Animals in Art

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Animals in ArtAnimals have been a subject for artists since men first began to paint. The first known examples date back at least 17000 years.We tend to imagine the early…
Animals in ArtAnimals have been a subject for artists since men first began to paint. The first known examples date back at least 17000 years.
  • We tend to imagine the early artists as solitary figures, scratching away at a rock surface, but that is not how it was. The artist would have been the head of a dedicated team.
  • Each of his assistants would have had his own task - mixing the various paint materials, taking care of the brush tools or holding up a torch for the artist.
  • Cave water, vegetable and animal oils were used as binders. Primitive crayons have been found. Paint was applied with brush tools or was sprayed on with blow pipes. Colours used were red, red ochre, black, white, yellow and brown.
  • The end of the ice age made agriculture possible, which in turn made it possible for complex cultures to flourish. One of the earliest and most enigmatic was the Ancient Egyptian civilization.
  • The Ancient Egyptians adored cats - worshipped them in fact.
  • These two frescoes are from the Palace of Knossos, in Crete. For a long time Crete was the centre of the Minoan civilization.
  • The right-hand panel features Dionysos, son of Zeus, sitting on a panther.
  • By 200 BC Rome was becoming the dominant force around the Mediterranean. Although they were great soldiers and engineers, the Romans were not so well-known for their artistic abilities. They borrowed many of their ideas from the Greeks. We know they could be very cruel to animals (and people), but these three charming pictures of birds, uncovered at Pompeii, show a different side of the Roman character These two paintings are both from the 14th century. The little figure on the left is from the Luttrell Psalter, a book named for Sir Geoffrey Luttrell, a wealthy landowner from Lincolnshire. It is full of delightful illustrations. This one shows a dog jumping through a hoop.This vivid illustration (right) is from an 'enluminure' called The Book of Hunting. It shows a group of French veterinarians caring for some hunting dogs. The book was commissioned by Gaston Phebus, Count de Foix of France. It's a kind of teaching book for the Count's huntsmen. The translation I saw describes the Count as a 'scientist out of weapons, love, and more than anything else, a large hunter'. Not a man to trifle with.left) 'A Young Hare' by Albrecht Durer, one of the best of the Northern Renaissance artists. Painted in 1502, this is a careful, almost scientific study in watercolour and gouache. Durer rejected the medieval view of the artist as a craftsman. He was fully aware of his value as one of the new breed - a Renaissance artist. Durer was influenced by Leonardo da Vinci and was impressed by his use of mathematics in his art.(right) Here is an example of Leonardo's careful study of the anatomy of a horse. Not only did Leonardo set new standards for artists, but he pioneered the modern approach to science, with his accurate studies of nature, and his enquiring mind.He was also fond of animals, and used to buy caged birds in order to set them free. He once said, "The time will come when men will look on the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men".left) Rembrandt was born in Leiden in Holland in 1606. He is one of the very greatest painters in Western art. He had a profound understanding of human nature coupled with a brilliant technique. He did many drawings of animals, and there is a completely free and natural quality to them, as with this sketch of a lion.(right)Fabritius was Rembrandt's best pupil. He is regarded as the link between Rembrandt and Vermeer. 'The Goldfinch' is his most popular painting. It has a surprisingly modern feel to it.(left) George Stubbs was born in Liverpool in 1724. He specialised in painting horses. Like Leonardo da Vinci, he made a careful study of the anatomy of horses. His skill brought him success, and he painted many portraits for his aristocratic patrons, like this one called 'Mambrino'.(right) Edwin Landseer (1802 - 73) was another successful English painter. His work tended to be sentimental and mawkish, which chimed well with the Victorian age in which he lived. 'The Monarch of the Glen' is probably his best known, and also least sentimental of his Scottish Highland paintings.(left) 'Little Yellow Horses' was painted by Franz Marc, a German Expressionist. Marc believed in the spirituality of animals, and often used them in his paintings. He was killed at Verdun in 1916.(right) Picasso's art went through many changes in his long career, but he was always a figurative painter. Whether he painted a Spanish bull, the horses of 'Guernica', or this cockeral, his work always had spirit, or as he might say, 'duende'.Tracey Emin 2007
  • Modern Day
  • She calls it her ‘self portrait’!
  • Aboriginal Art & Animals
  • Aborigines use art as a way to communicate.
  • They use art as a way to tell stories, known as "dreamings."  Dreamings are the aboriginal folk tales and myths that teach why things happen the way they do.
  • JOURNEY OF THE CREATOR ANCESTORS The Dreaming tells of the journeys and deeds of creator ancestors. The creator ancestors made the trees, rocks, waterholes, rivers, mountains and stars, as well as the animals and plants, and their spirits inhabit these features of the natural world today. Good and bad behaviours are demonstrated in Dreaming stories as ancestors hunt, marry, care for children and defend themselves from their enemies.
  • THE INDIVIDUAL'S LINK WITH THE DREAMING For Aboriginal people who follow traditional beliefs, the Dreaming is intensely personal. Each person is linked to it by his or her individual Dreaming (or totem), this belief involves the idea that the creator ancestors who were physically alive in the natural features of the landscape in which they once moved.
  • Aboriginal Animal Dreams & Symbols *Alligator - Dangerous emotions
  •     * Ants- Dissatisfaction
  •     * Bees- hard work and organization
  •     * Butterfly - spiritual or emotional metamorphosis
  •     * Camel - endurance/financial gain
  •     * Dinosaurs - refers to the past
  •     * Donkey- humility/honour
  •     * Dragonfly- good news
  •     * Eagle- prosperity
  •     * Elephant- knowledge/ power/ strength
  •     * Horse- Power
  •     * Mice- disappointment
  •     * Tiger- power and beauty
  • Aboriginal art is often made up of dots
  • Using dots is known as pointillism
  • Tasks
  • 1) Complete Work Sheet 1
  • 2) Sketch some animals in pencil
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