Paulus Potter

Paulus Potter

Paulus Potter (1625–1654) was a Dutch painter, specialized in animals in landscapes. His most famous painting is The Bull (ca. 1647).


Paulus Potter was baptised on November 20, 1625 in Enkhuizen in the Dutch Republic.

Potter studied painting with his father Pieter Potter in Enkhuizen. His father was for some time a manufacturer of gilded leather hangings in Amsterdam, but stopped after a few years. Paulus lived at that time in The Hague where he met his wife. He was introduced by her in the Dutch elite. After disagreements with fellow painters and Amalia of Solms-Braunfels, a member of the stadholder's family, he left for Amsterdam. Potter was invited by Nicolaes Tulp, who was impressed by his civilized behavior and politeness. Potter painted his son Dirck Tulp.

In a short time he succeeded in producing about a hundred paintings, working continuously.

Potter died in 1654, 28 years old, of tuberculosis. He was buried on January 17, 1654 in Amsterdam.

The Bull

His most famous painting is The Bull (circa 1647), that is now in Mauritshuis in The Hague. The bull is composed from drawings he made in nature: the front and rear are in a different angle, than the middle part. During the 19th century Romanticism, it was a highly appreciated painting.

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