This tranquil scene bathed in golden light is typical of Cuyp’s mature landscapes.

The painting is based on a drawing, now in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, which is topographically more accurate. Cuyp is capable of realising a sense of solidity and stasis that can only be called classical yet he never departs from reality. This scene is of a Dutch town, in a Dutch landscape, on a Dutch evening. Cuyp never went to Italy and learned of Italianate landscape second-hand, so that any formal links that he has with that tradition are ill-defined. Yet the exquisite control of form under light, and the sense of permanence in the landscape, is associated with Italy. The massing of the buildings reminds us of Claude's imaginary towns, yet we accept that this is how a particular corner of Nijmegen actually looked. In the end, it is perhaps the complete acceptance of, and delight in, the scene for itself that constitutes the most obvious glory of the picture.

Provenance

J.N.hughes; de Rothschild family; L.R.bradbury.


Scottish National Gallery

The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
0131 624 6200
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Daily, 10am –​ 5pm (until 7pm Thur) Extended opening until 6pm during August

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