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BOGMAN Hermanus Charles Christiaan Figurative Painting - “COWS IN THE DUNES”
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BOGMAN Hermanus Charles Christiaan
“COWS IN THE DUNES”

1897

About

What at first glance seems to be nothing more than a romantic landscape, recounts so much more. The agricultural-historical significance of paintings featuring cows is not to be underestimated. The size of the predominantly preferred cattle breed has drastically changed quite a few times over the last couple of hundred years, going from huge to small and back again. Bogman revisited the subject of the small diary-cow herd a couple of times, but always stayed as true to his local scene as possible. However, this painting is most recommendable, influenced by the impressionist brushstroke of the time and unflawed by faux charm or romanticism which oozes from his more classically influenced compositions. Whilst it is certainly gratifying to indulge in the fairy-tale nostalgia of a picturesquely painted farmhouse, the honesty of this particular composition is what sets it apart. Times were hard for small-time farmers. Notice how the cows are skinny, without much meat or fat on their bones, their hips clearly portruding. Mind you, this is not at all because of the nutritionally poor grazing in the Dutch dunes or the harsh times. Back then, meat was considered a luxury and without means of refrigeration the farmer would have been forced to sell the bulk of the meat anyway. It therefore made sense to opt for daily dairy and thus for the breed that would yield the highest quantity of milk. A cow's energy is limited, so the more milk it produces, the less it can spend on producing meat. As a consequence, dairy cattle was inherently slender. One could therefore argue that this is Bogman's truest and purest impressionistic work. He took his easle to the prairy and painted the cows as he saw them, true to the movement's graphic style in which he brought the landscape to life. Unfortunately, little is known of the life of Hermanus Charles Christiaan Bogman (1861-1921). He was born in The Hague but moved to the nearby village of Loosduinen in1899. His catalogue raisonné leads one to believe he mostly stayed close to home, finding all the inspiration he needed in his heimat. Looking at his work, one can hardly fault him for doing so. He also passed his knowledge on to his son who became a gifted aquarelle painter. Museum: Enschede Literature: E. Bénézit, “Dictionary of Artists”, Paris 2006, Vol. 2, p. 719. P. Scheen, "Lexicon Nederlandse beeldende kunstenaars; 1750-1880", The Hague 1981, p. 54.

Details

  • Artist
    BOGMAN Hermanus Charles Christiaan (1861 - 1921, Dutch)
  • Creation Year
    1897
  • Period
  • Dimensions
    H 23.63 in. x W 27.56 in.H 60 cm x W 70 cm
  • Gallery Location
    Ghent, BE
  • Reference Number
    LU131625640222
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Located in Ghent, BE
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