Aelbert Cuyp, whose work was little known outside his native Dordrecht, was “discovered” by collectors in 18th-century England. They enthusiastically bought up his paintings to such an extent that little was left in his native country.

Early works such as this show the influence of Jan van Goyen (1596-1656), with whom Cuyp trained. Cuyp never visited Italy, but probably caught the Italianate “bug” from fellow artist Jan Both.
The tower that dominates the horizon is that of the church of St Cunera, in Rhenen. The view is thought to be taken from the Grebbeberg, a hill to the east of the city.


  • Title: View on a Plain
  • Date: c.1644
  • Physical Dimensions: w722 x h480 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Notes: An early work, dated by Chong c.1644. The distant town is Rhenen, which Cuyp drew in 1641 (Teylers Museum, Haarlem).Engraved by R. Cockburn and by J. Cousen.A copy by D.A. Ross, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Similar works HdG 69A and 75.Related drawings: 1. Standing shepherd DM 1977, no. 59. 2. View of Rhenen. Haarlem, Teyler Museum, dated 1641 (also Berlin 1170). The drawing also used for a painting, dated 1641, in a private collection in Buenos Aires. 3. Sheep, DM 1977, no. 63. The seated cow derives from a drawing in London, BM, Hind 36.Part of painting reused in Chong no. 1641.
  • Work Nationality: Dutch
  • Support: Panel
  • Provenance: ?Sale, 3 March 1769; London, Sir Francis Bourgeois, 1811; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811; 1813 inv. no. 303.
  • Inscriptions: A. cuyp
  • Further Information: This is one of Cuyp's early works, painted when he had begun to move away from the monochrome palette of Jan van Goyen towards the warmer oranges and yellows of Dutch Italianate painters such as Jan Both. It shows two peasants looking after their sheep and cattle.
  • Artist: Cuyp, Aelbert
  • Acquisition Method: Bourgeois, Sir Peter Francis (Bequest, 1811)

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