"The strong composition and the delicate handling of the landscape and figures are typical of Cuyp’s mature style of the 1650s. Cuyp populated his landscapes with different kinds of people, as here: gentry on horseback and farmers and shepherds on foot, both enjoying the beautiful evening in a hilly landscape.

The goat in the foreground is possibly a reminiscence of the period in which Cuyp used his father’s prints in his compositions, as in Landscape with Cattle and Figures (DPG348); Aelbert worked alongside his father in the early years of his career but by the 1650s had established himself as an independent artist."


  • Title: An Evening Ride near a River
  • Date: c.1640s-50s
  • Physical Dimensions: w641 x h489 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Nationality: Dutch
  • Support: Panel
  • Provenance: ? J. Barnard, 1761 (1769 print by John Major, 'The contented peasants'); Thomas Hankey (as collected by John Barnard) his sale, London, Christie's, 7 Jun. 1799, lot 31 ('A pleasing warm landscape with the true effect of the sunny lights illuminating the various pleasing objects'). [New York, Met. Mus. Art copy annot. panel 1 1/2 x 2 ft, 'light green, a jewel truly'.] Bt Bourgeois for £47.5; London, Noel Desenfans and/or Sir Francis Bourgeois, 1799-1807; London, Sir Francis Bourgeois, 1807-1811; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811.
  • Inscriptions: Signed, bottom left: 'A. cúÿp'
  • Further Information: "This relatively small painting by Aelbert Cuyp probably dates from the 1650s, and shows two gentlemen riding by a river, whilst two peasants fish. Conservation in 2010–12 restored the fine details in the landscape, bringing back to life the minute details and fine rendering of light and shadow for which Cuyp is known. The contre-jour—when the light source faces the viewer—is typical of Cuyp, and adds a sense of depth and luminosity in the painting. The horseman in the foreground also appears in Cuyp’s Landscape with Ubbergen Castle (1650s, National Museum of Wales, Cardiff) and in An Officer with his Horse (Royal Collection Trust), and reveals Cuyp’s tendency to recycle and reuse components of various compositions. In 1769 the picture belonged to John Barnard, one of the foremost collectors of his day. It was engraved by Thomas Major under the title The Contented Peasants (BM, London). During conservation in 2010–12 pinpoint holes were discovered on the edges of the panel, believed to have been made in the ‘squaring up’ process; when a grid was placed over the painting to aid a printmaker in transferring the composition to a plate for printing. These marks are likely to date from Thomas Major’s time. "
  • Artist: Cuyp, Aelbert
  • Acquisition Method: Bourgeois, Sir Peter Francis (Bequest, 1811)

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