawing, which Cuyp used again for A Portrait of a Family, dated 1641 (Related works, no. 2c)  and View of Rhenen (Related works, no. 2b) . In the 1650s he produced another, much more arcadian, view with Rhenen in the background, again based on the drawing (Related works, no. 2a) .
Several preparatory drawings are known: the standing shepherd on the sheet in Vorden (Related works, no. 1b) , two of the five sheep in a drawing in an Amsterdam private collection (Related works, no. 1c) ,27 the cow on the left in a drawing in the British Museum (Related works, no. 1d) , and the cow lying down seen from the back in a drawing with other animals, and plants, also in the British Museum (Related works, no. 1e) . Cuyp’s animals in his drawings and etchings (Related works, no. 3a)  are much more bony than the animals in his paintings, which in general look more prosperous.
This painting was selected by Cockburn to be reproduced in his series of prints after Dulwich paintings (Related works, no. 3b) , and was included in Hall’s Gems of European art (Related works, no. 3c) , as was Herdsmen with Cows (DPG128).
paper, etching 68 x 73 mm
London (England), British Museum, inv./cat.nr. S.7314
Ralph Cockburn after Aelbert Cuyp
Landscape, with cows, 1816-1820
paper, aquatint 166 x 231 mm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery
John Cousen after Aelbert Cuyp
Landscape with herdsmen and cattle, the town of Rhenen in the background, 1847
paper, etching 222 x 274 mm
DPG128 – Herdsmen with Cows
Mid-1640s; canvas, 101.4 x 145.8 cm
Signed, lower right: A[.] cúyp
?Michael Bryan sale, Coxe, Burrell & Co., 19 May 1798 (Lugt 5764), lot 39;28 ?Paillet & Delaroche, Paris, 23 April 1803 (Lugt 6604), lot 53, bt Paillet, for 13,500 frs; Alexandre-Joseph Paillet;29 Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; Britton 1813, p. 10, no. 71 (‘Library Cuyp’s / no. 8, A Landscape with Cattle & figures – C[anvas]. Do. [i.e. Cuyp]’; 5'2"x 6'6").
Cat. 1817, p. 4, no. 32 (‘FIRST ROOM – West Side; A Landscape, with Sheep, Shepherd, &c.; Cuyp’); Haydon 1817, p. 373, no. 32;30 Cat. 1820, p. 4, no. 32; Patmore 1824a, pp. 171–2, no. 3;31 Patmore 1824b, pp. 11–13, no. 3;32 Hazlitt 1824, pp. 30–31, no. 3;33 Buchanan 1824, i, p. 291, no. 39 (see Provenance); Cat. 1830, p. 9, no. 169; Smith, v, 1834, p. 302, no. 65, and p. 306, no. 80 (wrongly identified with a picture in Desenfans’1802 catalogue);34 Jameson 1842, ii, pp. 469–70, no. 169;35 Clarke 1842, no. 169 (‘If original, less harmonious than usual with Cuyp, from large patches of green’); Ruskin 1843, pt ii, sect. ii, ch. i (Of Truth of Tone), p. 111; Ruskin 1843, pt ii, sect. iii, ch. i (Of Open Sky), pp. 187–8; Ruskin 1843, pt ii, sect. iii, ch. iii (Of the Central Cloud Region), pp. 207–8);36 Hall 1846–7, i, pp. 57–8 (with the print by Bentley, Related works, no. 3b); ILN 1852 (with wood engraving, Related works, no. 3c);37 Waagen 1854, ii, p. 344;38 Leslie 1855, pp. 250–51;39 Denning 1858 and 1859, no. 169;40 Crowe 1874, ii, p. 461 (‘Another larger picture in the same collection, No. 169, representing a herd of cattle and their driver [sic], conveys again, with wonderful power and clearness, the feeling of a warm, still, summer evening’); Athenaeum 1876, p. 135;41 Sparkes 1876, p. 48, no. 169; Francis Kilvert in 1876, see Plomer & Kilvert 1944, pp. 319–20;42 Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 46, no. 169;43 Wallis 1881, p. 222;44 Havard & Sparkes 1885 (‘first-rate example of this painter’); Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, pp. 32–3, no. 128; HdG, ii, 1908, p. 74, no. 237e (Bryan sale, lot 39, as in Buchanan) and p. 97, no. 330 (Engl. edn 1909, p. 78 and p. 101); Cook 1914, pp. 75–6, no. 128;45 Cook 1926, pp. 71–2, no. 128; Reiss 1953a, p. 33, no. 185;46 Reiss 1953b, p. 46, no. 185; Cat. 1953, p. 17; Paintings 1954, pp. 5, ; Burnett 1969, pp. 377, fig. 15, 380 (notes 20–22); Reiss 1975, pp. 77, 206, no. 44 (c. 1646); Murray 1980a, p. 48 (‘Probably a late work, c. 1660’); Murray 1980b, p. 12; Chong 1992, n.p., no. 80; Chong 1993, pp. 257, 323–5, no. 80; Chong 1995, pp. 46–7; Bobak, Spring & Tasker 1995; Chong 1996b, p. 294; Edwards 1996, pp. 56–7 (fig.); Beresford 1998, p. 83;47 Shawe-Taylor 2000, p. 63; Buvelot & Buijs 2002, pp. 86 (fig. 11b), 87, 202–3, under no. 11 (H. Buijs); Salomon 2010, pp. 16–17, fig. 10; Shawe-Taylor 2010, p. 158 (under no. 38); Bijl & Kloek 2014, p. 96; Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, pp. 60, 61, 66; RKD, no. 225945: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/225945 (Dec. 9, 2017).
London 1824, p. 14, no. 72;48 London 1903, p. 26, no. 97; Aberystwyth 1947, p. 8, no. 8 (M. Ellis); London 1952–3, p. 42, no. 185; The Hague 1970, n.p., no. 64 (fig.); London 1971, n.p., no. 57; London 1995, pp. 21 (fig.), 50–51, no. 8 (S. Bobak, M. Spring and N. Tasker); Houston/Louisville 1999–2000, pp. 176–7, no. 59 (D. Shawe-Taylor); Washington/London/Amsterdam 2001–2, pp. 120–21, 192–3, no. 14 (A. Rüger; c. 1645); Williamsburg/Fresno/Pittsburgh/Oklahoma 2008–10, pp. 60–61, no. 16 (I. A. C. Dejardin).
Medium plain-weave canvas. Glue paste lined. The original tacking margins are present. There is a restored old tear towards the upper right corner, and a small dent between the distant hills. Blanching previously affected much of the image, particularly in the foreground; analysis showed that this was related to the use of a yellow-lake glaze which had partially faded. The blanching was treated in 1992. There is heavy craquelure all over the paint surface, which is particularly noticeable in the sky. Previous recorded treatment: 1867, ‘revived’ and revarnished; 1911, relined, Holder; 1949–53, conserved, Dr Hell; 1992, relined, S. Bobak; blanching treated, cleaned and restored, H. Lank.
1) Aelbert Cuyp, Two seated Shepherd Boys, monogrammed A:C, black chalk and grey wash, 109 x 168 mm. Fondation Custodia, Paris, 4369 .49
2a) (similar cliffs to the right) Aelbert Cuyp, View on a River, c. 1655, panel, 40.5 x 55 cm. BvB, Rotterdam, 1133; Chong 135 .50
2b) (similar cliffs to the right) Aelbert Cuyp, River Landscape, signed A. cuyp, panel, 27.4 x 36.8 cm, enlarged with strips on all sides to 29 x 38.4 cm. Fondation Custodia, Paris, 6608; Chong 134 .51
3a) Aelbert Cuyp, Cows, first of a series of etchings, 68 x 73 mm. BM, London, S.7314 .52
3b) Copy: Joseph Clayton Bentley (1809–51), A Sunny Day, etching and engraving, 235 (trimmed) x 326 mm. BM, London, 1872,1012.6291.53
3c. Copy: Unknown engraver, Cowherds and Cattle, in Evening, wood engraving, Illustrated London News, 28 Aug. 1852, Supplement, p. 169.
Lent to the RA to be copied in 1816 and 1817.54
Celebrated since the 19th century as one of Cuyp’s best works, and extensively copied, this seems to have been the Cuyp that was the most expensive work of art sold in France in 1803. How it came to London is unknown, but once installed at Dulwich it received a steady stream of praise. In 1824 Hazlitt called it ‘the finest Cuyp perhaps in the world’ and Patmore hailed it as ‘indescribable’, ‘made out of woven air and sunshine’. The only real dissenter was Ruskin, who attacked Cuyp’s lack of naturalism; making fun of Hazlitt’s text (see DPG128, note 33) he agreed that the sky was ‘very like an unripe nectarine’, and added: ‘all I have to say about it is that it is exceedingly unlike a sky’. Again like the View on a Plain, Herdsmen with Cows was included in Hall’s Gems of European Art (Related works, no. 3b).
Herdsmen with Cows was probably painted in the mid-1640s, during a period when Cuyp came under the influence of the Dutch Italianate painters returning from their time in Italy, most notably Jan Both. The painting seems intended to depict an Italian scene. Here, as in the View on a Plain with Rhenen in the Distance (DPG4), Cuyp experimented with contrejour lighting effects to depict the hazy landscape. Unlike that work, however, which seems to be slightly earlier, the warm orange tones of the setting sun have not been allowed to dominate the picture as a whole, at the expense of the vibrant greens of the landscape and the blue of the sky. The highlights on the foliage at the left were to become a defining characteristic of Cuyp’s subsequent œuvre. The result is an Arcadian landscape every bit the equal of Claude but with recognizably contemporary figures. On the right are sloping cliffs, a motif that Cuyp used in at least two other pictures (Related works, nos. 2a, 2b) [13-14].
Also as in the View on a Plain, motifs appear of which Cuyp had made drawings (see the drawing with seated shepherd boys in the Fondation Custodia, Related works, no. 1)  and etchings (the series entitled Cows, Related works, no. 3a) , though there the similarity is more general, and the animals are more bony than in the painting).
Herdsmen with Cows, mid 1640s
canvas, oil paint 101,4 x 145,8 cm
lower right : A. cúijp
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG128
Two resting shepherd boys, ca. 1640-1645
paper, black chalk, grey wash, heightened with gum arabic or egg yolk 109 x 168 mm
Paris, Fondation Custodia - Collection Frits Lugt, inv./cat.nr. 4369
River view with drinking cows, right overgrown rocks, after c. 1649
panel, oil paint 40,5 x 55 cm
Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, inv./cat.nr. 1133
River landscape with boats, c. 1655
panel, oil paint 27,4 x 36,8 cm
lower right : A. cuyp
Paris, Fondation Custodia - Collection Frits Lugt, inv./cat.nr. 6608
paper, etching 68 x 73 mm
London (England), British Museum, inv./cat.nr. S.7314
1 Chong 1993, p. 315, says that the picture was ‘perhaps in a London sale (3 March 1769); untraced.’
2 ‘A warm sunny picture; full of that truth of nature just bordering on the artificial, that characterises this master’s best works, and is a proof of the superiority of the true natural tone of colouring over the gaudy exhibitional style of some of its more assuming neighbours.’ The ‘neighbours’ were Bourgeois nos 2 and 3 and Potter no. 5 (nos in Haydon 1817 and Cat. 1817).
3 ‘No. 26 is another of these charming works – much smaller than the two preceding ones [nos 3 and 18, i.e. DPG128 and DPG124], more regularly and what may be termed correctly composed, according to the rules of art, and more delicately pencilled than even No. 18 [DPG124]. In other respects it is of the same character with them, and steeped in the same sunny tone of colour; but its smallness prevents it from producing the effect which they do, by giving it a sort of prettiness. You are admiring the difficulty that has been overcome in producing it, instead of feeling its effects as a reflection of natural objects.’
4 ‘In this charming picture we return to the ideal style of this master – for such I must call it, though it is employed in depicting purely natural objects. […] This is a lovely picture, of a similar character with those first described.'
5 ‘The distance is most beautiful […] Two of his finest pictures here are in another room, Nos. 169 and 163’ (DPG128 and DPG124).
6 ‘In this early work, Cuijp, with light touches of the brush, has well succeeded in representing an extensive plain, with but small means. Formerly called a view of Utrecht.’
7 ‘Yet we question if the greater favourites with artists will not be those smaller panels, where the composition seems to have fallen into its place, and the handling is perfectly free and even playful. Such is the “View on a Plain” (No. 9). […] Sky and land are suffused in a soft bright haze; the light trembles and palpitates in the fleecy mists that veil without obscuring the blue sky; it steals over the meadows and blends itself with the water […] It is the idealisation of peace and serenity. What a wondrous, bright, idyllic life it suggests!’
8 ‘Fig. 10. Attributed to J. G. Cuyp (remains of monogram still visible), probably shortly before 1650.’
9 ‘The painting is probably fairly early (c. ?1645) and shows the influence of van Goyen. The view is thought to be near Rhenen.’
10 RKD, no. 23154: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/23154 (July 20, 2018); Plomp 1997, pp. 116–17, no. 98; Scholten 1904, p. 172. There are also other views of Rhenen drawn by Cuyp: from about the same point of view, Staatliche Museen, Berlin, KdZ 1170; from the east and nearer to the city, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Mass., 1943.33; from the west, RPK, RM, Amsterdam, 1961:70, Van Gelder & De Groot, p. 118, no. 43 (J. G. van Gelder).
12 RKD, no. 258132: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/258132 (July 20, 2018); Van Gelder & De Groot 1977, pp. 158–9, no. 63. The date given in this catalogue is around 1646-8, but if the drawing was used for DPG4, it must have originated earlier.
13 RKD, no. 291296: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/291296 (Sept. 11, 2018); see also https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1836-0811-113 (July 18, 2020). For a very comparable cow, see Aelbert Cuyp, Two Cows, The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London, D.1952.RW.291, http://www.artandarchitecture.org.uk/images/gallery/a0b58f8b.html (Aug. 21, 2018).
14 RKD, no. 291308: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/291308 (July 18, 2020); Kloek 2001, pp. 265, 289, no. 97; see https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_Gg-2-294 (July 18, 2020).
17 Paarlberg 2002, pp. 136–7, no. 27 (S. Giepmans).
18 Duits 1968; Reiss 1975, p. 88, no. 53; Chong 1993, pp. 313–14, no. 67.
19 Reiss 1975, p. 127, no. 90; Chong 1993, p. 379, no. 138; see also
20 Chong 1993, pp. 321–2, no. 77; Wheelock 2001a, pp. 118–19, 191–2, no. 13 (Wheelock).
21 Chong 1992, under no. 69, and Chong 1993, p. 314, under no. 68.
22 RKD, no. 291312: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/291312 (Sept. 23, 2018); NB: the Hollstein numbers are not clear. BM has two complete sets of the series, as well as a set of deceptive copies and an impression of the later lettered titlepage (see S.7307). For a set of copies in reverse by Bagelaar, see also S.7316-7321. See https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_Sheepshanks-7317 (July 18, 2020).
24 RKD, no. 296883: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/290643 (July 19, 2020); see also https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1926-0331-110 (July 18, 2020) and https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1861-1109-56 (July 18, 2020). This print was originally made for Hall 1846–7, ii, with text on pp. 1–2.
25 For this region see Kolman 1996.
26 Grebbeberg is mostly known for the battle in May 1940 at the beginning of World War II in the Netherlands, where the Dutch army tried in vain to resist the Germans; see also Kloek 2002, p. 2.
27 The drawing of the standing shepherd is also used for DPG469. Cuyp used this particular figure of the standing shepherd several times: see Related works, nos. 2d–2f.
28 Cited from Buchanan 1824, i, p. 291, no. 39: ‘Cuyp. – View in Holland, a clear and brilliant picture, representing the morning of a fine summer’s day, with Cattle and Figures on the foreground. The works of this admirable painter exhibit an acquaintance with aërial perspective which perhaps is peculiar to himself. This is in his fine manner. 110 5 0’.
29 In GPID (13 Aug. 2013) the French provenance of DPG128 is presented as certain. The suggestion was originally made by Burton Fredericksen (his letter to DPG, 2000) (missing from DPG128 file). The description in the French catalogue is rather convincing, as are the handwritten dimensions: (lot 53) ‘Cuyp (Albert) – Point de vue d’une vaste Prairie coupée par le passage d'une rivière, et terminée vers l'horizon par des dunes et des montagnes. Le premier plan offre une pelouse enrichie de quelques plantes et troncs d’arbres; on y voit dans le milieu deux belles vaches, l'une de ton rougeâtre, l'autre blanche tachetée de noir, dans un effet de demi-teinte et de clair obscur admirable; à côté de ces beaux animaux sont deux Pâtres qui causent ensemble: l'un est couché et l'autre debout, vu par le dos, ajusté d'une large veste rouge, couleur hardie et employée avec le plus grand art. Sur un plan éloigné, à gauche du sujet, l'on voit encore un troupeau de dix vaches, arrêté au pied et à l'ombre d'une montagne, ainsi que trois Villageois, hommes et femmes, qui les conduisent. Un ciel nuageux, léger et chaud de couleur, semble indiquer le matin d'un jour brûlant d'été. Il est presqu'impossible d'analyser les beautés de ce Tableau, qui peut être cité comme un des chefs-d'œuvres de son Auteur. L'illusion y est complète, et l'on ne peut le comparer qu'à la nature même, qui offre cette fraîcheur, cette harmonie, cette dégradation de ton dans les plans et cette vapeur aérienne qu'il est si difficile de rendre. Sans doute que les vrais connaisseurs et les grands Artistes de notre Ecole, s'empresseront de rendre hommage à cette belle production qui réunit toutes les perfections de l'art. 37 pouces, sur 53. (Cuyp (Albert), View of a vast prairie cut through by the passage of a river, and closed near the horizon by dunes and mountains. The foreground presents a lawn enriched by some plants and tree trunks; in the middle you see two beautiful cows, one of a reddish tone, the other white with black spots, in an admirable effect of halftone and chiaroscuro; next to these beautiful animals are two shepherds talking to each other: one is lying down and the other standing, seen from the back, in a large red jacket, a bold colour and used with the greatest art. In the distance, to the left [right, in modern terms] of this subject, we see another herd of ten cows, standing still at the foot of and in the shade of a mountain, and three villagers, men and women, who drive them. A cloudy sky, light and warm in colour, suggesting the morning of a very hot summer’s day. It is almost impossible to analyse the beauties of this picture, which may be said to be one of the masterpieces of its author. The illusion is complete, and it cannot be compared to anything but nature itself, that presents this freshness, this harmony, this shading of tone in the various planes and this vapour in the air which is so difficult to render. The true connoisseurs and great artists of our school will unquestionably be eager to pay homage to this beautiful production that brings together all the perfections of art. [French dimensions]). The original dimensions given in the catalogue, ‘haut de 37, large de 53 c.’ and ‘13 pouces, sur 19’, are struck out by hand and replaced with ‘haut de 100, large de 146 c.’ and ‘37 pouces, sur 53’ in the AAP and BNP copies of the catalogue. See also Edwards 1996, p. 313, no. 53. How the picture came from Paris to London is not explained by Fredericksen or GPID.
30 ‘Albert Cuyp. Landscape with Sheep, Shepherd, &c.’
31 ‘and yet there is a fascination in the effect of it that is indescribable. It seems all – cattle, men, ground, hills, clouds, and all – made of woven air and sunshine. There are no marks of the pencil about it. You cannot tell how it got there, – unless, as I before said, it has been breathed there. And you cannot be sure that it will stay before you – that it is not an illusion of the mind – a vision of the golden age – and that when you take your eyes off it, it will not, when they return, have disappeared. I confess that this, and two or three others of the same kind in this collection, give me a more apt idea of the golden age of the poets than all the classical works expressly intended to typify it – even those of Claude and Poussin themselves; and this notwithstanding the perfect truth of the details introduced into them, and above all, the rude and altogether modern character of the figures, and the dresses they wear.’
32 pp. 11–12: ‘This picture I have always considered as among the very finest efforts, not only of the artist, but of the art itself in this particular department of it. I do not mean in the landscape department generally, but in those landscapes which are scarcely any thing in themselves, but which derive their chief power of affecting us from the manner in which they are treated. […] There is a fascination about this picture which is unaccountable on any received principles of art, and which is at the same time indescribable. There are no marks of the pencil about it. You cannot tell how it got there, unless it has been breathed there; and you cannot be sure that it will stay before you – that it is not an illusion of the mind – a vision of the golden age – and that, when you take your eyes off it, it will not, when they return again, have disappeared. I confess that this picture, and one or two others that I have seen by the same artist (one, in particular, at Petworth), give me a more apt idea of the Golden Age of the poets than all the classical ones expressly intended to typify it – even those of Claude and Poussin themselves. The truth is, Cuyp had more imagination than any other landscape-painter; and he also blended together imagination and absolute reality in a manner which no one else did.’
33 ‘Look at the Cuyp next the door (No. 3). It is woven of etherial hues. A soft mist is on it, a veil of subtle air. The tender green of the valleys beyond, the gleaming lake, the purple light of the hills, have an effect like the down on an unripe nectarine. You may lay your finger on the canvass; but miles of dewy vapour and sunshine are between you and the objects you survey. It is almost needless to point out that the cattle and the figures in the fore-ground, like dark, transparent spots, give an immense relief to the perspective. This is, we think, the finest Cuyp, perhaps, in the world. The landscape opposite to it (in the same room) by Albert Cuyp [DPG124], has a richer colouring and a stronger contrast of light and shade, but it has not that tender bloom of a spring morning (so delicate, yet so powerful in its effect) which the other possesses.’
34 p. 302, no. 65: ‘A View in Holland. A very clear and brilliant picture, representing the morning of a fine summer’s day, with cattle and figures on the fore-ground. Collection of Michael Bryan, Esq. 1798 105 gs.’; p. 306, no. 80: ‘A Landscape, representing a View in Holland, traversed in the middle distance by a canal. On the foreground are two shepherds, one of whom stands with his back to the spectator, the other is lying down; at a little distance from them are a black and white cow standing; and a red one lying down; and under a lofty hill, on the left, is seen a herd of cattle. 3 ft. by 4 ft.– C[anvas]. Collection of Noel Desenfans, Esq., 1802 130 gs. Now in the Dulwich Gallery.’
35 p. 470: ‘The sun is just setting, and every object is suffused with golden light, and steeped in liquid air. The whole scene breathes of peace and tranquillity, with something of the languor of the sultry summer day, now softly closing. It is, I think, the finest picture of Cuyp in the gallery.’
36 ‘§1 Extent and typical character of the central cloud region. […] §2 Its characteristic clouds, requiring no attention nor thought for their representation, are therefore favourite subjects with the old masters. […] the species especially characteristic of the central region is a white, ragged, irregular, and scattered vapour, which has little form and less colour, and of which a good example may be seen in the largest landscape of Cuyp, in the Dulwich Gallery. When this vapour collects into masses, it is partially rounded, clumsy, and ponderous, as if it would tumble out of the sky, shaded with a dull grey, and totally devoid of any appearance of energy or motion. Even in nature, these clouds are scarcely worth raising our heads to look at; and on canvass, they are valuable only as a means of introducing light, and breaking the monotony of blue; yet they are, perhaps, beyond all others the favourite clouds of the old masters.’
37 ‘Of the first class of works, that which we engrave, is, upon the whole, the very best in the gallery […] The latter [cows] are drawn and painted with all that truthful character for which Cuyp in such subjects stood unrivalled; but more wonderful even than the production of the animals themselves, is the manner in which the sun-rays glance from their backs, and the aerial medium which is introduced between them and the background, is very delicately treated. The whole scene, as far as the eye can reach, across the happy valley, and up into the sky, is suffused with golden light, breathing of peace, of tranquillity, and of a soft languor, in which the care and the strife of the external world are forgotten.’
38 ‘in composition, depth, glow, and clearness of colouring and general feeling of rural tranquillity on a warm summer’s evening, this is one of the most beautiful works of the master. (No. 169).’
39 ‘Nature impresses the varied sentiment of her varying moods as eloquently on flat meadows and straight canals, as on mountains, valleys, and winding streams; and visits the mill and the cottage with the same splendid phenomena of light and shadow as she does the palace. This was well understood by Cuyp and Ruysdael, and their most impressive pictures are often made out of the fewest and simplest materials. There is a small “Sunset” by Cuyp in the Dulwich collection. It has not a tree, except in the extreme distance, nor scarcely a bush, but it has one of the finest skies ever painted, and this is enough, for its glow pervades the whole, giving the greatest value to the exquisitely-arranged colour of the near group of cattle, – bathing the still water and distance in a flood of mellow light, and turning into golden ornaments a very few scattered weeds and brambles that rise here and there from the broadly-shadowed foreground into the sunshine, gaining great importance from their nearness to the eye.’ See also note DPG348, note 18.
40 Denning gives as provenance in 1858 ‘Cf: Buchanan Memoirs Vol: 1. p: 291. Sold at the Bryan sale for £110.5.0’ and in 1859 ‘This picture was bought at Mr. Bryan’s sale in 1798 for £110.5.0!’ See note 28 for Buchanan’s description.
41 ‘[A correspondent] […] adds that “the real original” of Constable’s “Hampstead Heath” (27) [i.e. the exhibition London 1876, no. 27] and A. Cuyp’s Sunset after rain (75) is no. 169 in the Dulwich Gallery, “A View near Dort,” which is certainly the finest A. Cuyp in that collection.’ No. 75 in London 1876, p. 12, was ‘Cuyp Sunset after Rain lent by Lewis Fry, Esq. panel 32½ in. by 27 in.’ DPG128 was not included in that exhibition.
42 24 June 1876: ‘Walked to sweet green Dulwich and visited the picture gallery. […] and Albert Cuyp’s cows grouped on a knoll at sunset stood or lay about in the evening glow chewing the cud and looking placidly over the wide level pastures of Holland.’
43 ‘A first-rate picture, specially noticeable for the strength and clearness of light, the transparency of the still full-coloured shadows, the firmness of modelling, and the true perspective of the depth of the landscape in comparison with the endless height of the sky. For the representation of the mountains in the background, however, the Dutch painter did not follow nature.’
44 ‘among his larger canvases he perhaps never surpassed the “Cattle and Figures near a River, with Mountains” (No. 169). The landscape was most likely suggested by the Roman Campagna […] the centre of the group being a black-and-white cow, exquisite in drawing and character; […] her lustrous black hide giving amazing force to the colouring, and distance to the aërial perspective. The crowning glory of the picture is the sky – golden clouds on delicate ethereal blue, with faint tinges of rosy light near the sunset.’
45 p. 76: ‘Generally considered one of the painter’s masterpieces’.
46 ‘Early. Falsity of tones perhaps due to early damages. Claudian device of contre-jour, perhaps derived from Asselijn or Wils. Handling of cattle related to Aelbert’s early etchings.’
47 ‘Dated by Chong “slightly later” than DPG4, thus probably c. 1645. DPG128 was especially admired and extensively copied in the nineteenth century’.
48 ‘A Sun-set. With Cattle and Figures; Cuyp; Dulwich College’.
52 RKD, no. 291312: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/291312 (Sept. 23, 2018); see also under DPG4. Reiss 1975, p. 77 no. 44 (Dutuit no. 4, printed in reverse). The Hollstein numbers are not clear. BM has two complete sets of the series, as well as a set of deceptive copies and an impression of the later lettered title-page (see S.7307). For a set of copies in reverse by Bagelaar, see note 22.
53 https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1872-1012-6291 (July 18, 2020). Bentley’s print was first published in Hall 1846–7, i, with text on pp. 57–8. According to the BM website this print was later used as an illustration in the Art Journal in 1868.
54 Since Herdsmen with Cows (DPG128) was the most famous Cuyp in the Dulwich collection at the time, it is most likely to have been the ‘Landscape with Figures’ lent to the RA to be copied by the pupils there in both 1816 and 1817. See also Whitley 1928a, p. 253 (it is DPG348, which is however very unlikely, as it is too modern for the early 19th century). However Moore 1988, pp. 51–2, fig. 38, considers that it was A Road near a River (DPG124); and Waterfield 1988, p. 10, 45 (note 22), says that it was A Riding School in the Open Air (DPG296), now assigned to Calraet.