Shepherds and peasants are shown bathed in a warm golden light in this mature example of Cuyp's Italianate landscape style. The painting is notable for its broad and skilful execution. It is probably one of his last: in 1658, Cuyp married Cornelia Boschman, a wealthy widow with extensive property around Dordrecht, and he seems to have retired from painting soon afterwards.

Cuyp’s remarkable popularity in Britain began in the last quarter of the eighteenth century. By the time that the market for his works peaked, around 1870, about 75% of all known Cuyps were in British collections. His influence on British artists from Gainsborough to Constable was profound.


  • Title: A Road near a River
  • Date: c.1660
  • Physical Dimensions: w1676 x h1130 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Notes: One of Cuyp's last works, dated by Chong to the end of the 1650s.A similar picture in the Royal Collection. The description given in the 1802 catalogue seems to match the picture - interestingly, however, despite the short title 'cattle and figures' no cattle appear in either painting or description. Need to look at Warner, 1881, given by Chong but no copy of his bibliography in file.
  • Work Nationality: Dutch
  • Support: Canvas
  • Provenance: London, Noel Desenfans, 1802-1807: London, Skinner and Dyke, Desenfans sale, 18 Mar. 1802, lot 162 ('A large Landscape with Cattle and Figures'. Descriptive Catalogue, no. 142: 'The fore-ground of this, represents the highway, on the right of which, is a shepherdess, dressed in blue, a straw hat on her head, and her crook in her hand; she is walking in conversation with a countryman mounted on a mule loaded with panniers, who seems to be passing by chance -- a beautiful cluster of trees is in the centre, at the foot of which are two shepherds surrounded with sheep and their dogs -- the left is enriched with shrubs and bushes, lining the bank of a river which is on the other side of the road, and in which two men thrown rather into the back-ground, are angling. At some little distance from the, are other figures at the door of a cottage beautifully surrounded by trees. The next objects are some mountains'). Bt Elliot for £189.0 (Bt in). Handwritten note in copy of catalogue at The Hague, RKD: '65. [i.e. 6 x 5] -- 2 High trees & 2 shepds sitting und.r it & sheep & a dog -- a Man ridg on Ass ... w.h Panniers &c'; ?1804 Insurance List, no. 60: 'A large landscape with shepherds, £600'); London, Sir Francis Bourgeois, 1807-1811; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811.
  • Further Information: "This bucolic evening scene is a late work, probably c. 1660. The raking evening light and silhouetted trees, and the division of the landscape into two sections, reveal an appreciation of Jan Both, who had returned to the Netherlands from Italy in 1641. Similar effects can be seen in Cuyp’s Evening Landscape of about the same date (Royal Collection Trust). The buildings on the far side of the lake also appear in Cuyp’s Page with Two Horses of the mid-1650s (Royal Collection Trust). It has not been possible to trace the provenance of DPG124 before its appearance in Desenfans’ ‘Polish’ sale in March 1802, which could mean that it was purchased for Stanislaus Augustus in the early 1790s. "
  • Artist: Cuyp, Aelbert
  • Acquisition Method: Bourgeois, Sir Peter Francis (Bequest, 1811)

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