Wildlife & Fauna

10 Famous Paintings of Wild Animals

The world of art is wide and varied. Imagination, emotion, creativity and innovation meld together to open us to unlimited possibilities. With nothing but a canvas and some acrylic paint we can make an abstract masterpiece. With a pallet of oil paint we can create the next great landscape. With a couple of charcoal pencils and a sketchpad we can capture the entire world with our fingertips.

There is no denying that these ten works are beautiful expressions of the natural world and the wild creatures within it.

  1. George Stubbs – A Horse Frightened by a Lion (1770) – British painter George Stubbs is well known for his pieces depicting horses in different settings. In this particular work we see a strange combination of two worlds that could represent the domination of the English Empire, and the fight of locals to stamp out those invaders.
  2. Diego Velázquez – Head of a Stag (1634) – You can really see the style of this time period in this painting. The rougher brushstrokes give it a rustic quality that wouldn’t be found in paintings coming just a couple hundred years later.
  3. Edwin Landseer – The Monarch of the Glen (1851) – Here we witness the change in method, and how the strokes of the brush became more fluid. The style is more polished, the colors more vivid. It brings to mind thoughts of manor houses and fancy galleries.
  4. John Banovich – Master Of The Herd (2016) – Not all paintings of this type are old. John Banovich is a well known modern artist who depicts wild animals in loving detail. Just look at the movement expressed in this piece.
  5. Franz Marc – The World Cow (1913) – Impressionist Franz Marc loved his animal paintings. His bright colors were a great juxtaposition to other German painters at the time.
  6. Winslow Homer – Fox Hunt (1893) – Fox hunting has a rich tradition in Europe. Homer chose to show the plight of the prey rather than the more common choice of showing the predator hounds. Perhaps he felt for the fox?
  7. Tobias Stranover – Peacock, Hen and Cock Pheasant in a Landscape (1684) – For the time period Tobias Stranover was ahead of his time. He followed by the smoother style of painting over the more blunt method that was popular at the time.
  8. Ivan Shishkin – Morning in the Pine-tree Forest (1889) – This work is as much a detailed landscape as it is a look into the innocent nature of one of the world’s most deadly animals.
  9. Peter Paul Rubens – Lion Hunt (1621) – The most brutal painting on this list, Peter Paul Rubens’ painting Lion Hunt shows the struggle of man to dominate the wild world of beasts.
  10. Alexandre Gabriel Decamps – The Monkey Painter (1833) – This is perhaps the most playful of Decamps’ works, and you have to wonder if it might have been a tongue in cheek look at himself.