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Animals paintings subject • artists • artworks for sale animals in fine art

Throughout the centuries, animals have been a favorite subject for artists. Traditionally, they play a minor role in painted scenes, but from the 17th century onwards, painters specialized in animal subjects appeared. Each country then has its famous masters with accompanying pupils and followers. The animal genre enjoyed unprecedented popularity in the first half of the 19th century. Poultry and other small farm animals, sheep, chickens, cows and horses, dogs and cats are painted at their best, clean, well-fed and in an extraordinary quantity.

The "trade of the animals"
Animal painters usually specialized in a particular animal species. In the 19th century in the Netherlands, for example, Wouterus Verschuur and Otto Eerelman excelled at portraying horses, Hendrik Savrij and J.H.L. de Haas was known as painters of cows, and dogs were the specialty of Conradijn Cunaeus and Otto Eerelman. The young Henriëtte Ronner-Knip was also one of them, until around 1870 she mainly focused on painting cats in precious interiors.

Coquettish portrait
Painting an animal was by no means simple: it does not stop on command to be portrayed. It is known that there were painters who tied a cow to a stake for a suitable pose. And later in the 19th century, artists sometimes found their exotic models in the shelter of the zoo. But it was quite a challenge with agile dogs and cats. In addition, in the 19th century, not only an accurate representation of anatomy, coat and movement was appreciated, but also the portrayal of the character. A separate genre was the artist's dog, a clear example of the closer bond that developed between humans and animals in the 19th century.

Raw reality
While the animals were portrayed in a more or less idealized way at the beginning of the 19th century, with Impressionism people really see the animals. De Haas paints chunky cattle under low-hanging clouds, Mauve becomes famous with sheep on a winter heath and Breitner likes to paint horses. Many of his contemporaries saw his work as "unfinished", which led to much criticism. From childhood Breitner had a predilection for horses and military subjects. The story goes that Charles Rochussen instilled in him a love for drawing and painting horses. He did this so well that Mesdag later asked him to paint the cavalry on the famous "Panorama Mesdag" in The Hague.


Piet van der Hem | Pheasant rooster with two hens between ferns, oil on canvas, 75.5 x 100.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

painting • for sale

Pheasant rooster with two hens between ferns

Piet van der Hem | Pheasant pair, oil on canvas, 74.8 x 104.0 cm, signed l.r.

Piet van der Hem

painting • for sale

Pheasant pair

Adolphe Louis Victor Geoffroy | Roaring panter, bronze, 19.7 x 25.0 cm, signed on the base

Adolphe Louis Victor Geoffroy

statue • sculptuur • for sale

Roaring panter

Carl Friedrich Deiker | Game on a hill, oil on canvas, 48.6 x 37.5 cm, signed l.l.

Carl Friedrich Deiker

painting • for sale

Game on a hill

Chris van der Windt | Barn owl, oil on panel, 38.1 x 25.8 cm, signed l.r.

Chris van der Windt

painting • for sale

Barn owl

Ton van Tast | Spider in a web, oil on canvas laid down on panel, 17.5 x 13.0 cm, signed l.m. and dated 1917

Ton van Tast

painting • for sale

Spider in a web, 1917

Terry Owen Mathews | Group of four elephants, bronze, 13.0 x 54.5 cm, signed and witn number 6/10 on the base and dated '85

Terry Owen Mathews

statue • sculptuur • for sale

Group of four elephants, 1985

Terry Owen Mathews | Rhino, bronze, 29.9 x 44.9 cm, signed and numbered 2/10 on the base and dated 1987

Terry Owen Mathews

statue • sculptuur • for sale

Rhino, 1987

Jacques Janssens | Head of a ram, oil on panel, 22.2 x 16.2 cm, signed l.r.

Jacques Janssens

painting • for sale

Head of a ram

Greta Bruigom | Young Nile crocodile, oil on canvas, 26.4 x 41.5 cm, signed l.r.

Greta Bruigom

painting • for sale

Young Nile crocodile

Johannes Garst | Mariënberg, oil on board, signed l.l. and on the reverse and dated '81

Johannes Garst

painting • for sale

Mariënberg, 1981

Herbert van der Poll | Lioness with her cubs, oil on canvas, 49.5 x 69.8 cm, signed l.r.

Herbert van der Poll

painting • for sale

Lioness with her cubs

Wouterus Verschuur | Horse market, oil on canvas, 57.3 x 72.8 cm, signed l.c.

Wouterus Verschuur

painting • for sale

Horse market, ca. 1845

Anna Maria Kruijff | Mother cat with two kittens, oil on canvas, 35.2 x 45.4 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1908

Anna Maria Kruijff

painting • for sale

Mother cat with two kittens, 1908

Floris Arntzenius | Elephant, black chalk and gouache on paper, 12.7 x 18.4 cm

Floris Arntzenius

watercolour • drawing • for sale


Willem Maris | Ducks in the grass, watercolour on paper, 16.4 x 28.4 cm, signed l.r. and painted ca. 1880-1890

Willem Maris

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Ducks in the grass, ca. 1880-1885

Henriette Ronner | The pet shop, oil on panel, 28.2 x 24.5 cm, signed l.l.

Henriette Ronner

painting • for sale

The pet shop

Albertus Verhoesen | Theww Dutch goats in a meadow, oil on panel, 27.0 x 34.3 cm, signed l.r.

Albertus Verhoesen

painting • for sale

Theww Dutch goats in a meadow

Otto Jarl | Hippo family, bronze, 18.0 x 31.0 cm, signed on the base

Otto Jarl

statue • sculptuur • for sale

Hippo family

Wouterus Verschuur | Horses in a stableyard, oil on canvas, 76.3 x 106.2 cm, signed l.l.

Wouterus Verschuur

painting • for sale

Horses in a stableyard

Willem van den Berg | Resting duck, oil on panel, 16.5 x 13.6 cm, signed l.r.

Willem van den Berg

painting • for sale

Resting duck

Willem Carel Nakken | Haytime, oil on canvas, 52.1 x 76.6 cm, signed l.l.

Willem Carel Nakken

painting • for sale


August Le Gras | Three dwarf pinchers in a green chair, oil on canvas, 81.2 x 65.5 cm, signed c.r. and dated 1888

August Le Gras

painting • for sale

Three dwarf pinchers in a green chair, 1888

Han Rädecker | Horse, bronze, 27.0 x 30.0 cm, signed on the base with monogram

Han Rädecker

statue • sculptuur • for sale


Eugenia Zink Everett | Purring cat, bronze, 9.0 x 20.0 cm, signed on the underside and dated 1937

Eugenia Zink Everett

statue • sculptuur • for sale

Purring cat

Johanna Pieneman | Two toucans, pastel on paper, 36.7 x 25.0 cm, signed l.l.

Johanna Pieneman

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Two toucans

Jean-Baptiste Leopold van Leemputten | Farmyard with rooster and chickens, oil on panel, 28.1 x 33.7 cm, signed l.r. and dated 1863

Jean-Baptiste Leopold van Leemputten

painting • for sale

Farmyard with rooster and chickens, 1863

Hendrik Johannes Haverman | Sleeping dog, watercolour and gouache on paper, 15.7 x 18.4 cm, signed l.l. with studio stamp

Hendrik Johannes Haverman

watercolour • drawing • for sale

Sleeping dog