‘Two Cows and a Young Bull beside a Fence in a Meadow’
Oil on Panel
Currently on View
The Art Institute of Chicago
Paulus Potters paintings of animals, particularly cattle in the pastoral settings, were consistently sought after in a period when landownership was very prestigious. Collectors who maintained the lifestyle of a country gentleman, even if their fortunes were based on trade, appreciated Potters afire observation of nature and his sensitivity to atmospheric effects. Potter painted this exquisitely panel in the same year as his most renowned work, the monumental Young Bull in the Mauritshuis, The Hague. Both feature a powerful young bull, but here, rather than permitting one creature to dominate the scene, the artist created a dynamic group silhouetted against a cloud-swept sky.