This peaceful rural idyll is possibly a copy of an unknown painting by the great Dutch landscape painter Aelbert Cuyp. It may even be a pastiche imitating his style by Jacob van Strij, who painted such pictures.
The vast sky and the distant windmill, water and trees are typical of Cuyp’s view of the Dutch landscape, but they are not painted with his attention to detail and feeling for character – both animal and human. The bunched-up figure with a stick looks out over the plain. He wears a scarlet jacket, giving the bright spark of colour that Cuyp would also have added to enliven the picture, though it has been dulled down by the very discoloured varnish. But the cows are realistically placid, one on watch, the others lying down.
This peaceful rural idyll is possibly a copy of an unknown painting by the great Dutch landscape painter Aelbert Cuyp. It may even be a pastiche imitating his style by Jacob van Strij (1756–1815), who painted such pictures.
You can find examples of Aelbert Cuyp’s landscape painting in the National Gallery’s collection, for example A Distant View of Dordrecht, with a Milkmaid and Four Cows and Other Figures (‘The Large Dort’) or River Landscape with Horsemen and Peasants.
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