Artist Unknown

Balthazar Paul Ommeganck

Belgium, b.1755, d.1826 (Manner of)

A Cow

  • Purchased 1973
  • Oil on canvas
  • 510 x 495mm
  • 73/259
  • 1780s

This cow belongs to an ancient breed of cattle, once common in Belgium and the Netherlands, but now almost extinct. Called the Kempens rund (Campine cattle), it was bred for milk, cheese, butter and beef; its numbers were greatly reduced during World War I when the farming area where they lived became a battlefield.

This painting is probably by the Flemish painter Balthazar Paul Ommeganck. He was one of many admirers of the Dutch seventeenth-century painter Paulus Potter, who had started something new in painting by making farm animals his main subjects, rather than minor, incidental elements.

(Beasts, 2015)