History And Context


Arthur Dove always found his inspiration in the abundance of nature. However abstract his paintings became, each was rooted in a place, time, and memory of something real that he had experienced or seen. He sought to replicate nature’s rhythmic patterns. In Cows in Pasture, painted during Dove’s years in Geneva, New York, he accomplished this effortlessly. Dove flattens the landscape, creating a shallow picture plane and curving shapes of color; the hills in the background echo the bulbous shapes of the cows. Dove also established a rhythmic pattern by limiting the color palette to browns, greens, whites, and blacks, laying the colors in a way that unifies the entire painting. Duncan Phillips wrote about the painting in Magazine of Art in 1947: “The heavy sluggish shapes, the dull and mossy greens and browns, provide the mental picture of the animals at rest. Black and white and dun-colored, they are huddled in a pasture, their hind quarters settled comfortably into congenial turf . . . the lazy contours suggest the slow and drowsy rumination.”

More Works by Arthur G. Dove In the Collection


Coal Carrier
Arthur G. Dove
between 1929 and 1930
Flour Mill II
Arthur G. Dove
1938
Cow and Fence (Bull)
Arthur G. Dove
not dated

Water Tank
Arthur G. Dove
not dated
Route 25A
Arthur G. Dove
1941
Me and the Moon
Arthur G. Dove
not dated

The Moon was Laughing at Me
Arthur G. Dove
1937
The Train
Arthur G. Dove
1934
Study for Me and the Moon
Arthur G. Dove
between 1935 and 1938