Willem Maris (1844 - 1910), c. 1863
oil on canvas,
30.5 cm x 50.3 cm
The Mesdag Collection, The Hague
Willem Maris was the youngest of three brothers, all of whom were painters. He was only nineteen years old when he painted this picture of two calves.
The silvery light reflecting on their backs was his trademark. His remark, ‘I do not paint cows, but rather the effects of light,’ is often cited in this context.
Maris preferred venturing out of doors with his artist friends to study in nature. He would continue depicting animals throughout his life. His paintings of cows were popular and sold well.