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  • Farm

    Artist:
    Potter, Paulus. 1625-1654
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    81x115,5 cm

Potter, Paulus. 1625-1654

Farm

Holland, 1649

This landscape with a peasant farm was commissioned from the gifted young painter Paulus Potter by Amalia of Solms-Braunfels, the wife of Prince Frederick Henry of Orange, who was the head of the Dutch Republic. The painting turned out superbly. The cows, goats, chickens and horses are depicted in a range of different combinations and groupings. Little genre scenes are also included. Potter borrowed one of the most interesting – on the right – from a Rembrandt print of 1635, transferring it to canvas: a housewife is cleaning fish by a well, while a man is trying to drive off a dog that is attacking a child. In the distance a couple are taking a walk. The prominent Russian art historian Alexander Benois suggested that here Potter depicted himself and his bride. They were married the following year. Paulus Potter was unrivalled in producing works of this kind, but still his client refused to accept the painting: she was shocked by the excessively “uninhibited” behaviour of one of the cows, to the left of the tree in the middle. Nevertheless, the painting did not want for appreciation. Over the years it was in the collection of Frederick I of Prussia and then of Napoleon’s wife, Empress Josephine. In 1815 Alexander I acquired the canvas for the Hermitage. Paulus Potter lived just 29 years before dying of tuberculosis. Nevertheless, in his brief time on earth the artist managed to produce around 130 works.

Title:

Farm

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

81x115,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1814; formerly in the collection of Josephine de Beauharnais in the Castle of Malmaison near Paris

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-820

Category:

Collection:

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