the old goat, jan mankes, 1912

Look at this goat’s fur … doesn’t it make you want to stroke it? The painting was made by Jan Mankes who, with incredible precision, painted virtually every single hair. The thin layers of white paint lend the painting an almost translucent quality.

De oude geit, Jan Mankes, 1912

The Old Goat, Jan Mankes, 1912. Click on the image to see a larger version.

In the early 20th century the goat was often referred to as ‘the poor man’s cow’. Keeping a cow was too expensive, as it required a piece of land. All a family needed for its daily ration of milk was a goat, which could easily be put out to graze, tied to a leash on the grass alongside the road.