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Paulus Potter

1625 - 1654

Paulus Potter was a pioneer in the painting of landscapes with animals. Farm scenes and small-scale paintings of animals became popular in Holland from the middle of the 17th century. Potter was a precocious artist; his earliest works date from 1640, when he would have been 15 years old.

Potter was born at Enkhuizen and probably trained by his father, who had settled in Amsterdam by 1631. By 1646 Potter was living in Delft and joined the painters' guild there. He moved to The Hague by 1649 and to Amsterdam in 1652, dying there two years later. He seems to have directly influenced Karel Dujardin, who was active in Haarlem, and the Amsterdam painter Adriaen van de Velde.

His etchings and paintings must also have been a formative influence for the cattle scenes by Cuyp of the 1640s and 50s.