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Jacob Gerritsz. Cuyp
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A member of a family of Dordrecht artists active in 17th century Holland, Jacob Gerritsz. Cuyp is best known for his portrait paintings. In addition works included a wide range of subjects, including pastorals, genre paintings, allegories, still lifes and religious works. His father Gerrit Gerritsz. (ca. 1565-1644) came to Dordrecht to work as a glass painter and joined the artists’ Guild of St. Luke in 1585. Jacob was probably taught by his father, as were several of his siblings who became artists. He joined the artists’ Guild in 1617, aged about 23, and must have been a skilled painter, as he received a commission for a group portrait of the masters of the Holland Mint that year. He remained activein the Guild for much of his career, serving as bookkeeper for the Guild for severeal years. By this time he had adopted the name “Cuyp,” as did the rest of his family. He married a woman from Utrecht, Aertken van Cooten, in 1618. Their only child, Aelbert Cuyp, was born in 1620, and would become the best-known artist in the family. At some point Cuyp probably studied with Abraham Bloemaert (1566-1691) in Utrecht. He is recorded as having been in Amsterdam in 1625, but returned to Dordrecht. By the late 1620s Cuyp’s works show the influence of the “Utrecht Caravaggisti,” those painters whose works incorporated a sorce of light from the side of the picture, reflecting style of the Italian artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610). Cuyp was an active teacher; in addition to his son Aelbert and his half-brother Benjamin Gerrtisz. Cuyp (1612-16520), his students included Ferninand Bol (1616-1680) and Aert van der Neer (1603-1677). Cuyp was also a draftsman; Reinier van Persyn (ca. 1614-1668) used Cuyp’s designs in engraving his book of twelve animals published in Amsterdam in 1641 by the printmaker and publisher Claes Jansz. Visscher (1586-1652). Late in his career Cuyp collaborated with his son Aelbert on paintings in which the father painted figures and the son added the landscapes. Cuyp’s last painting with a date is from 1652; later that year his wife was documented as being a widow. (TNB 10/2012). Selected bibliography: Dordrechts Museum. Aelbert Cuyp en zijn familie: schilders te Dordrecht. Exhibition catalog. Dordrecht: Dordrechts Museum, 1977. Kettering, Allison McNeil. The Dutch Arcadia: Pastoral Art and its Audience in the Golden Age, Allanheld and Schram, Montclair (NJ), 1983.