In the 17th century, animal paintings were popular with both Dutch artists and the public. Two of the most successful painters were Paulus Potter (1625 -1654) and Aelbert Cuyp (1620 -1691). This painting was previously in the collection of the Canterbury Society of Arts.
It is in the Dutch realist style, which means that it is painted in a highly detailed and accurate way. It is likely that the painting has been cut down from a larger work.