Oil on panel
50 x 74.5 cm
Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691) was one of the most famous landscape painters from Dordrecht. He was trained by his father, Jacob Gerritsz Cuyp (1594-1652), who himself was trained by Abraham Bloemaert in Utrecht. Here he met his future wife Aertken Cornelis van Koothendochter, who he married in 1618. Their son Aelbert, was probably sent to this city around 1639. Although no written evidence for his sojourn is Utrecht is known, the numerous drawings of the city confirm his stay there.
This painting made early in his career depicts a herdsman with cows in front of the city wall the Duitsche Huis and Mariakerk in Utrecht beyond. Cuyp painted the city wall from the west looking towards the chapel of the Duitsche Huis and the Mariakerk (Church of Saint Mary). The Duitsche Huis, of which the roof was destroyed in the 1674 storm, still exists. The German order of Knighthood, after which the place is named, houses here. The Mariakerk, famous trough paintings of Pieter Saenredam (1597-1665) (i.a. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam and Museo Thyssen Bornemisza Madrid) was already in decline in the seventeenth century.