Some of the earliest of all known arts (prehistoric cave and rock art) have wildlife. However, this may be more properly seen as the art of food rather than the art of wildlife as such.
Then for most of the rest of the history of the Western world the art of depicting wildlife was largely absent due to the fact that during this period narrow views of reality, such as religion, predominated in art. More recently, when society and the art it produces are freed from such narrow worldviews, wildlife art thrives.
Wildlife is also a difficult subject for the artist, as it is difficult to find, and even more difficult to find in a still position, long enough to even make a sketch, let alone draw. Recent advances, such as photography, have made it much easier, and have been art forms in their own right. Thus, wildlife art is now much easier to implement both accurately and aesthetically.
In art outside the Western world throughout history wild animals and birds have been depicted much more frequently.
The art of wildlife began as a reflection of vital food sources back in prehistory. At the beginning of history the western world seems to have long been disconnected from nature, and this is reflected in the absence of wildlife art for most of art history. More recently, society and the art it produces have become much broader. Wildlife has become something amazing as new areas of the world have been explored for the first time, something to hunt for fun, aesthetically admire and preserve. These interests are reflected in wildlife art.
History and development of wildlife art …
The art of wildlife in prehistory.
Animal and bird art appears in some of the earliest examples of artistic creation, such as cave painting and rock art.
The earliest known cave paintings were made about 40,000 years ago, the Upper Paleolithic period. These works of art can be more than a decoration of living quarters, as they are often in hard-to-reach caves and show no signs of human habitation. At this time, wildlife was a significant part of people’s daily lives, especially in terms of food hunting, and this is reflected in their art. Religious interpretation of the natural world is also considered an important factor in the reflection of animals and birds at this time.
Probably the most famous of all the cave paintings in Lascaux (France) includes an image of a wild horse, which is one of the earliest examples of wildlife art. Another example of cave painting is the deer in the Spanish cave of Cueva de las Monedas, probably painted around the last ice age. The oldest known cave paintings (perhaps about 32,000 years old) are also found in France, on the Chateau Chateau, and depict horses, rhinos, lions, buffaloes, mammoths and people who often hunt.
Wildlife painting is one of the most common types of cave art. Subjects are often large wildlife, including bison, horses, auros, lions, bears, and deer. People of this time probably treated the natural world mostly in terms of their own survival rather than separating themselves from it.
Cave paintings found in Africa often include animals. The cave paintings of America include animal species such as rabbit, cougar, lynx, deer, wild goat and sheep, whale, turtle, tuna, sardine, octopus, eagle and pelican, and are noted for their high quality and beautiful color. Rock paintings by Australian aborigines include so-called “X-ray” paintings depicting the bones and organs of the animals they depict. Paintings on caves / rocks in Australia include native species of animals, fish and turtles.
The branching of animals was also done during the Upper Paleolithic …, which are the earliest examples of wildlife sculpture.
In Africa, Bushman rock paintings around 8000 BC clearly depict antelopes and other animals.
The advent of the Bronze Age in Europe, beginning in the 3rd millennium BC, led to a specialized class of artisans, thanks to the beginnings of specialization that arose as a result of surpluses in these emerging societies. In the Iron Age, mythical and natural animals were a common item of artwork, often involving decorating items such as plates, knives and cups. Celtic influences influenced the art and architecture of the local Roman colonies and surpassed them, surviving the historical period.
Wildlife art in the ancient world (classical art).
It is believed that history begins at the time of the invention of writing. The earliest examples of ancient art come from Egypt and Mesopotamia.
Great artistic traditions originate in the art of one of the six great ancient “classical” civilizations: Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, India, or China. Each of these great civilizations has developed its own unique style of art.
In Chinese art, animals are usually depicted, including some examples from the 4th century that depict stylized mythological creatures and are thus rather a departure from the pure art of wildlife. The Chinese art of the Ming Dynasty has pure wildlife art including ducks, swans, sparrows, tigers and other animals and birds that increase realism and detail.
In the 7th century elephants, monkeys and other animals were depicted on stone carvings in Elora, India. These carvings were religious in nature, but depicted real animals rather than more mythological creatures.
Ancient Egyptian art includes many animals that were used in the symbolic and highly religious nature of Egyptian art at the time, but demonstrate significant anatomical knowledge and attention to detail. Animal symbols are used within the famous Egyptian hieroglyphic language of symbols.
Early South American art often reflects notions of the divine jaguar.
The Minoans, the greatest civilization of the Bronze Age, in their middle period created a naturalistic design including fish, squid and birds. Until the late Minoan period, wildlife was still the most characteristic object of their art, increasing the diversity of species.
The art of the nomadic people of the Mongolian steppes is primarily animal art, such as golden deer and usually small in size, which corresponds to their style of travel.
Aristotle (384-322 BC) proposed the concept of photography, but this was only put into practice in 1826.
Medieval period, from 200 to 1430
This period includes early Christian and Byzantine art, as well as Romanesque and Gothic art (from 1200 to 1430). Much of the art that has survived during this period is religious rather than realistic in nature. Animals in art at this time were used as symbols rather than representations of anything in the real world. Therefore, we can say that during this period there is very little wildlife art as such.
Renaissance Wildlife Art, 1300-1602.
This artistic movement began with ideas that originally appeared in Florence. After centuries of religious domination in art, Renaissance artists began to move more towards ancient mystical themes and reflect the world around them, far from purely Christian themes. New techniques, such as oil painting and portable paintings, as well as new ways of viewing, such as the use of perspective and realistic display of textures and lighting, have led to great changes in artistic expression.
The two main schools of Renaissance art were Italian schools that were heavily influenced by the art of ancient Greece and Rome, as well as northern Europeans … Flemings, Dutch and Germans, who were generally more realistic and less idealized in their work. Renaissance art reflects the revolutions in ideas and science that took place during this period of the Reformation.
In the early Renaissance, artists such as Botticelli and Donatello are represented. At this time, animals are still used symbolically and in a mythological context, such as Jacob de’Barbara’s “Pegasus”.
The most famous artist of the Renaissance is Leonardo da Vinci. Although most of his work depicts humans and technology, he sometimes incorporates wildlife into his images, such as the swan in “Ice and Swans,” and the animals depicted in “The Lady with the Ermine,” “Studies of Cat Movement and Position.”
Dürer is considered the greatest artist of the Northern European Renaissance. Albrecht Dürer was especially known for his wild paintings, including images of a hare, a rhinoceros, a bullfinch, an owl, a squirrel, the wing of a blue roller, a monkey and a blue crow.
The art of Baroque wildlife, from 1600 to 1730.
This important artistic epoch, encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church and the aristocracy of the time, has such famous great artists as Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Rubens, Velazquez, Poussin and Vermeer. The paintings of this period often use light effects to enhance the dramatic effect.
The wildlife of this period includes the lion and the “golden larva” of Karel Fabrito.
Melchior de Hondecoter was a specialist in the art of animals and birds in the Baroque era. The paintings included “Uprising in a Bird Coup”, “Rooster Fight” and “Amsterdam Palace with Exotic Birds”.
The Rococo period was a later (from 1720 to 1780) decadent subgenre of the Baroque period and included such famous painters as Canaletto, Gainsborough, and Goya. The wildlife of the time includes Jean Antoine Watteau’s “Dramatic Study” and Goya’s “Stupidity of the Beasts”.
Jean-Baptiste Udry was a Rococo wildlife conservationist who often painted royalties for royalties.
Around this time, the earliest scientific illustration of wildlife was created, for example, by the artist William Levin, who published a book illustrating British birds, completely hand-drawn.
Wildlife art in the 18th-19th centuries.
In 1743, Mark Catesby published documentation of the flora and fauna of the explored areas of the New World, which helped stimulate both business investment and interest in the continent’s natural history.
In response to the decline of the Rococo period in the late eighteenth century (1750-1830), neoclassicism emerged. This genre is more ascetic and contains much of the sensuality but not the spontaneity that characterizes the late period of Romanticism. This movement focused on the supremacy of the natural order over the will of man, the concept of which culminated in a romantic reflection of catastrophe and madness.
Francois Le Waylan (1769-1832) was a bird illustrator (and ornithologist) around this time.
Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) painted accurate images of over 5,000 fish concerning studies of the comparative biology of the organism.
Edward Hicks is an example of an American wildlife artist of this period, whose art was dominated by his religious context.
At this time Sir Edwin Henry Landser also painted wildlife in a style that strongly influenced the dramatic emotional judgments of the animal participants.
This orientation towards nature forced the painters of the Romantic era (1790 – 1880) to turn landscape painting, which was previously an insignificant form of art, into the most important art. The Romantics rejected the ascetic ideals of neoclassicism.
The practical use of photography began around 1826, although it took some time before wildlife became a common subject of its use. The first color photograph was taken in 1861, but easy-to-use color plates became available only in 1907.
In 1853, Bison and Mant created one of the first known wildlife photographs.
In France, Gaspar-Felix Turnach, “Nadar” (1820-1910), applied the same aesthetic principles used in painting to photography, thus beginning the artistic discipline of fine art photography. Fine art photographs were also reproduced in limited editions, making them more valuable.
Jacques-Laurent Agas was one of the most famous painters in Europe around the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries. His art at the time was unusually realistic, and he painted some wild animals, including giraffes and leopards.
Romantic wildlife art includes “zebra,” “cheetah, deer, and two Indians,” at least two paintings by monkeys, a leopard, and “portrait of the royal tiger” by George Stubbs, who also made many paintings of horses.
One of the great wildlife sculptors of the Romantic period was Antoine-Louis Barry. Barry was also a painter who demonstrated typical dramatic concepts and coverage of the romantic movement.
Delacroix painted a tiger attacking a horse, which, as usual with romantic paintings, depicts objects on the border between man (domesticated horse) and the world of nature (wild tiger).
In America, the landscape painting movement of the Romantic era was known as the Hudson River School (1850s – c. 1880). These landscapes sometimes include wildlife, such as deer in Albert Birstadt’s “Dogwood” and “Yosemite Valley,” and, more obviously, in the “buffalo trail,” but the focus is on the landscape rather than the wildlife in it.
Wildlife artist Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin demonstrates the excellent use of light in his landscape-oriented wildlife art.
Although romantic painting focused on nature, it rarely depicted wild animals that were much more committed to the boundaries between man and nature, such as domesticated animals and people in landscapes rather than the landscapes themselves. Romantic art seems to speak of nature, but usually shows nature only from a human point of view.
Audubon was perhaps the most famous wild bird painter around this time, with a distinctive American style, but painted the birds realistically and in context, albeit in somewhat dramatic poses. Like birds, he also painted American mammals, although these of his works are somewhat lesser known. Around the same time in Europe Rosa Boncher gained fame as a wildlife artist.
Among the realistic art of “raven” Monet and “stags at rest” Rosa Boncher – a real wildlife art. However, in this artistic movement animals are much more often depicted as part of the human context.
The wildlife art of the Impressionist movement includes Theodore Clement Steele’s “Fisherman’s Prize,” and artist Joseph Crowhall was a wildlife art specialist heavily influenced by Impressionism.
At this time, an accurate scientific illustration of wildlife was also created. The name known for this work in Europe is John Gould, although most of the illustrations to his books on birds were made by his wife Elizabeth.
Post-Impressionism (1886 – 1905, France) includes water-bird in Rousseau’s “zealous serpent”, and Rousseau’s paintings, which include wildlife, are sometimes considered post-Impressionists (like the Fauvist, see below).
Fauvism (1904 – 1909, France) was often considered the first “modern” art movement to reinterpret the use of color in art. The most famous favist is Matisse, who depicts birds and fish in “polynesie la Mer” and birds in his “Renaissance”. Other wildlife art in this movement includes a tiger in Rousseau’s “Surprised! A Storm in the Forest,” a lion in a “sleeping gypsy” and jungle animals in his “exotic scenery”. Georges Braque depicts the bird in many of his works of art, including in “L’Oiseaux Bleu et Gris” and in “Astre et l’Oiseau”.
The production of ukiyo-e-printing (Japanese imprints of wooden blocks dating from the 17th century) became known in the West in the 19th century. And had a great influence on Western painters, especially in France.
Wildlife art in this genre includes several untitled prints (owl, bird, eagle) by Ando Hiroshige and Hokusai Katsushiki’s “Crane,” “Cat and Butterfly,” “Wagtail and Wisteria.”
Wildlife art in the 20th century, contemporary art, postmodern art, etc.
Changing from the relatively stable views of the mechanical universe that occurred in the 19th century, the 20th century destroys these views with advances such as Einstein’s psychological impact and Freud’s relatively psychological influence.
To a greater extent, contact with the rest of the world had a significant influence on Western art, such as the influence of African and Japanese art, such as Pablo Picasso.
American wildlife artist Carl Runguis covers the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His style evolved from a brutally rendered scientific style, through Impressionism, to a more picturesque approach.
Залаты век ілюстрацыі ўключае ў сябе міфічную жывую прыроду “Жар-птушка” Эдмунда Дулака і “Дызайн кафлі Чапля і Рыба” Уолтэра Крэйна.
Птушак Джорджа Брака можна вызначыць як аналітычных кубістаў (гэты жанр быў сумесна распрацаваны Бракам і Пікаса з 1908 па 1912 гг.) (А таксама фавістам). Фернанд Легер таксама паказвае птушак у сваім “Les Oiseaux”.
Прыблізна ў гэты час была зроблена дакладная навуковая ілюстрацыя да дзікай прыроды, напрыклад, зробленая амерыканскім ілюстратарам Луісам Агасісам Фуертам, які маляваў птушак у Амерыцы, а таксама ў іншых краінах.
Экспрэсіянізм (1905 – 1930, Германія). “Фокс”, “малпавы фрыз”, “алень” і “тыгр” і г.д. Франц Марк адносяцца да мастацтва дзікай прыроды, хаця сучасным гледачам здаецца больш стылем, чым жывой прыродзе.
Постмадэрнізм як жанр мастацтва, які развіваўся з 1960-х гадоў, натхняецца на ўвесь спектр гісторыі мастацтва, у адрозненне ад мадэрнізму, які факусуецца на сваім абмежаваным кантэксце. Іншы, але звязаны погляд на гэтыя жанры заключаецца ў тым, што мадэрнізм спрабуе шукаць ідэалізаваную ісціну, калі постмадэрнізм прымае немагчымасць такога ідэалу. Гэта знайшло сваё адлюстраванне, напрыклад, у росце абстрактнага мастацтва, якое з’яўляецца мастацтвам нявызначанага, прыблізна пасля тысячы гадоў мастацтва ў асноўным выяўляе аб’екты, якія можна вызначыць.
Чароўны рэалізм (Германія 1960-х гадоў) часта ўключаў жывёл і птушак, але звычайна ў якасці другарадных элементаў сярод чалавечых элементаў, напрыклад, лебедзі і часам іншыя жывёлы ў многіх карцінах Майкла Паркеса.
У 1963 годзе Рэй Харм – значны мастак па птушках.
“Амерыканскі арол” Роберта Раўшэнберга, пап-арт (з сярэдзіны 1950-х гадоў на наступны момант), выкарыстоўвае вобраз арла як сімвал, а не як нешта сама па сабе, і, такім чынам, гэта не зусім мастацтва дзікай прыроды. Тое ж тычыцца “Матылькоў” любога Уорхала.
Сальвадор Далі, найбольш вядомы з мастакоў-сюррэалістаў (1920-я гады, Францыя і далей), выкарыстоўвае дзікіх жывёл у некаторых сваіх карцінах, напрыклад, “Пейзаж з матылькамі”, але ў кантэксце сюррэалізму выявы дзікай прыроды становяцца канцэптуальна чымсьці іншым, чым тое, што яны можа выглядаць візуальна, таму яны могуць быць зусім не дзікай прыродай. Іншыя прыклады жывой прыроды ў сюррэалістычным мастацтве – “Рэмі Магрыт”, “Прамэсэ” і “Сцэна лентэдра”.
Інфармацыйнае мастацтва (1964 г.), напрыклад, “Неба і вада” М. К. Эшэра, паказвае качак і рыб, а “мазаіка II” паказвае мноства жывёл і птушак, але яны выкарыстоўваюцца як элементы дызайну малюнкаў, а не мастацтва, звязанае з жывёламі.
Роджэр Торы Пітэрсан стварыў вытанчанае мастацтва дзікай прыроды, якое, хаця і ясныя ілюстрацыі да выкарыстання ў сваёй кнізе, якая стала першым сапраўдным палявым кіраўніцтвам па птушках, таксама з’яўляецца эстэтычна птушынай карцінай.
Маладыя брытанскія мастакі (1988 г.). Дэміен Херст выкарыстоўвае акулу ў акварыуме як адно з сваіх твораў. Спрэчна, ці можна разглядаць гэты кавалак жывой прыроды, таму што, хоць акула – гэта ў цэнтры ўвагі твора, гэта не зусім пра саму акулу, але, напэўна, пра ўплыў акулы на людзей, якія яе праглядаюць. Можна сказаць, больш выкарыстанне дзікай прыроды ў / як мастацтва, чым твор мастацтва жывой прыроды.
Мастацтва дзікай прыроды працягвае карыстацца папулярнасцю і сёння, калі мастакі, такія як Роберт Бейтман, вельмі высока цэняцца, хаця ў ягоным выпадку некалькі супярэчлівыя ў сувязі з яго выданнем гравюр з абмежаваным накладам, якія некаторыя крытыкі выяўленчага мастацтва шкадуюць.