Animals in Art

A Hare in the Field by August Heyn (1837 – 1920)
Girl on Red Carpet by Felice Casorati, 1912
Dabous Giraffe Petroglyph,
Rock Art in the Aïr Mountains of the Sahara, circa 8000 BCE (artist unknown)
Christmas in Australia (artist/date unknown)
Portrait of a Greyhound, Called Pompon by John Wootton, 1746
Princess with Vultures by Henry Justice Ford, 1893
Girl in Red Dress with Cat and Dog by Ammi Phillips, 1830 – 1835
Mexican Women Making Tortillas, 1800s (artist unknown)
Exomind (Deep water) by Pierre Huyghe,
2017–ongoing
Concrete cast with wax hive and live bee colony
Illustration by Laivi Põder

Animals have been a part of our cultural experience since we first used a stick to trace the outline of an animal figure in the soil or arranged rocks in the shape of an animal at the river’s edge or painted animals on the walls of caves. Animal representation in art is important as a reflection of our evolving relationship with animals. Art reveals how we value or devalue animals at the time a piece was created as well as in the time that has since elapsed. Our emotional responses to depictions of animals in art are likely to change over time as our life experience, philosophy and attitude continually transform.

Intended as a mental health break, I really enjoyed curating this random collection and will do it again in future, with themes. I hope you enjoyed the distraction and maybe were introduced to a piece you hadn’t seen yet.

Posted in art

3 thoughts on “Animals in Art

  1. I love this column, and look forward to future ones. I haven’t seen any of the pieces you showed. The giraffe petroglyphs are amazing. You might be interested in the exhibits of the Society of Feline Artists (SOFA) https://societyoffelineartists.org/. There are some very good books around too. Art, especially animal art, has been a part of my life for a very long time. I’ve enjoyed collecting paintings and figurines of cats, dogs, horses and wild animals for years. In fact, it has gotten to be a bit of a problem: no space, and I have no idea who to leave them to! Maybe on a future column you could feature artists known for their animal art, such as Landseer (who a variety of Newfoundland dogs is named after), Rosa Bonheur for her horses, Louis Wain for his cats, George Stubbs for his horses, dogs, wild life. I’d also recommend Martine Coppens (Marcats) a present day cat artist who’s work is similar to Wain’s. Have fun.

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