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Anton Mauve

The Cowherd

Artist

Anton Mauve
Zaandam, Netherlands, 1838 – Arnhem 1888

Title

The Cowherd

Date

About 1875-1880

Materials

Oil on panel

Dimensions

22.9 x 38.1 cm

Credits

William John and Agnes Learmont Bequest, inv. 1909.574

Collection

Western Art

The Cowherd is characteristic of the Mauve’s ability to evoke the serene atmosphere and stillness of a Dutch polder landscape – with its low-lying land reclaimed from the sea – where the main focus is set on the harmonious relationship between peasant and herd. The backs of the cows almost match the horizon line, and only the virtually bare trees rise up towards the dark, grey sky. Centred in the picture plane, the cows and the herdswoman close off the view into the distance – a device typical of the Hague School landscape painting – and imbue the scene with the intimacy between Man and animal for which Mauve became famous. Mauve’s paintings sold well abroad, mainly in Scotland, England, Canada and the United States.

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