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Beautiful Cow

Many years ago my sister gave me and wonderful book called “Beautiful Sheep“.There were others in the “Beautiful” series, pigs and cows I believe, but this is the only one I had.


In it was a series of photographs of coiffured pedigree sheep photographed in studio settings. I spent a long time looking at these photos. What I particularly liked was the way the dark backgrounds made you really look at the sheep. Away from their usual settings of fields and farmyards, it brought out the natural gravitas and dignity of these animals.

I was inspired to revisit the subject of cows after researching and writing about the History of Cows in Art in the Ancient World and I decided to use this sort of approach, changing the background to look like a studio setting, to give the painting more of  Renaissance feel.

This is my first “Renaissance” cow. The title “The sitting” refers simply to the action of the cow as well as implying that she is sitting as my model.

The Sitting, an oil painting of a black and white cow
The Sitting

I am working on a companion piece called “Sitting Bull” which I will post very soon.