Do You Know Who Painted These Famous Animal Artworks?

Some artists have a gift for painting wildlife but can you recognize their work?

By Google Arts & Culture

The Dream (1912) by Franz MarcMuseo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza

From fruit bowls to fantasy, painters have been inspired by many things. But some themes seem timeless, one of which is the natural world. From cave paintings to Egyptian statues, animals have featured heavily in art, and some artists have taken animals as their speciality.

Can you name the following animal painters from the clues and visual prompts?   

The Hungry Lion Attacking An Antelope (1898-1905) by Henri RousseauFondation Beyeler

Artist 1

A French post-impressionist painter, this artist only committed to art full time later in life. Known as La Douanier, or 'The customs officer', due to his previous career as a tax collector, his Naïve or Primitive works, often featured brightly colored animals.    

Self-taught and ridiculed by critics during his lifetime, the sheer artistic quality of his work shone through and would extend a huge influence on other avant-garde artists over the next 100 years. Famous works include Tiger in a Tropical Storm andThe Dream. Who is he?

Henri Rousseau

1844 - 1910

Horse Devoured by a Lion (1763) by George StubbsTate Britain

Artist 2

This painter was born in Liverpool and spent his youth painting portraits and studying anatomy. He became known for his incredibly accurate paintings of horses, many of which have been found to be remarkably anatomically correct.

He was self-taught and learned his skills away from the other artists of the day, which may have been the reason for his exclusion from full membership of the Royal Academy. His famous works include Whistlejacket and the Milbanke and Melbourne Families. But what is his name?

George Stubbs

1724 - 1806

Horse in a Landscape (1910) by Franz MarcMuseum Folkwang

Artist 3

A German printmaker and painter and one of the key figures of Expressionism, he was also a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter, a magazine focusing on the work of the movement. He made his name as a landscape painter but after seeing work by Van Gogh, Picasso, and Gauguin his painting became more experimental.       

His work painting abstract forms of animals was renowned for its strong mystic quality, using simple bold lines and colors. He served in the German army during World War I and was killed at the Battle of Verdun at just 36 years old. Key works included Blue Horses and Fox but do you recognize his work?

Franz Marc

1880 - 1916

The Rhinoceros (1515) by Albrecht DürerNational Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Artist 4

This painter and printmaker was a key theorist of the German Renaissance. In his 20s he made his name creating superb quality woodcut prints which brought him international renown. He was also in contact with other key figures of the Renaissance such as Leonardo and Raphael.   

His famous 1515 work Rhinoceros was based on a written description and brief sketch by an Indian artist, and he never saw the animal himself, which makes the accuracy even more remarkable. Can you name this Renaissance master?

Albrecht Dürer

1471 - 1528

The Monarch of the Glen (About 1851) by Sir Edwin LandseerScottish National Gallery

Artist 5

One of the most iconic animal paintings of all time, the Monarch of the Glen was an 1851 work by this artist. It features a red deer stag and was commissioned as part of a series to hang in the Palace of Westminster.

The painting became something of a cliché after the rights to its image were bought and it was used in advertising campaigns. But it remains a magnificent piece and one of the most recognizable by any UK artist. But who painted it?

Sir Edwin Landseer

1802 - 1873

The Waterfall (1910) by Henri Rousseau (French, 1844–1910)The Art Institute of Chicago

How did you do?

How well did you know your animal artists? If you'd like to know more about the history of animals in artworks, you can find out more here.

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