A bull stands on the left, silhouetted against the storm clouds, with a cow resting on the ground, while trees on the right, bowed by the wind, give shelter to sheep and a grazing cow. Despite its small size the composition, with its low horizon and the cows silhouetted against the stormy sky, gives an impression of monumentality; this striking design gives an unusual dramatic effect.

The artist made a number of alterations to the outlines of the animals and to the tree on the right. Dated 1647, this picture was presumably painted while Potter was living in Delft. There are a few other, similar pictures by Potter, for example in Berlin (Gemäldegalerie).

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1625 - 1654
Full title
Cattle and Sheep in a Stormy Landscape
Date made
1647
Medium and support
Oil on oak
Dimensions
46.3 x 37.8 cm
Inscription summary
Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit
Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number
NG2583
Location in Gallery