The Cowgirl

Maurice Denis (French, 1870-1943)

Currently on View in H208
Image Licensing

In this small image, Denis created a clever layering of the girl, spotted cow, golden wheat field, waves, and distant shore. Typical of the Pont-Aven style, their rolling lines and rounded shapes assume decorative patterns. Taking liberties with color, Denis rendered the girl's coiffe in pink rather than white.

Denis was also a theoretician of painting, and this canvas embodies his most famous observation: Remember that a painting, before being a battle horse, a nude woman, or some anecdote - is essentially a flat surface covered with colors assembled in a certain order.

(Galerie La Cave, Paris); purchased by Samuel Josefowitz, Pully-Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1979-80; acquired as a partial gift, partial purchase, by the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1998 (1998.176).

Object Information

Maurice Denis (French, 1870-1943)
creation date
about 1893
oil on canvas
7-7/8 x 11 in. (canvas)
13-5/8 x 16-5/16 x 2 in. (framed)
mark descriptions
Signed with monogram l. r.: MAVD
accession number
credit line
Samuel Josefowitz Collection of the School of Pont-Aven, through the generosity of Lilly Endowment Inc., the Josefowitz Family, Mr. and Mrs. James M. Cornelius, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard J. Betley, Lori and Dan Efroymson, and other Friends of the Museum
© Maurice Denis/Artists Rights Society (ARS)
European Painting and Sculpture 1800-1945

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