A Milkmaid

Object Details

Title:

A Milkmaid

Artist/Maker(s):

Aelbert Cuyp (Dutch, 1620 - 1691)

Culture:

Dutch

Date:

about 1642 - 1646

Medium:

Black chalk, graphite, gray wash

Dimensions:

12.1 x 14.8 cm (4 3/4 x 5 13/16 in.)

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A young milkmaid stares saucily over her shoulder, engaging the viewer with her direct gaze. As she squats on the ground, she holds a large container between her knees and easily squirts in the milk. Aelbert Cuyp focused on the milkmaid's youthful charm, using only a few lines to suggest the large body of the cow looming in the background. With a rich mixture of chalk and wash and making liberal use of the white paper, he emphasized the play of sunlight and shadow over the female form. The creases on her sleeves and skirt fold softly around her body, emphasizing her sturdy frame beneath.

Cuyp probably made this drawing shortly before beginning a painting of the same subject. This work was so successful that Cuyp's students copied it several times.

Exhibitions
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993, (Cat. 34)
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994, (Cat. 83)
Dutch Drawings of the 16th and 17th Centuries (August 16 to October 23, 1994)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), August 16 to October 23, 1994, (Cat.)
Aelbert Cuyp (October 7, 2001 to September 1, 2002)
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), October 7, 2001 to January 13, 2002, (Cat.)
  • Rijksmuseum, (Amsterdam), June 7 to September 1, 2002, (Cat.)
Visions of Grandeur: Drawing in the Baroque Age (June 1 to September 12, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 1 to September 12, 2004, (Cat.)
Drawing Life: The Dutch Visual Tradition (November 24, 2009 to February 28, 2010)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 24, 2009 to February 28, 2010, (Cat.)