Young Herdsmen With Cows – Aelbert Cuyp

The cattle pictures for which Cuyp is chiefly famous were but one of the branches of painting which he practised. He painted everything landscapes, portraits, animals, genre scenes of gentle folk or peasants, and still life: His landscapes with their golden haze appear to have been at first the out-come of those of Jan van Goyen, but he developed the manner of his prototype into something far more weighty and robust, at the same time retaining and even accentuating the effect of enveloping air. “A beautiful Cuyp,” says Eugène Fromentin, “is a painting at the same time subtle and heavy, tender and robust, aerial and massive.”

The Young Herdsmen with Cows comes from the Rodolphe Kann Collection and has been cited by various authorities, Bode, Michel, De Groot, and others. It is a picture of the end of an afternoon with cows lying or standing in a field by a river bank. They are guarded by young herdsmen who are talking to a woman whose back is toward the spectator. Across the river is a wide view of undulating country, with the distance lost in the golden light which pervades the picture. The work is signed below at the left: A. Cuyp.