Shipping on the Maas with a Party in a Rowing Boat

Artist or maker:
Cuyp, Aelbert (b.1620, d.1691)
dated stylistically
Place of production:
Dordrecht, Holland, Netherlands
oil on panel
Type of object:
Accession number:


Aelbert Cuyp made several paintings of the river Maas near his home town of Dordrecht. This example is in excellent condition, with some fine details such as the water dripping from the oar. Cuyp's painting conveys a moment of rest and calm in the bustling life of the river.

The sloop in the right foreground appears in a drawing in the British Museum (reg. no. 1895,0915.1142). Details from this drawing appear in several other paintings by Cuyp of the city taken from the North (Ascott; National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1940.2.1). Cuyp used drawings made on the spot extensively. He worked up his canvases in his studio based on these drawings. This painting does not show any of the distinctive buildings found in Cuyp's other paintings of this scene. It probably shows somewhere near Dordrecht that would have been recognisable to his patrons who came from the city.

Wealthy passengers perhaps disembark, boats carry cargo, and people fish. The shipping, fishing and river trade depicted by Cuyp was very important to the local economy of Dordrecht. The windmill on the bank also shows the signs of the local rural economy.

Cuyp was very popular among late 18th-century and early 19th-century British collectors. Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild looked towards these collectors when furnishing his country house. It is one of a number of paintings at Waddesdon that came from the renowned collection of Thomas Baring (1799-1873), either purchased by Ferdinand or by his relatives.

Phillippa Plock, 2011

Physical description

Dimensions (mm):
705 x 892 - sight
Signature & date:
signed, lower left on oar blade: A. cũÿp.


Possibly Frans van Mieris sale, Leiden, 7 May 1764, no. 204 for f85 to Bisschop; Johan Goll Franckenstein sale, Amsterdam, 1 July 1833, lot no. 14; bought by Brongeest from Franckenstein sale for Baron Johan Verstolk van Soelen (b.1776, d.1845), for 10,2000 florins; bought by Thomas Baring (b.1799, d.1873) in 1846 as part of the acquisition of the Verstolk van Soelen collection en-bloc through Chaplin by Baring, Humphrey Mildmay and Jones Lloyd (later Lord Overstone); bequeathed by Thomas Baring to his nephew Lord Northbrook (b.1826, d.1904); acquired by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild (b.1839, d.1898) from Lord Northbrook; inherited by his sister Alice de Rothschild (b.1847, d.1922); inherited by her great-nephew James de Rothschild (b.1878, d.1957); bequeathed to Waddesdon The Rothschild Collection (The National Trust) in 1957.
Exhibition history:
British Institute Exhibition, London, 1850, no. 9, lent by Thomas Baring

British Institute Exhibition, London, 1850, no. 5

Royal Academy Exhibition, London, 1871, no. 209, lent by Thomas Baring

Royal Academy Exhibition, London, 1889, no. 81, lent by the Earl of Northbrook
Waddesdon (National Trust)
Bequest of James de Rothschild, 1957



[n. pub.]; Catalogue de Tableaux de l'ancienne Ecole Hollandaise forment le celebre Cabinet de Seu M. Jean Goll van Fransckenstein, 1 juillet 1833; 1833; Amsterdam; lot no. 14
John Smith; A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish and French Painters; 9 vols; London; Smith and Son; 1829-1842; vol. 5, no. 216
Review of British Institute Exhibition, The Art Journal, 2, 1850, 207; p. 207
Gustav Friedrich Waagen; Treasures of Art in Great Britain: being an account of the chief collections of paintings, drawings, sculptures, illuminated mss; 3 vols; London; John Murray; 1854-1857; vol 2, p. 187
Louis Viardot; Les musées d'Angleterre, de Belgique, de Hollande; Paris; [n. pub.]; 1860; p. 155
W. H. J. Weale, Jean Paul Richter; A descriptive catalogue of the Collection of Pictures belonging to the Earl of Northbrook; London; Griffith, Farran, Okeden, & Welsh; 1889; no. 44
Frank Cundall; The landscape and pastoral painters of Holland; London; Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington; 1891; p. 165
Cornelis Hofstede de Groot; A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. Vols 1-4 [1907-1927]; Bishops Stortford; Chadwick Healey; 1976; vol. 2, no. 647 and 31
Ellis Waterhouse, Anthony Blunt; Paintings: The James A. de Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor; Fribourg; Office du Livre, The National Trust; 1967; pp. 136-137, cat. 56
S. Reiss; Aelbert Cuyp; London; Zwemmer; 1975; no. 105
Alan Chong; Aelbert Cuyp and the Meanings of Landscape; New York University; 1992; p. 407, no. 159; as 'Ships on a river'
Arthur K Wheelock Jr.; Aelbert Cuyp; National Gallery of Art, Washington, 7 October 2001 - 13 January 2002; National Gallery, London, 13 February - 12 May 2002; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 7 June - 1 September 2002; New York; Thames & Hudson; 2001; no. 28, on Washington painting, no. 35, on Ascott painting and subject
Wouter Th. Kloek; Aelbert Cuyp: Land, Water, Light; Amsterdam, Zwolle; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Waanders Publishers; 2002; pp. 26, 30, fig. 41

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