Potter, Paul

Potter, Paul or Paulus,

1625–54, Dutch animal and landscape painter and etcher. In The Hague he enjoyed the patronage of the prince of Nassau, for whom he painted the celebrated life-sized Young Bull (1647; Mauritshuis, The Hague). He moved to Amsterdam in 1652. In his brief life Potter painted over 175 pictures, considered the finest animal paintings of the Dutch school. He was also able to render landscape with a sensitive feeling for atmosphere. His works are to be seen in many important European collections. Well-known examples are Bear Hunt and Shepherds with Their Flocks (Rijksmus.), Landscape with Cattle (National Gall., London), and Meadow with Oxen (Louvre). His etchings of animals are characterized by the same simplicity and naturalism as his paintings.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Potter, Paul


(also Paulus Potter). Baptized Nov. 20, 1625, in Enkhuizen, North Holland; buried Jan. 17, 1654, in Amsterdam. Dutch painter and etcher.

Potter studied in Amsterdam with his father, Pieter Potter, and, possibly, with N. Moeyaert. He worked in Delft (from 1645), The Hague (1649–52), and Amsterdam. His early landscapes, executed in the classical style, gave way to realistic scenes of the hunt and representations of farmlands with grazing animals (Young Bull, 1647, Mauritshuis, The Hague). Potter sympathetically re-created the characteristic traits and habits of animals and the minutest details of their natural environment. He made extensive use of transparent shadows to render the effects of diffused sunlight.


Vipper, B. R. Ocherki gollandskoi zhivopisi epokhi rastsveta (1640–1670). Moscow, 1962. Pages 24–28.
Borenius, T. “Paul Potter.” The Burlington Magazine,” 1942, vol. 81, no. 477, pages 290–94.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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