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Aelbert Cuyp

Aelbert Cuyp (1620 - 1691) was one of the predominant Dutch landscape painters of the 17th century. He is especially known for late afternoon and early morning landscapes of the Dutch countryside. The sunlight in his paintings rake across the panel accenting small bits of detail in the golden light. In large panoramic views of the Dutch countryside, highlights of a small 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 frozen atmospheric bath of yellow ocher light. The paint quality of a Cuyp painting is unmistakably masterful. The rich varnished medium refracts the light rays like a jewel as it dissolves into the numerous glazed layers.

Cuyp's drawings reveal him to be a draftsman of superior quality. Light drenched washes of golden brown ink depict a distance 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 paintings. Cuyp's landscapes were based half on reality and half on his own invention of what an enchanting landscape should be.

See also Dutch Golden Age.



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