Holstein Cow, 1850
oil on paper on panel
31.5 x 41.3 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of The Winnipeg Foundation
A leading figure among Hague School painters during the late nineteenth century, Anton Mauve was a prolific painter specializing in animal pictures, often depicted in rural settings. This painting of a Holstein-Friesian cow is typical of the work he produced for eager collectors throughout Europe, featuring farm animals (horses, sheep, and cattle) simply grazing or at rest in the Dutch countryside. Tender and lyrical in spirit, conveying a certain nostalgia for rural life, the painting epitomizes Mauve’s work as one of the Dutch Barbizon artists who flourished in the provincial districts of Oosterbeek, Scheveningen, and Laren. Mauve’s wife was a cousin to Vincent van Gogh, and when the young artist moved to The Hague to study painting in 1881, he worked in Mauve’s studio.