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Ubbergen Castle
Aelbert Cuyp
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The ruins of this castle seem to have been absorbed by the landscape. Aelbert Cuyp has employed the same palette of colours and the same camouflage patterns to depict the crumbling walls as he used for the autumnal woods and the hillside behind. The reflections in the still waters of the lake add to the impression that the stone towers and tumbledown ramparts are merging into their surroundings.

The scene may have had some resonance to a contemporary audience who were likely to have recognised the castle. It is the castle of Ubbergen, near Nijmegen in the Dutch Province of Gelderland. The fourteenth-century building was ruined in 1582 during the Spanish occupation of the Netherlands and as such was seen as a symbol of national independence. This painting isn’t dated but was probably made in 1655, less than a decade after the Treaty of Münster (1648), when the Dutch finally won independence from Spain.

Key facts
Artist Aelbert Cuyp
Artist dates 1620 - 1691
Full title Ubbergen Castle
Date made about 1655
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 32.1 x 54.5 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1871
Inventory number NG824
Location in Gallery Not on display
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