The Good Cowherd has clear references to rural life in South Africa, where the herding of animals is a common pastime for young boys. Schönfeldt has frequently used cows in his sculptures and he has suggested that the reason for this is that the cow has an important place in many cultures, including in South Africa.
It represents stability, fertility, peace and accessibility. In this work, the predator stands atop the cow, whose two heads echo similar images in Indian and Assyrian mythologies, but in this case the cow suggests the idea of the origins of humanity on African soil.
Artwork courtesy of Wits Art Museum.
The Good Cowherd
Bluegum, enamel, cattle horns, bolts
199 x 122 x 225 cm