Aelbert Cuyp

(1620 - Dordrecht - 1691)

A Portrait of a Gentleman holding a Watch, around 1650

Oil on panel, oval, 37¼ x 29¾ ins. (94.5 x 75.5 cm)

VP4937

Provenance

Sir Gregory Osborne Page-Turner, (1785-1843)
His sale, Phillips, London 20 April 1815, lot 177 [as self-portrait of Cuyp.  £75: 12s], where purchased by
Alexander Baring (1774-1848), created Baron Ashburton in 1835, Bath House, London
By descent to the Barons Ashburton, Bath House, London and The Grange, Hampshire
Part of a group of paintings sold by the 5th Baron in 1907 via Agnew’s, London, in 1907, to
Alfred de Rothschild (1842-1918)
By descent to Edmund de Rothschild (1916-2009), Exbury House, Hampshire, (1952 and 1957 exhs.)
With Alex Wengraf, London, 1984 and returned
The Trustees of Exbury House, until 2020
Sale, Woolley and Wallis, Salisbury, 8 September 2020, lot 513 [Attrib.to Cuyp]


Literature

J. Smith, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish and French Painters, vol. 5, London, 1834, no. 268, as Aelbert Cuyp
G. F. Waagen, Kunstwerke und Künstler in England und Paris, 3 vols., Berlin, 1837, vol. 2, p. 96
G. F. Waagen, Works of Art and Artists in England, London, 1838, vol. 2. p. 283, as Cuyp
Lady Jervis White Jervis, ed., Painting and Celebrated Painters, Ancient and Modern, vol. I, London, 1854, p. 325
Waagen, Treasures of Great Britain, being an Account of the Chief Collections of Paintings, Drawings, Sculptures, Illuminated Mss., etc., 3 vols, London, 1854, vol. 2, p. 110
K. Baedeker, ed. London and its Environs: Handbook for Travellers, Leipzig, 1878, p. 258 [Bath House, drawing room]
W. Moes, Iconographia Batava, Amsterdam, 1897, vol. 1, no. 1871, 3 & 5, as Cuyp self-portrait
Frank Cundall, The Landscape and Pastoral Painters of Holland, London, 1891, p. 163, as Cuyp
Emile Michel, “Une famille d’artistes hollandaise: Les Cuyps”, Gazette des Beaux-Arts 34, 1892, p. 114 [“agréable”]
C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters …, vol. 2, London, 1909, pp. 29-30, no. 70, as Cuyp
A. Chong, Aelbert Cuyp and the Meanings of Landscape, PhD. dissertation, New York University, 1992, no. C141 (not seen, as not by Cuyp)


Exhibited

London, Royal Academy, Winter Exhibition, 1890, no. 91, as Aelbert Cuyp “The Painter”
London, Royal Academy, Winter Exhibition: Dutch Picture 1450-1750, 1952, no. 364, as Cuyp
London, Thos. Agnew and Sons, European Pictures from an English County, 1957, no. 3, as Cuyp
Bath, Victoria Art Gallery, Pictures and Porcelain from the Collection of Edmund L. de Rothschild, 1988, no. 3. 


Notes

We are grateful to Dr. Alan Chong for his help in cataloguing this painting.  

Essay

This portrait is the subject of an article by Dr. Chong in which he reassesses it in the context of other portraits by the artist.  To see the fully illustrated article please download the pdf below. 


BIOGRAPHY OF THE PAINTER

The son of the portraitist Jacob Gerritsz. Cuyp (1594-1651/52), Aelbert Cuyp was baptised in the Reformed Church in Dordrecht in October 1620.  His grandfather Gerrit Gerritsz. (c. 1565-1644) was a glass painter and his father’s half-brother Benjamin Gerrtisz. Cuyp (1612-1650) was a genre and history painter.  Aelbert studied with his father and collaborated with him occasionally at the beginning of his career.  Cuyp remained in Dordrecht for his entire life except for a sketching tour of the provinces of Holland and Utrecht around 1642, and a more extensive journey in the early 1650s which took him along the Rhine to the eastern Netherlands and across the border into Germany.  After returning to his hometown, Cuyp garnered the patronage of the city’s leading families, such as Pompe van Meerdervoort, van Beyeren, de Rouvere and Berck.  His marriage in July 1658 to Cornelia Boschman, the widow of a wealthy regent, raised his social and financial standing.  Initially, the couple lived in her houseon Hofstraat, but in 1663 the family moved to a large house on Wijnstraat.  Cuyp held several public offices and also served as a deacon of the Reformed Church.  After around 1660, he seems to have given up painting.  A well-respected and wealthy man, he died in Dordrecht in November 1691 and was buried on 15 November in the Augustinian church.