17.9 cm x 26.8 cm (7 1/16 in. x 10 9/16 in.)
(Enkhuizen, 1625 - 1654, Amsterdam)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Leo Steinberg Collection, 2002
Etchings of animals were an important genre in 17th-century Holland. At their best, they convey an assurance of place and a tenderness of interaction that transcend the genre, illuminate Dutch character, and move the patient observer. By any standard, Potter’s etchings are exceptionally dignified and forthright. However prominent and appealing, the genre has attracted little subsequent interest. Steinberg delighted in it, acquiring this first state of Potter’s earliest print and the stunning impression of Van der Meer’s rare Sheep, above, among scores of examples.