The Cowgirl
The Cowgirl
The Cowgirl

The Cowgirl

Maurice Denis (French, 1870-1943)

Currently on View in H208
Image Licensing

  • Denis built this composition by a clever layering of receding forms: from the girl, her spotted cow, and the wheat field, to the waves and distant shore. Typical of the Pont-Aven style, their rolling lines assume decorative, curving patterns. Taking liberties with color, Denis rendered the girl’s cap in pink rather than the traditional white.
  • Denis was also a theoretician of painting, and this small 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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