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The Shepherd

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

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  • A work made of etching on ivory laid paper.




Paulus Potter
Dutch, 1625-1654

About this artwork

Early in his career, Paulus Potter was strongly influenced by the etchings of Gerrit Claesz. Bleker (1625–1665), which featured pastoral scenes of rustic shepherds and domestic animals. Potter favored works of this nature himself, producing both prints and drawings. Here he examined the relationship between the shepherd and his sheep, showing the farmer calming his herd by playing a flute. The beasts, in return, remain near their caretaker, despite the vast countryside in which they can roam. The sheep sit contentedly in the shade while a farmer plows the land in the distance, allowing Potter to convey the intimate connection of man and animal to the land.


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Prints and Drawings


Paulus Potter


The Shepherd


Holland (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1639–1649


Etching on ivory laid paper


18.1 × 26.8 cm (7 3/16 × 10 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

Bernard F. Rogers Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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