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Jan. 21 Art Minute: Aelbert Cuyp, River Scene at Dordrecht

Art Minute, Art of the Week, toledo museum of art
Aelbert Cuyp (Dutch, 1620-1691) River Scene at Dordrecht. Oil on canvas, about 1643. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1955.41

Aelbert Cuyp was known for the golden luminosity of the light in his paintings, a characteristic he was developing around the time he painted River Scene at Dordrecht. Here he depicts the city of Dordrecht from the southwest shore of the Maas River. A strong diagonal leads into the painting, past the fishing trawler in the foreground. 

The prominent tower in the right background belongs to the Groothoffdspoort, the former city gate located at the point where the three rivers that surround Dordrecht–the Maas, Oude Maas, and Merwede–meet. The tower was replaced by a dome in 1690. 

This work is currently on view in Gallery 23 at the Toledo Museum of Art.