We are grateful to Dr. Bart Cornelis for confirming the attribution on inspection of the original and for his assistance in cataloguing this picture. Dr. Cornelis notes that the form of signature, although uncommon, was on occasion used by Van de Velde; stylistically also the picture fits well within the artist's oeuvre of the period: one might consider, for example, that with Johnny van Haeften, 1994 (Hofstede de Groot, no. 214), or that with Hoogsteder, The Hague, 1988 (Hofstede de Groot, no. 324; see also G. Jansen, et al., mesterlijk Vee, Zwolle, 1988, no. 30), which depicts a similar shepherd playing with a dog. Dr. Cornelis also notes that the head of the white cow behind the horse is exactly the same, including the shadow of the ear, as the head of the main cow in Van de Velde's etching of three cows (Hollstein, no. 5).
In the collection of Thomas Philip, 3rd Earl de Grey, this painting is likely to have been a part of his inheritance from his mother, Amabel, Countess de Grey and Baroness Lucas (1750-1833). Lady de Grey was herself a distinguished and enthusiastic collector; in addition, she inherited through her mother, Jemima, Marchioness Grey (1722-1797), the collection of pictures largely assembled by Anthony, 11th Earl Grey (1645-1702), and his son Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Kent (1671-1740). Auberon Herbert, 8th Lord Lucas was the World War I flying ace subsequently immortalised by John Buchan in his These for Remembrance and the subject of Maurice Baring's In Memoriam A.H..