Feeding the Goats

by Hendrik Heyligers


DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 22.0 x 26.0 in./ 55.9 x 66.0 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed lower right
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

Catalogue No: 4728 Categories: ,

In this charming painting, Heyligers has depicted the epitome of a family rural idyll. Here, we see a mother and her children feeding the goats in a rural landscape that is filled with warm dappled sunlight. The mother is sitting upon one of the dunes offering leaves to the hungry goats, her baby cradled in her arms. One of her daughters stays warily by her side whilst her eldest daughter is seen petting the goats. In the distance, a village is glimpsed, vibrant in the sunshine.

In Feeding the Goats has created his own take on a Seventeenth- Century Dutch masterpiece, idealising country life. Heyligers was known for his depictions of farmers and rural folk, and this painting is no exception. From the subjects modest dress and ease with animals and surrounding country suggests that they are farmers. The subject matter also recalls the intimate informality of the Seventeenth-Century Dutch school, something which Heyligers became influenced by when he was under the tutelage of Fernand Cormon in Paris.


Private Collection, United States

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Hendrik Heyligers was a Dutch painter, draughtsman, and etcher born in 1877 to Dutch parents in Batavia, now part of Indonesia.


After studying at the art academy in The Hague, he went to Paris to study at the Académie des Beaux-Arts and at the atelier of Fernand Cormon who taught the rigorous methods and techniques of the Old Masters. Later on, Heyligers became a member of the Amsterdam art society Arti et Amicitiae.


Heyligers specialized in humble interiors populated by families attending to the tasks of daily life in their kitchens, the heart of the Dutch home. He invests these simple scenes with a dramatic and spiritual simplicity. Also among his subjects were portraits, farmers, and fishermen and still lifes.


For the last thirty years of his life, Heyligers taught painting at the School of Fine Arts in The Hague. He died in 1967 in Nice.


His work is included in the collection of Veluws Museum and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.


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