In the light of Cuyp
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In the light of Cuyp

Never before have so many paintings by Aelbert Cuyp been on display together!

The exhibition "In the Light of Cuyp" is unique in several ways. For the first time, so many paintings by Aelbert Cuyp, Dordrecht's most famous painter, come together in one exhibition. Some even on display for the first time in the Netherlands. The works are on loan from museums all over the world. The combination with paintings by English artists Turner, Gainsborough and Constable, for whom Cuyp was an important source of inspiration, makes the exhibition surprising.

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Curator Sander Paalberg:
after years is here!

Curator of ancient art and curator of the exhibition Sander Paarlberg has been working on it for years and now the time has finally come. The exhibition 'In the light of Cuyp' has been extended and can be admired at the Dordrechts Museum until May 8, 2022. The works come from Germany, the United States, Ireland, Hungary, among others, but especially from England.

Dordrecht Museum exhibition In the light of Cuyp Dordrecht Sander Paalberg

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British Cuypmania

Curator Sander Paarlberg explains: "It's an extraordinary story. In his time, in the 17th century, Cuyp was a completely local painter. Except for some small excursions, he never left Dordrecht. His clients were also mainly Dordrechters. During his lifetime, no one outside of Dordrecht realized how good Cuyp actually was. How special the golden light, serene atmosphere and stillness were in his works. Whether they are landscapes with shepherds, animals or travelers: they have it all. They are all masterpieces, but for a long time they were hidden away in Dordrecht. Until, long after his death, a painting by Cuyp surfaced in England. Soon after, British Cuyp mania broke out and the paintings were bought up in no time from Dordrecht and shipped to England. The sell-out was swift and rigorous."

A. Cuyp, River Landscape with Rider and Cattle, c. 1660, London, National Gallery

Source of inspiration for many artists

"The appreciation for Cuyp was enormous in England. His landscapes suited the tastes of the British landed gentry beautifully, but painters could not ignore Cuyp either. Many later world-famous artists including Turner, Gainsborough and Constable drew their inspiration from the Dordrecht artist. The characteristic golden light, motifs and colors were reflected in the works of these 18th- and19th-century masters. These are three very famous ones, of course, but Cuyp was an important source of inspiration for many more artists, even well into the 19th century. In the catalog that accompanies the exhibition, you will find extensive information about this."

Construction of exhibition In the light of Cuyp Dordrechts Museum Dordrecht

Works of Queen Elizabeth

Now many works are temporarily returning for exhibition. Moreover, it is four hundred and one years since Cuyp was born in Dordrecht. That, too, makes the story special. After all this time, the paintings are returning to the place where they were made. Among these works are three landscapes from Woburn Abbey and two masterpieces from the collection of none other than the British Queen Elizabeth. The works "The Ferry" and "Landscape with Shepherd and Travelers in Evening Light" normally hang in Buckingham Palace in London. The director of the Royal Collections, Tim Knox, officially opened the exhibition.

Photo Ruud Baan Cuyp Dordrechts Museum

An exhibition not to be missed!

"This exhibition is a very nice opportunity to see so many of Cuyp's masterpieces together. The quality is so high, every Dordrechter should be proud of this most famous son of the city. 'In the Light of Cuyp' also shows how great an influence the Dordrecht painter had on later international artists. We expect a lot of visitors from outside the city, but precisely for all Dordrecht residents it is an extraordinary opportunity to become acquainted with their famous fellow-cityman." The curator's own favorite is from the United States, which is "The Maas near Dordrecht" from Washington, a large sunny river scene with the city in the background. "But of course the works are all individually well worth visiting."

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Cuyp walk with VVV guide

A unique city walk led by a VVV guide is also available. This walk provides an in-depth look at the exhibition and takes you past places in Dordrecht that were important to Cuyp during his life in Dordrecht. The walk costs €6 per person and advance registration is required and can be done via: or 078-7513000. The walk starts every Saturday through April 30 at 11:30 a.m. at VVV Dordrecht, Spuiboulevard 99.

Photo Ruud Baan opening Cuyp Dordrecht Museum

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