Some cattle stand in a meadow in the late afternoon sun. On the right, in the shade of a pollard willow, a few pigs are lying contentedly in the mud. Potter is known mainly for The Bull, an exceptionally large painting that is also in the collection of the Mauritshuis. This is an example of what he usually painted: cattle on a much smaller scale, which was well-suited to hanging on the walls of a town house.
middle right, on the barn: Paulus Potter / f: 1652.
Govert van Slingelandt, The Hague, after 1752-1767; his widow, Agatha Huydecoper, 1767-1768; Van Slingelandt sale, The Hague, 18 May 1768 (Lugt 1683), no. 27; the entire collection sold to Prince William V; Prince William V, The Hague, 1768-1795; confiscated by the French, transferred to the Muséum Central des Arts/Musée Napoléon (Musée du Louvre), Paris, 1795-1815; Royal Picture Gallery, housed in the Prince William V Gallery, The Hague, 1816; transferred to the Mauritshuis, 1822