Sheep by Anton Mauve

If you’ve heard of the artist Anton Mauve it’s possibly as I did, as someone who gave Vincent van Gogh painting lessons rather than for his own art. Mauve was also a cousin by marriage, which makes me wonder how much he was ‘persuaded’ by the family into doing so. He gets many mentions in Van Gogh’s letters even though their parting was acrimonious (read: letter to Theo, May 1882).

I came across this page of sheep studies by Mauve while browsing the collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art. (Yes, I really do put “sheep” into the image search on museum websites!)

Anton Mauve sheep studies
Studies of Sheep, second half 1800s. Anton Mauve (Dutch, 1838-1888). Black and white chalk, with red chalk; sheet: 32.5 x 45.5 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art

Click on the photo to see the full-size image, and look for the touches of red, on noses, in ears, around eyes. I particularly like the sense of light catching through the use of white.

It’s also reminded me to paint some pages in my sketchbook a mid-tone, rather than always working from light (white paper).

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