National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Lady and Gentleman on Horseback Aelbert Cuyp (artist)
Dutch, 1620 - 1691
Lady and Gentleman on Horseback, c. 1655, reworked 1660/1665
oil on canvas
overall: 123 x 172 cm (48 7/16 x 67 11/16 in.) framed: 164.8 x 214 x 16.2 cm (64 7/8 x 84 1/4 x 6 3/8 in.)
Widener Collection
1942.9.15
On View
From the Tour: Dutch Still Lifes and Landscapes of the 1600s
Object 3 of 8

Conservation Notes

The original support, a fairly coarse fabric, has been lined with the vertical tacking margins trimmed. Cusping is visible along all edges. At both the top and bottom tacking margins have been unfolded and incorporated into the picture plane. Tears are found near the top edge, left of center, and the right edge, near the lower right corner. A coarsely pigmented red ground was applied overall followed by a gray preparatory layer under the landscape and a white layer in the sky.

Paint is applied in thin opaque layers. Numerous artist's changes are visible as pentimenti and in infrared reflectography and x-radiography. The man had shorter hair and wore a brimmed hat, a decorated tunic, and an embroidered cape tied under his plain collar. The woman, whose proper right arm was raised to hold the reins, wore a large brimmed hat pushed back on her head, a cape, and an ornate dress that fell over the horse's right side. The white horse's decorated martingale was slung lower. The boy in the middle ground was running, accompanied by five greyhounds. Contour changes were made in the seated rider at the far left and in the lower left landscape.

Old discolored overpaint covers many of the pentimenti. Scattered small and moderately sized losses have been retouched, often without prior filling, and all edges have been overpainted, extending well into the picture. A thick coating of discolored natural resin varnish is present, along with remnants of aged coatings from prior selective cleanings.

The lining canvas was in place when the painting was treated privately in 1942, and records indicate at least two generations of retouching were present. Prior to acquisition, discolored varnish and earlier retouching were removed, and a surface coating of mastic applied. No conservation work has been carried out since acquisition.

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