Original: oil on canvas 339 x 235.5 cm bxh
Paulus Potter enlarged the painting The Bull by sewing pieces of linen to the left and right after painting the bull. He did this in order to paint the figures on the left and the meadows with grazing cattle on the right. In the background, the city of Rijswijk can be seen. Paul paid a great deal of attention to details such as the cow's whiskers, the flies near the bull's back, the frog on the ground and the lark in the sky.
It was unusual that Paul Potter chose to depict an ordinary bull in such a large format, but the depiction of the time is at least as special. The horns of the bull are those of a 2-year-old, the teeth of a 4-year-old, the shoulders of a fully-grown bull and the hindquarters of a young bull.
The painting originally hung in the Prince William V Gallery in the Buitenhof, but was taken by Napoleon to Paris to be hung in the Louvre. After Napoleon's resignation, the painting was collected from Paris by horse and cart and hung in the Mauritshuis in The Hague. It is Paulus Potter's most famous painting and the figurehead of Dutch naturalist painting.
For more information on the life and work of Paul Potter, please visit his painting page
Paulus Potter's Bull on display in the Mauritshuis, The Hague
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