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Imitator of Aelbert Cuyp, 'A Herdsman with Seven Cows by a River', probably about 1750-1800

Key facts
Full title A Herdsman with Seven Cows by a River
Artist Imitator of Aelbert Cuyp
Artist dates 1620 - 1691
Date made probably about 1750-1800
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 61.4 × 90.8 cm
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2547
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
A Herdsman with Seven Cows by a River
Imitator of Aelbert Cuyp

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.

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