Trivium Art HistoryThemes in Art

AnimalsArt history is just like the internet—full of cat pictures

From gazelles on Neolithic cave walls to Rosa Bonheur's stallions, animals have always been found in art, representing our own ferocity or reminding us of a more instinctual life.

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Boy Singeing a Bat's Wings

Trophime Bigot, 1650

Bird Returning to its Nest

Georges Braque, 1956

Wing of a Roller

Albrecht Dürer, 1500

The Little Owl

Albrecht Dürer, 1506

Designs for the stage wings of ‘Le Coq d'Or’

Natalia Goncharova, 1914

Rank Badge with Silver Pheasant


Rocky Coast and Gulls

Winslow Homer, 1869

Autumn Landscape with a Flock of Turkeys

Jean-François Millet, 1872-1873

Still Life with Sparrow Hawk, Fowl, Porcelain and Shells

Clara Peeters, 1611

Arctic Tern

John James Audubon, 1827-1838

American Flamingo

John James Audubon, 1827-1838

Bonapartian Gull

John James Audubon, 1827-1838

Iceland, or Jer Falcon

John James Audubon, 1827-1838

Long-tailed, or Dusky Grous

John James Audubon, 1827-1838


John James Audubon, 1827-1838

Snowy Owl

John James Audubon, 1827-1838

Summer Red Bird

John James Audubon, 1827-1838

Warbling Flycatcher

John James Audubon, 1827-1838

Bird Wandering Off

Paul Klee, 1926

The Bird Men of Burnley

Leonora Carrington, 1970

The Giantess

Leonora Carrington, 1947

Bird Bath

Leonora Carrington, 1974

Wheatfield with Crows

Vincent Van Gogh, 1890

Girl with Parrot

Pierre Bonnard, 1910

Bird-Leg Table

Méret Oppenheim, 1973


Vũ Cao Đàm, 1953

Horus Falcon

250 BCE


Baya Mahieddine, 1987

Overworked Woman

Bodo, 2005


Edward Saidi Tingatinga, 1968-1971

White birds sitting in the tree

Edward Saidi Tingatinga, 1970

Boy with a Crow

Akseli Gallen-Kallela, 1884

Migrating Birds

Norman Lewis, 1953

The Tree and a Bird

Chang Ucchin, 1957


Chang Ucchin, 1987

The Rooster

Ivan Večenaj, 1972

Zatúlaná Sliepočka, Stray Chicken

Mária Medvecká, 1983

Bull Head from Girsu (Telloh)

3000 BCE

Bronze Statuette of a Bull

500 BCE

A White Bull

Lee Jung-seob, 1953-1954


Odilon Redon, 1910

Metamorphosis of a Caterpillar to a Butterfly

Maria Sibylla Merian, 1679

Branch of West Indian Cherry with Achilles Morpho Butterfly

Maria Sibylla Merian, 1702-1703


Leonora Carrington, 1968

Still Life with Pears and a Butterfly

Giovanna Garzoni, 1640

Portrait of Pierre Loti

Henri Rousseau, 1891

Fighting Cats

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, 1786-1788

Man with the Cat — Portrait of Henry Sturgis Drinker

Cecilia Beaux, 1898

Sita and Sarita

Cecilia Beaux, 1921

A Boy and a Girl with a Cat and an Eel

Judith Leyster, 1635

Boy with a cat, red hat and a piece of bread

Judith Leyster, 1630

La Baronne Emile D'Erlanger

Romaine Brooks, 1924

The Okazaki Cat Demon

Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1850


Gwendolen Mary John, 1904-1908

Cat and Plum Blossoms, 猫梅

Hishida Shunsō, 1906

Black Cat, 黒き猫

Hishida Shunsō, 1910

Victoria and The Cat

Alice Neel, 1981

Shadow Cat

Richard Hambleton, 1999

Ubu The Magical Cat

Leonor Fini, 1979

Wivenhoe Park, Essex

John Constable, 1816

Moschophoros (calf-bearer)

560 BCE

Cows in a Group of Oak Trees, Apremont

Théodore Rousseau, 1850

Shepherd is Moving the Cattle to a Good Place for Grasing

John Ndevasia Muafangejo, 1980

Hunters in the Snow

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1565

Bonjour Monsieur Courbet

Gustave Courbet, 1854

After the Hunt

Gustave Courbet, 1859

Marie Laurencin, Cecilia de Madrazo and the Dog Coco

Marie Laurencin, 1915

The Reader

Marie Laurencin, 1913

Adonis Relinquishing Venus for the Hunt

Titian, 1460

Arnolfini Portrait

Jan Van Eyck, 1434

Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash

Giacomo Balla, 1912

Portrait of a Lady with a Dog

Lavinia Fontana, 1600

Camelid Sacrum in the Shape of a Canine

14000 BCE-7000 BCE

On the Plains

Zlatyu Boyadzhiev, 1942

Landscape of the Sleeper

Grégoire Michonze, 1929

The Boar Hunt

Frans Snyders, 1650

Dolphin Fresco Knossos

1545 BCE

Landscape in Montmorency — Sketch

Camille Pissarro, 1859

The Poet Reclining

Marc Chagall, 1915

Saint George and the Dragon

Raphael Sanzio, 1506

Saint George and the Dragon

Peter Paul Rubens, 1605-1607

Saint George and the Dragon

Gustave Moreau, 1889-1890

Tamatori escaping from the Dragon King

Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1853

Recovering a Jewel from the Palace of the Dragon King

Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1853


Richard Teschner, 1928

Sultan Ibrahim Adil Shah II Riding His Prized Elephant Atash Khan

Farrukh Beg, 1600

Akbar's Triumphal Entry into Surat Akbarnama

Farrukh Beg, 1590-1595

The Royal Tiger Bacchanale

Maurice Denis, 1920

The Sacred Elephant (Péri)

Gustave Moreau, 1882

Portrait of the Elephant 'Alam Guman

Bichitr, 1640

Capture of a Wild Elephant

The Family of Nainsukh, 1775-1780


Man Ray, 1938

The Trout

Gustave Courbet, 1871

Fishing by Torchlight in Kai Province

Katsushika Hokusai, 1833

Still Life with Fish, Candle, Artichokes, Crabs and Shrimp

Clara Peeters, 1611

Still Life of Fish and Cat

Clara Peeters, 1620

The Frightful Musicians

James Ensor, 1891

The Fish

Baya Mahieddine, 1976


Tilsa Tsuchiya, 1971

Still Life with Fish

Abdul Halim Radwi, 1975

A Boat and a Fish

Chang Ucchin, 1960

Boys, Fish, and Crab

Lee Jung-seob, 1950

The Divine Horses

Giorgio de Chirico, 1963

The divine horses of Achilles, Balios and Xanthos

Giorgio de Chirico, 1963


Giorgio de Chirico, 1930

Le Rive Della Tessaglia

Giorgio de Chirico, 1926

Cavalli in Riva al Mare

Giorgio de Chirico, 1934


William Blake, 1795

Joys of Life

Wenzel Hablik, 1904-1907

Sultan Ibrahim Adil Shah II Khan Hunting with a Hawk

Farrukh Beg, 1590-1595

The Circus

Georges Seurat, 1890-1891

In the Vanilla Grove, Man and Horse

Paul Gauguin, 1891

The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus

Peter Paul Rubens, 1618

The Fall of Phaeton

Peter Paul Rubens, 1604-1605

The Horse Fair

Rosa Bonheur, 1852-1855

Col. William 'Buffalo Bill' Cody

Rosa Bonheur, 1889

The Qianlong Emperor in Ceremonial Armour

Giuseppe Castiglione, 郎世寧, 1758

One Hundred Horses

Giuseppe Castiglione, 郎世寧, 1728

One Hundred Horses — Detail 1

Giuseppe Castiglione, 郎世寧, 1728

One Hundred Horses — Detail 2

Giuseppe Castiglione, 郎世寧, 1728

One Hundred Horses — Detail 3

Giuseppe Castiglione, 郎世寧, 1728

One Hundred Horses — Detail 4

Giuseppe Castiglione, 郎世寧, 1728

One Hundred Horses — Detail 5

Giuseppe Castiglione, 郎世寧, 1728

The Jockey

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1899

The Bridle Path, White Mountains

Winslow Homer, 1868

Debris of an Automobile Giving Birth to a Blind Horse Biting a Telephone

Salvador Dalí, 1938

Arab Horses Fighting in a Stable

Eugène Delacroix, 1860

Composition: Horse and Figures

Arshile Gorky, 1928

The Wounded Cuirassier

Théodore Géricault, 1814

City With Animals

Max Ernst, 1919

Black Horse

Vũ Cao Đàm, 1962


Vũ Cao Đàm, 1972

Bathing Horses

Zhao Mengfu, 1300


Richard Hambleton, 1984

December Horse and Rider

Richard Hambleton, 2014

Harness Trapping in the Shape of a Horse

900 BCE

Bronze Basin

700 BCE

Iron Age Celtic Coin

20 BCE

Le Muillard

Élisabeth Chaplin, 1920

Protome Carafa

Donatello, 1456-1465

Horse head Medici Riccardi

325 BCE

An Officer of the Imperial Horse Guards Charging

Théodore Géricault, 1812

The Epsom Derby

Théodore Géricault, 1837

A Blacksmith's Shop

Joseph Wright of Derby, 1771

The Horse in Motion

Eadweard Muybridge, 1878

Horse and Boy

Mersad Berber, 2000

Still Life with Flowers and a Cricket

Rachel Ruysch, 1700

A Nosegay of Roses, Marigolds, Larkspur and a Bumblebee

Rachel Ruysch, 1695

Art Forms in Nature, Plate 58: Tineida

Ernst Haeckel, 1904

Floral Wreath with Insects

Maria Sibylla Merian, 1700

Citron with Monkey Slug Moth and Harlequin Beetle

Maria Sibylla Merian, 1702-1703

Branch of Genipapo with Long-Horned Beetle

Maria Sibylla Merian, 1702-1703

Tropical White Morning Glory with two beetles

Maria Sibylla Merian, 1702-1703

The Sleeping Gypsy

Henri Rousseau, 1897

Sufis in a Landscape

Farrukh Beg, 1601-1604

Daniel in the Lions' Den

Peter Paul Rubens, 1614-1616

Sketch for The Lion Hunt

Peter Paul Rubens, 1614-1615

Lion Drinking

Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1897

Vogelherd Ivory Lion Figurine

40000 BCE

The King Watches

Rosa Bonheur, 1887

The Hungry Lion throws itself on the Antelope

Henri Rousseau, 1905

Lion of Mari

2000 BCE

Bicha of Balazote

500 BCE

Pyxis and Lid with Sphinx-Shaped Handle

650 BCE

Gold Pectoral

675 BCE

Ashoka Pillar

268 BCE

Iron Axe Head

900 BCE

The Lion of Saint Mark

Martin Schongauer, 1490

Elephant is Killing a Lion in Funny Way in 1975

John Ndevasia Muafangejo, 1975


John Ndevasia Muafangejo, 1969

Black Tegu Lizard

Maria Sibylla Merian, 1700


El Greco, 1600

Fulang-Chang and I

Frida Kahlo, 1937-1939

Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird

Frida Kahlo, 1940

Baboon and Young

Pablo Picasso, 1951

The Dream

Henri Rousseau, 1910


Tarsila do Amaral, 1929

Peacock Spreading Its Tail Feathers

Giuseppe Castiglione, 郎世寧, 1758

The Peacock Room

James McNeill Whistler, 1877

Woman and Peacock

Baya Mahieddine, 1973

Young Hare

Albrecht Dürer, 1502

Banana Plantation

John Dunkley, 1945

Nevermore (O Taiti)

Paul Gauguin, 1897

Head of Medusa

Peter Paul Rubens, 1617-1618

Moses and the Brazen Serpent

Anthony van Dyck, 1530

Serpent of Wisdom

Nicholas Roerich, 1924


Giampietrino, 1524-1526

Laocoön and His Sons

200 BCE

Heron Encircled by a Snake

Maria Sibylla Merian, 1700

Birthday Bouquet (Flowers With Snake)

Florine Stettheimer, 1932

The angel with the serpent

Evelyn De Morgan, 1870-1875

Minoan Snake Goddess or Priestess

1700 BCE-1450 BCE

Urutu Viper

Tarsila do Amaral, 1928


Edward Saidi Tingatinga, 1969-1972


Tilsa Tsuchiya, 1974

The Snake Charmer

Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1879

Children's Dreaming

Kaapa Tjampitjinpa, 1972

The Tiger Hunt

Peter Paul Rubens, 1615-1616

Peaceable Kingdom

Edward Hicks, 1830-1832

Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second before Waking

Salvador Dalí, 1944

The Wolf and Fox Hunt

Peter Paul Rubens, 1616

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