The "Piebald" Horse

Object Details


The "Piebald" Horse


Paulus Potter (Dutch, 1625 - 1654)




about 1650–1654


Oil on canvas

Object Number:



50.2 × 45.1 cm (19 3/4 × 17 3/4 in.)

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Silhouetted against rolling, stormy, clouds, a gray, spotted horse stands, turning its head slightly to suggest its alertness to its surroundings. Paulus Potter, the finest Dutch animal painter of his day, described the horse with scrupulous attention to physical detail: the glossy sheen of its coat and mane, the watery moistness of its eye, and the sleekly elegant lines of the animal's body. At the same time, the artist imbued the horse with an individualized personality that combines wildness with acute sensitivity. Indeed, the animal seems to respond to the distant sound of the hunt transpiring in the middle distance.

The meaning of the painting is twofold. It is probably a horse portrait, perhaps commissioned by the owner of the country house at the right. The closely observed rendering of this domestic animal implies the pride of ownership that a wealthy Dutch landowner might have taken in the possession of such livestock. On the other hand, the horse is untethered and seems to roam free. His immaculate grooming and position before cultivated fields, however, imply that the source of Dutch prosperity lay in the control that humans were able to exert over brute nature.

- 1772

Possibly Johan Aegidiusz van der Marck, 1707 - 1772, upon his death, probably held in trust by the estate.
Source: According to Le Brun sale 1811, lot 129 (description).

1772 - 1773

Possibly Estate of Johan Aegidiusz van der Marck, 1707 - 1772, probably sold to Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Lebrun by private treaty sale, 1773.

1773 -

Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Lebrun, 1748 - 1813

- 1787

Chevalier Lambert [sold, Lambert sale, Lebrun, Paris, March 27, 1787, lot 117, to Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Lebrun.]

1787 -

Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Lebrun, 1748 - 1813
Source: annotated auction catalogue (RKD).

1787 - 1810

Pieter de Smeth van Alphen, heer van Alphen en Rietveld, 1753 - 1809, upon his death, held in trust by the estate.

1809 - 1810

Estate of Pieter de Smeth van Alphen, heer van Alphen en Rietveld, 1753 - 1809 [sold, De Smeth van Alphen sale, Van der Schley et al., Amsterdam, August 1, 1810, through Texier, Gerbet, & Co., to Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Lebrun for 655 florins.]

1810 - 1811

Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Lebrun, 1748 - 1813 [sold, Lebrun sale, Paris, April 16, 1811, lot 129, to André Coquille for 1810 francs.]

1811 -

André Coquille, died 1831

- 1826

Probably James-Alexandre de Pourtalès, Comte de Pourtalès, 1776 - 1855 [sold, De Pourtalès sale, Phillips, London, May 19, 1826, lot 102, to William Norton.]

1826 -

William Norton

after 1826 - before 1896

Baron Hastings


Martin H. Colnaghi, 1821 - 1908, sold to Charles Sedelmeyer, March 9, 1896, for £600.
Source: Ripps 2010, p. 47.


Charles Sedelmeyer, 1837 - 1925, sold to Adolphe Schloss, May 26, 1896, for 20,000 francs.
Source: Ripps 2010, p. 107.

1896 - 1910

Adolphe Schloss, 1842 - 1910, by inheritance to his wife, Lucie Schloss, 1910.

1910 - 1938

Lucie (Haas) Schloss, 1858 - 1938, by inheritance to her children, Lucien Schloss, Henri Schloss, Raymond Schloss, and Juliette (Schloss) Weil, 1938.

1938 - 1943

Marguerite Schloss, 1879 - 1959

1938 - 1943

Lucien Schloss, 1881 - 1962

1938 - 1943

Henri Schloss, 1882 - 1964

1938 - 1943

Raymond Schloss

1938 - 1943

and Juliette (Schloss) Weil, born 1885


In the possession of the Vichy government of France, sequestered by the French State Museums in the Musée du Louvre, Paris, 1943.

1943 - 1945

Musée du Louvre, restituted to the heirs of the Schloss Family, 1945.

1945 - 1951

Schloss Family Heirs [sold, Schloss sale, Galerie Charpentier, Rheims & Baudoin, Paris, December 5, 1951, lot 44, to George Renand.]

1951 - 1988

Georges Renand [sold, Renand sale, Drouot Montaigne, Ryaux & Turquin, Paris, May 31, 1988, to the J. Paul Getty Museum.]

VII. Internationalen Kunst-Ausstellung im kgl. Glaspalaste zu München (June 1 to October 31, 1897)
  • Königliche Glaspalaste (Munich), June to October 1897
Paulus Potter: Paintings, Drawings, and Etchings (November 8, 1994 to March 13, 1995)
  • Mauritshuis (The Hague), November 8, 1994 to March 13, 1995
Devices of Wonder: From the World in a Box to Images on a Screen (November 13, 2001 to February 3, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), November 13, 2001 to February 3, 2002

Lebrun, Paris. Catalogue de tableaux capitaux et d'objects rares et curieux [...] de M. le Chevalier Lambert [...]. March 27, 1787, p. 53, lot 117.

Schley, Philippus van der, et al., Amsterdam. Catalogus van het kabinet schilderijen nagelaten door [...] Pieter de Smeth van Alphen [...]. August 1, 1810, p. 33, lot 78.

Lebrun, Paris. Vente d'une collection de tableaux capitaux et du beau choix, des trois ecoles [...]. April 16, 1811, p. 46, lot 129.

Phillips, London. Gallery of Dutch, Flemish, and Italian Pictures [...] formed during the last thirty years by the Count of Pourtalès [...]. May 19, 1826, p. 18, lot 102.

Smith, John. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French Painters [...]. 9 vols. (London: Smith and Son, 1829-42), vol. 5 (1834), p. 137, no. 41.

Westrheene, Tobias van. Paulus Potter, sa vie et ses oeuvres (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1867), p. 177, no. 11.

Sedelmeyer Gallery. Illustrated Catalogue of the Third Series of 100 Paintings by Old Masters of the Dutch, Flemish, Italian, French and English Schools [...] (Paris: Chas. Sedelmeyer, 1896), p. 37, no. 27, ill.

Offizieller Katalog der VII. internationalen Kunstaustellung im kgl. Glaspalaste zu München 1897, exh. cat. (Munich: Rudolf Mosse, 1897), p. 33, no. 41.

Hofstede de Groot, Cornelis. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century, Based on the Works of John Smith. Edward G. Hawke, ed. and trans. (London: Macmillan and Co., 1908-27), vol. 4 (1912), p. 649, no. 141.

Galerie Charpentier, Paris. Collection de feu M. Adolphe Schloss (deuxième vente): Tableaux anciens. December 5, 1951, unpaginated, lot 44, ill.

Walsh, Amy. "Paulus Potter: his works and their meaning." Ph.D. diss. (Columbia University, 1985), ill.

Checkland, Sarah Jane. "Dutch Artist's Record Price." The Times [London] (June 2, 1988), unpaginated, ill.

Norman, Geraldine. "Heirs Battle for Renand Treasures." The Independent [London] (2 June 1988).

Montaigne, Paris. Collection Georges Renand. May 31, 1988, unpaginated, lot 32, ill.

"Printemps a Drouot-Montaigne." La Gazette [Paris] (April 29, 1988), unpaginated, ill.

"Principales acquisitions des musées en 1988." La Chronique des arts: Supplément à la Gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 113, no. 1442 (March 1989), p. 34, no. 186, ill.

"Un succès décrié." Connaissance des arts 437/438 (July-August 1988), pp. 22-23, fig. 3.

Sutton, Peter C. "Recent Patterns of Public and Private Collecting of Dutch Art." In Great Dutch Paintings from America, exh. cat. Ben Broos, et al., eds. (The Hague: Mauritshuis, with Waanders, 1990), pp. 107, 118n19.

Walsh, Amy, Edwin Buijsen, and Ben Broos. Paulus Potter: Paintings, Drawings, and Etchings, exh. cat. (The Hague: Mauritshuis, 1994), pp. 144-46, no. 28, ill, entry by Edwin Buijsen.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 98, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B., et al. Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Paintings (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 65, no. 35, ill., entry by Dawson Carr.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 124, ill.

Stafford, Barbara Maria, and Frances Terpak, eds. Devices of Wonder: From the World in a Box to Images on a Screen, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2001), p. 369, no. 50.

Sluijter, Eric Jan. "'All striving to adorne their houses with costly peeces' Two Case Studies of Paintings in Wealthy Interiors." In Art & Home: Dutch Interiors in the Age of Rembrandt, exh. cat. Mariet Westermann, ed. (Denver: Art Museum, with Waanders, 2001), pp. 110-11, 230n47, ill.

Allen, Denise, et al. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, with Thames & Hudson, 2003), p. 61, no. 32, ill., entry by Dawson Carr.

Biesboer, Pieter, et al., eds. Nicolaes Berchem: In het licht van Italië, exh. cat. (Haarlem: Frans Halsmuseum, with Ludion, 2006), pp. 86, 164n51.

Ripps, Michael J. "Bond Street Picture Dealers and the International Trade in Dutch Old Masters, 1882-1914." Ph.D. diss. (University of Oxford, 2010), pp. 47, 47n48, 107, 107n93, 220, fig. 49.

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