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Home | Articles | Aelbert Cuyp, A Panoramic View of Dordrecht and the Maas

Aelbert Cuyp (Dordrecht, 1620–1691)
A Panoramic View of Dordrecht and the Maas
Circa 1645–1652
Black chalk, graphite, brush, and brown ink with gray and brown washes. The foreground heightened with gum arabic.
6 1/4 x 19 7/8 inches. Courtesy of Colnaghi, London.

Albert Cuyp was one of the greatest Dutch landscape painters of the seventeenth century. His success and popularity earned him the sobriquet “the Dutch Claude” for the Claude Lorrain-inspired Italianate landscapes of his mature work.

An outstanding example of Cuyp’s refined draughtsmanship, the drawing shown here depicts a panorama of the artist’s native city of Dordrecht, an important trading and shipping center and a recurring subject in his work. Cuyp later used this sheet as a reference for the central part of the background of a large painting of the city and river. Of considerable dimensions, the painting was divided into two parts sometime after 1759, and the two halves are now in different museums: The left half is in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the right half is in the Museum der bildenden Kunste in Leipzig, Germany.

In a private Maine collection since 1947 and last exhibited in 1953, this work is a major addition to the corpus of drawings by Cuyp, and it is arguably among the finest seventeenth-century Dutch landscape drawings to appear on the market in a generation.

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