Collaborations between artists occurred quite often in the 19th Century and the present lot is a great example of this. The reason for artists to work on a painting together is to combine their individual technical abilities. Marinus Adrianus Koekkoek was very skilled in depicting landscapes, while Eugene Verboeckhoven excelled in animal painting.
In the present painting the influence of Koekkoek's elder brother Barend Cornelis Koekkoek (1803-1862) is clear. Marinus had been taught by him in Cleves from 1837 until 1839. Both the artistic as the topographical influence is lucid: the Rhenish widespread landscape is constructed along the guidelines of his brother's tutelage. The path forms a diagonal line, which allowed Koekkoek to show a large part of the extensive valley below. His palette is exquisite, particularly in the contrast between the sun and shade. The strong blue in the sky softens towards the horizon, where the sunlight is stronger and the many greens used in the grass to the left of the tree are astonishing.
Verboeckhoven contributed to the present lot by adding the staffage. His goats, cows, and sheep in the foreground are worked out with a high level of finish. The white and brown bovine reveals how accurately Verboeckhoven observed cattle in reality. Numerous sheep wander near the herdsman and are interspersed in such a way that they come to form pleasant highlights within the overall composition. Furthermore, the ducks swimming in the stream and the watering horse in the valley in the distance complement the undulating landscape wonderfully. By complementing each other faultlessly, Koekkoek and Verboeckhoven have worked together here to create a veritable tour-de-force.