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Animals in Art

This lesson introduces famous drawings and paintings of animals by some of the greatest artists in the history of art.

Picasso Bull

ALBRECHT DÜRER (1471-1528)
'A Young Hare' 1502 (watercolor and gouache)

Drawing and painting animals has always been a popular subject for artists throughout history.

  • Stone Age men decorated their caves with the images of the animals that they hunted for food.

  • Ancient Egyptian artists depicted many of their gods with the heads of animals.

  • Tribal artists from every continent combined animal and human features to symbolise man's bond with his natural environment.

  • Artists In the Middle Ages used mythical beasts to decorate medieval manuscripts while commonplace creatures often took on secret symbolic associations.

  • 17th century artists painted hunting scenes that illustrated dramatic life and death struggles between man and beast.

  • 18th century artists chose to celebrate the natural beauty and majestic power of animals in their natural habitats.

  • 19th century Victorian artists painted sentimental pictures of their domestic pets and livestock.

  • Artists of the 20th century explored the entire range of animal genres and invented a few more of their own.

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