(The Hague 1844-1910 The Hague)
Two cows by a pool
Canvas, 25 x 35.2 cm; signed
Acquired in 1950; inv. 6388
Willem Maris said ‘I don’t paint cows, I paint light’, and this tiny painting from c.
1890 shows precisely what he must have meant by that. Whereas many of his contemporaries were in the habit of painting the leaden skies above the Dutch countryside, Willem, the youngest of the three Maris brothers, all artists (the others were Matthijs and Jacob), chose to depict the landscape around The Hague while the summer light sparkled, giving everything in the meadow a radiant glow. His observation of the way mills appear from a distance on a day in high summer – shimmering grey shapes – is magnificent.