The prototype, signed and dated 1647, oil on canvas, 235.5 x 339 cm, is in the Mauritshuis, The Hague (A. Walsh, E. Buijsen & B. Broos, Paulus Potter, exhibition catalogue, Mauritshuis The Hague, 8 November 1994 - 5 February 1995, p.74, no.8, ill.).
Painted when the artist was only 21, the Bull has become one of the most famous paintings of the Dutch Golden Age, praised for its detailed rendering of the animals and of the landscape and for its powerful realism. As pointed out by E. Buijsen, loc. cit., the Bull attracted international attention when it was placed in the Louvre in 1795; this admiration remained unabated until the middle of nineteenth Century. Only in the twentieth Century did it regain its well-deserved place as one of the masterpieces of the Golden Age.