Paintings of Animals
An amazingly wide diversity of animal world is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for artists. Just like forests, rivers, sea, oceans, flowers and mountains, animals as a part of living nature can give them new ideas.
We can find examples of animal drawing in all centuries. At the prehistoric times the animals were depicted in hunting scenes, artists of Ancient Egypt created images of gods with animal or bird heads, in the Middle Ages animals were often mentioned in numerous artworks with paradise scenes.
Depicting animals: from interior design to high art
The images of animals are popular in all areas of the art and design. It is a “safe” object for interior design, prints with animals are widely used by fashion designers. But let's talk about animals in fine art.
There are hundreds of still life or landscape artworks with animals on them. In pastoral paintings depicting idealized scenes of shepherds' everyday life, sheep and cows are painted drinking or eating, lying on the ground or even listening to the music which shepherd plays.
Sometimes animals can be painted to show the social status and wealthy of people on the painting. For example, on artworks showing life of noble people we will mostly find thoroughbred dogs or horses, parrots or other birds. Sometimes people were painted with more exotic animals — like “Lady With an Ermine” by genius da Vinci.
The development of art styles changed the way of drawing animals. An example of it can be the Cubist anti-war masterpiece “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso where we can see only parts of animals or “The Elephants” by Surrealist Salvador Dali, with strange extra long and extra thin legs, simply impossible in a real world.
Modern artists also use images of animals in their works — for example, think about “Rat Graffiti” by world-known British street art artist Banksy.
Types of animal artworks
Artworks depicting animals can be divided into several very different groups:
- by type of the animal depicted — existing or imaginary;
- by role of the subject — is the animal main or additional character;
- by style of an artwork — African, Pop Art, Contemporary etc;
- by medium — acrylic, mixed media, oil and others.
In different historical period artists were drawing different types of animal art, but nowadays we can find examples of all types.
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