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View of the Groote Kerk in Dordrecht from the River Maas

Artist:
Aelbert Cuyp (Dutch, Dordrecht 1620–1691 Dordrecht)
Date:
ca. 1647–48
Medium:
Black chalk and moistened black chalk, gray wash (mainly in the clouds, water and sails), greenish yellow and grayish green wash (in the trees and under the houses at the left), and touches of brown chalk (in and under the houses at the left and on the large sailboat).
Dimensions:
7 3/16 x 14 1/2 in. (18.2 x 36.8 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.768
Not on view
Aelbert Cuyp was the foremost painter of landscapes in his native Dordrecht. Distinguished for his paintings of crystalline light and atmosphere, he was also a fine draftsman working in pencil, chalk, and watercolor. Cuyp often combined these media, along with gum arabic, to capture local topography veiled in transient light.

Absent several buildings razed since the seventeenth century, this panoramic view of the Groote Kerk in Dordrecht records a present-day perspective either from Zwijndrecht, opposite Dordrecht on the other side of the River Maas, or from a boat on the river. The view appears to have served as a model for the background of the painting Cattle on a Bank near Dordrecht, which exists in several versions by other artists. It is possible that the composition for this painting was taken from a lost landscape by Cuyp, for which this drawing was preparatory.
Marking: Annotated on the verso in an eighteenth- or nineteenth century hand in pen and brown ink: "Dorste groote kerk"; in pencil or black chalk: "No 60" and "f.f.y."
The Misses Alexander, London; Alexander sale, Sotheby's, London, 21 October 1963, lot 57, ill. (to P. and D. Colnaghi, London, for Robert Lehman).
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