Lavinia was owned by Sir Henry Carr Ibbotson of Denton Park, Otley, West Yorkshire, who was a noted stockbreeder during the early 19th century. She was a Craven Cow, a Yorkshire breed which is now extinct, but which was noted for the quality of their milk.
The depiction of Lavinia is quite stylised, with her small head and long straight back exaggerated by the artist to show her as a perfect specimen. She was a particularly famous cow, and the painting might almost be seen as a publicity painting commissioned by her owner.
The artist George Bailey lived in Bawtry near Doncaster. He was listed in a trade gazette of the time as being a ‘house, animal and sign painter’, although whether that means that he was a painter and decorator or an artist who painted pictures of houses is not quite clear.
Where to see this painting?
Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery
Not all paintings are on display. If you want to see a particular painting, please contact the collection