Artist Unknown

Aelbert Cuyp

b.1620, d.1691 (Manner of)

A Cow Drinking

  • Oil on canvas
  • Bequeathed by Major A C D Spencer to the Canterbury Society of Arts, 1931 and presented to the Gallery in 1932
  • 960 x 820 x 95mm
  • 69/255

In this unattributed work a cow, possibly in late pregnancy, has found a cool shady spot for a quiet drink of water. Light enters steeply from above, raking across the cow’s left flank and making the tones of her black and white hide highlights in the otherwise neutral scene. Light also strikes the back of her ear and horn; casting shadows along the side of her head, it leaves her eyes in shadow and emphasises the artist’s interest in realism.

(Endless Light, 29 June 2019 – 8 March 2020)

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • 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.

    (Label date unknown)