A paragraph and one painting in particular on Prospero’s blog caught my eye the other day. The post is about the opening of The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF). It’s the Silver Jubilee for “what many say is the biggest and best art and antiques fair anywhere.” That ‘anywhere’ happens to be Maastricht, a small city in the far southeastern corner of the Netherlands without an international airport or train route.

TEFAF’s reputation was built on the quality of its Old Master paintings, particularly those by Dutch and Flemish artists. The range is impressive enough that some visit simply to study what’s on offer. Richard Green, a London dealer, has come this year with an unusual and delightful painting by Albert Cuyp (1620-1691) called “Milking scene along a river” (pictured top). Unlike the typical treatment of cows in Dutch Golden Age pictures, the cow in this work is rendered in warm, even floral, colours and it fills most of the space. …

"Milking scene along a River" Aelbert Cuyp c. 1650 - 1655

Among the early English portraits at Weiss, a London dealer, is a full-length vision of Henry VIII painted in c.1600 (pictured below). The painting was recently rediscovered in France, after its disappearance following a 1952 auction. 

The painting is called The Ditchley Henry VIII and is one of many replicas of Holbein’s painting of Henry VIII on my previous post, which is why the painting caught my eye but is not shown on this post.

I read the blurb about the Cuyp painting on the Richard Green Galleries website. In my opinion it’s a little strange-sounding but, nevertheless, here is the same cow and milkmaid in a different locale. It was painted in an almost Impressionist style, which is also strange for the time period.

"The Dairy Maid" Aelbert Cuyp, c 1650s

Aelbert Cuyp found special artistic inspiration in scenes of young women milking cows in verdant pastures. All aspects of milking fascinated Cuyp, not just the smooth coats of the cows, but the dress and glance of the milkmaid, and details such as the brass vessels. The artist frequently returned to certain subjects over the course of his career, constructing images in very different styles, lighting schemes and settings. But paintings of cattle and of milking in particular mark important points in his career.

And that’s all of have to say about Aelbert Cuyp.


NOTE: There is a The Ditchley Elizabeth I that is among the Portraiture of Elizabeth I and another blog post.