Paulus Potter painted by Bartholomeus van der Helst
|Birth name||Paulus Potter|
November 20, 1625 (baptised)|
|Died||January 17, 1654
|Training||Pieter Symonsz Potter|
Paulus Potter (November 20, 1625 (baptised) – January 17, 1654 (buried)) was a Dutch painter, specialized in animals in landscapes, usually with a low point of view. Before Potter died of tuberculosis, 28-years old, he succeeded in producing about a hundred paintings, working continuously.
Few details are known of Potter's life. He was born in Enkhuizen. In 1628 his family moved to Leiden, and in 1631 to Amsterdam, where young Paulus studied painting with his father, Pieter Symonsz Potter. After his mother died, his father started an affair with the wife of Pieter Codde, also living in the fancy Sint Antoniesbreestraat. For some time his father was a manufacturer of gilded leather hangings outside the city walls.
Potter became a member of the Guild of Saint Luke in Delft, but by 1649, Paulus moved to The Hague, next to Jan van Goyen. Potter married in the Hague and his father-in-law, who was the leading building contractor in the Hague, introduced him to the Dutch elite. Amalia of Solms-Braunfels, a member of the stadholder's family and an art-lover, bought a painting with a pissing cow, but some court ladies seemed to have advised against it. By May 1652, after a case about delivering a new painting, he returned to Amsterdam. Potter was invited by Nicolaes Tulp, who was impressed by his civilized behavior and politeness. Potter painted his son Dirck Tulp, but only changed the face on an earlier work he was not able to sell. Potter died in Amsterdam.
Paulus painted a self portrait which was at Hackwood Park, Hampshire until 1998, it is now at Elibank House, Buckinghamshire.
The Young Bull 
His most famous painting not to be confused with his work "The Bull" is The Young Bull (circa 1647), that is now in Mauritshuis in The Hague, composed after drawings Potter made in nature. Though this painting was criticized, it was greatly admired during the 19th century as an early example of Romanticism. The Young Bull features as the canvas being studied in Mark Tansey's 1981 monochromatic oil on canvas The Innocent Eye Test.
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Paulus Potter by Paulus Potter Self Portrait contact Elibank House, Buckinghamshire
- Artcyclopedia; Paulus Potter
- Works and literature at PubHist
- Vermeer and The Delft School, an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF), which contains material on Paulus Potter
- Dutch and Flemish paintings from the Hermitage, an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF), which contains material on Paulus Potter (cat. no. 21)