Aelbert Jacobsz. Cuyp (Dordrecht 1620-1691)
Aelbert Jacobsz. Cuyp (Dordrecht 1620-1691)

Five studies of recumbent sheep

Details
Aelbert Jacobsz. Cuyp (Dordrecht 1620-1691)
Five studies of recumbent sheep
black chalk, oiled black chalk, grey wash, indistinct armorial watermark
6 ¼ x 7 7/8 in. (15.8 x 20 cm.)
Provenance
Probably Aarnoud de Lange (1740-1803); van der Schley et al., Amsterdam, 12 December 1803, Kunstboek E, lot 34 (sold to Gruiter).
Anonymous sale; Lepke, Berlin, 14 March 1905, lot 122 (sold to Boerner).
The artist Anton Eymer (1834-1917); Prestel, Frankfurt, 4 December 1917, lot 442.
Acquired by I.Q. van Regteren Altena from a dealer either in 1929 or afterwards.
Exhibited
Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Paris, Fondation Custodia, and Brussels, Bibliothèque Albert 1er, Le Cabinet d’un Amateur: Dessins flamands et hollandais des XVIe et XVIIe siècles d’une collection privée d’Amsterdam, 1976-77, no. 44, pl. 63 (catalogue by J. Giltaij).
Dordrecht, Dordrechts Museum, Aelbert Cuyp en zijn familie: schilders te Dordrecht, 1977-78, no. 63 (catalogue by J. Giltaij).
Dordrecht, Dordrechts Museum, Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691): Schilderijen en tekeningen, 1991-92, number unknown.

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Lot Essay

Cuyp was one of the most gifted and celebrated animal artists of the Dutch 17th Century and the present drawing is a fine example of his confident, brisk draughtsmanship. All of the sheep in the present drawing appear in Cuyp’s painting of A shepherd with his flock, dating from around 1650, in the Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt (inv. 1107; S. Reiss, Aelbert Cuyp, London, 1975, no. 126; Fig. 1), although they are arranged differently. This suggests that the drawing was not conceived directly as a preparatory drawing for the picture and was probably part of Cuyp’s collection of reference sketches. In 1976, J.G. van Gelder and I. van Gelder-Jost suggested that the drawing should be dated to circa 1646, thus predating the painting by some years. A similar drawing of sheep is in the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin (E. Bock and J. Rosenberg, Die niederländischen Meister: Beschreibendes Verzeichnis sämtlicher Zeichnungen, Berlin, 1930, p. 112, no. 5314).
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