Abraham Pietersz. van Calraet (Dordrecht 1642-1722)
Abraham Pietersz. van Calraet (Dordrecht 1642-1722)

An evening river landscape with a cowherd and cows by the edge of a copse, a bridge and ruins beyond

Abraham Pietersz. van Calraet (Dordrecht 1642-1722)
An evening river landscape with a cowherd and cows by the edge of a copse, a bridge and ruins beyond
with signature 'A cyp' (lower right)
oil on canvas
28 x 38.3/8 in. (71.7 x 97.4 cm.)
Baron Anselm von Rothschild (d. 1874), Vienna, by whom bequeathed to
Baron Ferdinand von Rothschild (d. 1898), Waddesdon Manor, by whom bequeathed either to Baron Albert, or Baron Nathaniel von Rothschild, Vienna.
Rothschild inv. no. LR7.
C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonn, etc., II, London, 1909, p. 73, no. 226, as Aelbert Cuyp, in the collection of the late Baron Ferdinand von Rothschild, Vienna; duplicated entry p. 135, no. 445, mentioning a horseman on the right.
G. Heinz and F. Klauner, eds., Katalog der Gemldegalerie, II, Teil, Vlamen, Hollnder, Deutsche, Franzosen, Vienna, 1963, no. 772, as Aelbert Cuyp.
K. Demus, ed., Katalog der Gemldegalerie, Hollndische Meister des 15., 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts, Vienna, 1972, p. 23, as Aelbert Cuyp circa 1660-70, the signature probably later.
C. Brandsttter, ed., Die Gemldegalerie des Kunsthistorischen Museums in Wien, Verzeichnis der Gemlde, Vienna, 1991, no. 9093, p. 48, fig. 526, as Studio (?) of Cuyp, circa 1660.
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Kunstschatten uit Weenen, 1947, no. 43 as Aelbert Cuyp.
Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv. no. 1972, since 1947.

Lot Essay

The present picture was one of the works listed by Hofstede de Groot, loc. cit., as having been in the collection of Baron Anselm von Rothschild, Vienna. Anselm bequeathed a part of his collection to his son, Ferdinand, who moved his inheritance to England, where he had moved. On his death, he left a part of his collection (for the most part from his London residence) to his brothers Nathaniel and Albert, which part subsequently returned to Austria.

Although previously attributed to Cuyp, Dr. Alan Chong regards this picture as the work of van Calraet. He writes that: 'This is one of Abraham van Calraet's most charming compositions. Although elements like the herder and the scenery in the distance are derived from Cuyp, in fact the arrangement of the trees to create a more intimate foreground are van Calraet's own contribution' He compares the 'foliage and graceful sway of the trees' with the Cavalry Skirmish in the Rijksmueum (inv. no. A79), monogrammed by van Calraet.

The son of Pieter Jansz. van Calraet, a sculptor from Utrecht, Houbraken records that the artist was originally taught in that trade, and that his brother, Barent van Calraet, was a pupil of Aelbert Cuyp. The identification of a painting of two horses in a stable, initialled 'APK' in the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, as by Abraham van Calraet, showed that he also was well acquainted with Cuyp, and has provided the basis for identifying his painting style. A number of landscapes with horses and cattle, mostly initialled 'A.C.' and formerly attributed to Cuyp, are now generally considered to be the work of van Calraet. The artists' oeuvres remain to some extent confused, for Calraet's work is often closely related to Cuyp's, although his handling is smoother, broader and more monochromatic.

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