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Still life of fruit and a pie on a table

The Royal Collection has a stunning collection of seventeenth century Dutch art

Aelbert Cuyp (Dordrecht 1620-Dordecht 1691)

Two Cavalry Troopers Talking to a Peasant c.1650

RCIN 404801

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This is an early example of an ‘Italianate’ Cuyp landscape and demonstrates the influence of Jan Both’s work. Cuyp uses the same orange-brown colour range for earth and foliage; the same yellow-to-blue spectrum of light spread across a glassy-smooth evening sky.

Both riders here wear something approaching fancy-dress: the mounted figure has old-fashioned slashed sleeves and the standing figure wears a dolman, a Hungarian garment associated with hunting in the Netherlands. These riders have also travelled beyond the familiar terrain of Cuyp’s Dordrecht patrons into a region reminiscent of the Rhine near Nijmegen, but much idealised to suggest the ‘gateway to the south’.