The J. Paul Getty Museum

A Cow Grazing

Object Details


A Cow Grazing


Adriaen van de Velde (Dutch, 1636 - 1672)




Holland (Place Created)


about 1663


Red chalk, black framing lines

Object Number:



15.6 × 14 cm (6 1/8 × 5 1/2 in.)

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Object Description

Adriaen van de Velde habitually ventured out in the countryside to sketch cattle and landscapes for his paintings. Before ever beginning a painting, he made a preliminary compositional sketch, proceeded to chalk studies of the animals and figures, and then completed a finished drawing.

Departing from the usual norm of his animal drawings, van de Velde placed this cow not in a natural setting but in a close-up, seen from an angle that accentuates the animal's block-like form. Her neck, left shoulder, and head catch the sun directly, while light rakes across her back to reveal muscled forequarters, a protruding belly, and sunken hindquarters above the udder.

17th Century Dutch Drawings (July 21 to October 4, 1992)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), July 21 to October 4, 1992
16-17th Century European Drawings (December 28, 1993 to March 13, 1994)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), December 28, 1993 to March 13, 1994
Dutch Drawings of the Golden Age (May 28 to August 25, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 28 to August 25, 2002