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The Winter Art Show

June 2024
1min read

The artist who painted this canvas in 1860 made sure that none of its import would be lost to history. Written along the lower margin are not only the cow’s prodigious measurements— “Forequarter 727½.… Height 6 feet, length from Ear to Boot of tail 10 feet 10 inches…”— and her present whereabouts— “At the Franklin Market, Philadelphia”—but also the agency of her immortality: “painted correctly before slaughtering by the celebrated artist Alexander Boudrou.” Although Boudrou’s renown, if it indeed existed at all, was strictly local, his strenuous self-confidence was not entirely misplaced. The only two other paintings known to be by his hand both now reside in the celebrated Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Collection in Williamsburg, Virginia.

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