Woman from Laren with lamb

Anton Mauve1885


The Hague, Netherlands

In a letter to his wife written in 1882 Mauve gave his first impression of the Gooi: ‘A beautiful area, splendid heath; there are sheep here as well, magnificent thatched roofs and some very intimate spots.’

This painting shows just such an intimate spot near a farmhouse. The strong colour contrasts between the Laren costume, the kid and the background of bright green grass show how far Mauve’s work had moved away from the grey palette. A sense of good-natured everyday contact between people and animals is to be found in the work of most of the Hague School painters. Mauve however, avoided any such emphasis and reduced any anecdotal elements to a bare minimum: the expression of the peasant woman in this picture gives little away. Max Liebermann, who first met Mauve in 1884, drew inspiration from Laren works such as this, but it is striking how his Woman with kids of 1891, for example, is dynamic and filled with movement, whereas Mauve preferred to depict the serenity of this simple wordless action.

Source: R. de Leeuw, J. Sillevis, Ch. Dumas (eds.), The Hague School: Dutch masters of the 19th century, The Hague 1983


  • Title: Woman from Laren with lamb
  • Creator: Anton Mauve
  • Creator Lifespan: 18 September 1838 - 5 February 1888
  • Creator Nationality: Dutch
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Arnhem, The Netherlands
  • Creator Birth Place: Zaandam, The Netherlands
  • Date Created: 1885
  • Physical Dimensions: w750 x h500 cm
  • Alternate Title: Larens vrouwtje met lam
  • Type: paintings
  • Rights: Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, purchased with the support of Vereniging Rembrandt, 1964
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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