The exhibition in the Dordrecht Museum 'In the light of Cuyp' is unique. Never before have so many paintings by Aelbert Cuyp, Dordrecht's most famous painter, come together. The combination with works by the English artists Turner, Gainsborough and Constable, for whom Cuyp was an important source of inspiration, makes the exhibition a godsend. To give as many people as possible the opportunity to admire these masterpieces live after the lockdown, the museum has extended the exhibition until 8 May.
Two extra months to visit this successful must-see.
The extension was a bit of a challenge. The works come from Germany, the United States, Ireland, Hungary, but especially from England. "We had to apply for extensions from all the lenders," says curator of ancient art and curator of the exhibition Sander Paarlberg. "To our great relief, we succeeded with almost all works. We had to find replacements for five paintings, but we succeeded in doing so as well."
"It's a special story," Paarlberg says. "In his time, the 17th century, Cuyp was a completely local painter. Except for some excursions, he never left Dordrecht. His customers were mainly Dordrecht citizens. During his lifetime, no one outside of Dordrecht realised how good Cuyp really was. How special the golden light, the serene atmosphere and the stillness in his works were. Whether they are landscapes with shepherds, animals or travellers: they have it all. For a long time, his masterpieces were hidden away in Dordrecht. Until, long after his death, a painting by Cuyp surfaced in England. Shortly afterwards, a British Cuypmania broke out and in no time, the paintings were bought from Dordrecht and shipped to England. The sale was fast and rigorous."
"This exhibition is a must-see. In the light of Cuyp' shows how great the influence of the Dordrecht resident has been on later international artists. Many visitors come from outside the city, but for all the residents of Dordrecht, it is a unique opportunity to get to know their famous fellow-cityman."
Those who really want to get to know Aelbert Cuyp will set off on a walk led by a VVV guide. The walk of about an hour and a half takes you along memorable places in the city centre, including his birthplace at the Nieuwe Haven.