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Animals in Art


Picasso Bull

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

  • Throughout history artists have always created drawings and paintings of animals.
  • Stone Age men decorated their caves with the images of the animals that they hunted for food.
  • The Ancient Egyptian artists depicted many of their gods with the heads of animals.
  • Examples of tribal art from every continent combine animal and human features to symbolise man's bond with his natural environment.
  • In the Middle Ages, artists used mythical beasts to decorate medieval manuscripts while commonplace creatures often took on secret symbolic associations.
  • In the 17th century art, hunting scenes illustrating dramatic life and death struggles between man and beast, became a popular subject.
  • 18th century artists chose to celebrate the natural beauty and majestic power of animals in their natural habitats.
  • In the 19th century, Victorian artists painted sentimental pictures of their domestic pets and livestock.
  • The artists of the 20th century explored the entire range of animal genres and invented a few more of their own.