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The Master Pulls the Cow Out of the Ditch by its Tail

A work made of etching on cream laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of etching on cream laid paper.

Date:

1652

Artist:

Jacob Jordaens
Flemish, 1593-1678

About this artwork

The title and subject of this etching come from a proverb in the Dutch poet and humorist Jacob Cats’s 1632 Mirror of Old and New Times. The proverb explains that it is necessary for a person to take responsibility for his or her own affairs. Jacob Jordaens depicted the proverb literally, showing a cow that has fallen into a ditch and must be pulled out by its master. The crowd of onlookers does not help the man, for it is his duty to take care of his animal. The theme of this etching exemplifies the moralizing nature of many Dutch works of the period, and the composition recalls a tapestry by Jordaens in his Proverbs cycle.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Jacob Jordaens

Title

The Master Pulls the Cow Out of the Ditch by its Tail

Origin

Flanders

Date

Made 1652

Medium

Etching on cream laid paper

Dimensions

225 × 314 mm (plate); 207 × 303 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

Elizabeth Gott Templeton Endowment

Reference Number

1990.500

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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