Cows in the Meadow

< PREVIOUS PAINTING Etten, The Hague & Drenthe Paintings NEXT PAINTING >
Cows in the Meadow by Vincent van Gogh
Cows in the Meadow
Oil on canvas on panel
31 × 44 cm (12.255 × 17.25 in)
Private collection
Painted August 1883, The Hague
F 15, JH 387

Like most of the landscapes Vincent painted in this period the palette is dark, perhaps reflecting the anxiety and difficulties he was experiencing in his life. Painted in late summer of the year 1883, in addition to the usual financial difficulties he suffered, Vincent was also in the process of separating from Sien Hoornik, a pregnant washerwoman whom he had become involved with despite protests from his family.

The earthy palette and realistic subject matter were also part of the attempts of Vincent to not merely paint what he saw but instead to imbue the art with an empathy for the people. In this regard Cows in the Meadow foreshadows his first masterpiece The Potato Eaters, which he was to paint two years later. It was in 1885 that he wrote to Theo about The Potato Eaters, "While I was doing it I thought again about what has so rightly been said of Millet’s peasants — "His peasants seem to have been painted with the soil they sow"." One could say that Vincent also was painting the local people, landscapes, and even the cows with the soil they walked upon.
To Theo van Gogh, circa 2 May, 1885

Cows In The Meadow sold at a Sotheby's auction in London 24 June 2014 for £458,500, about US$696,140.

Below the text there is a detail image of the cows.

Hugo Tutein Nolthenius, Delft;
Oldenzeel Art Gallery, Rotterdam;
Teresa & Paul Crommelin (acquired circa 1946-47, probably from the above);
Private Collection (a gift from the above, 1991).

Cows in the Meadow Detail
Cows in the Meadow by Vincent van Gogh Detail