==== ====Are you an art lover? Would you like to become one? Nothing to buy, simply enjoy art at:http://www.showoffart.com/==== ====SummarySome of the earliest of all known art (pre-historic cave and rock art) features wildlife. However, itmight be more properly regarded as art about food, rather than art about wildlife as such.Then for a lot of the rest of the history of art in the western world, art depicting wildlife was mostlyabsent, due to the fact that art during this period was mostly dominated by narrow perspectives onreality, such as religions. It is only more recently, as society, and the art it produces, frees itselffrom such narrow world-views, that wildlife art flourishes.Wildlife is also a difficult subject for the artist, as it is difficult to find and even more difficult to findkeeping still in a pose, long enough to even sketch, let alone paint. Recent advances such asphotography have made this far easier, as well as being artforms in their own right. Wildlife art isthus now far easier to accomplish both accurately and aesthetically.In art from outside the western world, wild animals and birds have been portrayed much morefrequently throughout history.Art about wild animals began as a depiction of vital food-sources, in pre-history. At the beginningsof history the western world seems to have shut itself off from the natural world for long periods,and this is reflected in the lack of wildlife art throughout most of art history. More recently,societies, and the art it produces, have become much more broad-minded. Wildlife has becomesomething to marvel at as new areas of the world were explored for the first time, something tohunt for pleasure, to admire aesthetically, and to conserve. These interests are reflected in thewildlife art produced.The History and development of Wildlife Art...Wildlife art in Pre-history.Animal and bird art appears in some of the earliest known examples of artistic creation, such ascave paintings and rock artThe earliest known cave paintings were made around 40,000 years ago, the Upper Paleolithicperiod. These art works might be more than decoration of living areas as they are often in caveswhich are difficult to access and dont show any signs of human habitation. Wildlife was asignificant part of the daily life of humans at this time, particularly in terms of hunting for food, andthis is reflected in their art. Religious interpretation of the natural world is also assumed to be asignificant factor in the depiction of animals and birds at this time.
Probably the most famous of all cave painting, in Lascaux (France), includes the image of a wildhorse, which is one of the earliest known examples of wildlife art. Another example of wildlife cavepainting is that of reindeer in the Spanish cave of Cueva de las Monedas, probably painted ataround the time of the last ice-age. The oldest known cave paintings (maybe around 32,000 yearsold) are also found in France, at the Grotte Chauvet, and depict horses, rhinoceros, lions, buffalo,mammoth and humans, often hunting.Wildlife painting is one of the commonest forms of cave art. Subjects are often of large wildanimals, including bison, horses, aurochs, lions, bears and deer. The people of this time wereprobably relating to the natural world mostly in terms of their own survival, rather than separatingthemselves from it.Cave paintings found in Africa often include animals. Cave paintings from America include animalspecies such as rabbit, puma, lynx, deer, wild goat and sheep, whale, turtle, tuna, sardine,octopus, eagle, and pelican, and is noted for its high quality and remarkable color. Rock paintingsmade by Australian Aborigines include so-called "X-ray" paintings which show the bones andorgans of the animals they depict. Paintings on caves/rocks in Australia include local species ofanimals, fish and turtles.Animal carvings were also made during the Upper Paleolithic period... which constitute the earliestexamples of wildlife sculpture.In Africa, bushman rock paintings, at around 8000 BC, clearly depict antelope and other animals.The advent of the Bronze age in Europe, from the 3rd Millennium BC, led to a dedicated artisanclass, due to the beginnings of specialization resulting from the surpluses available in theseadvancing societies. During the Iron age, mythical and natural animals were a common subject ofartworks, often involving decoration of objects such as plates, knives and cups. Celtic influencesaffected the art and architecture of local Roman colonies, and outlasted them, surviving into thehistoric period.Wildlife Art in the Ancient world (Classical art).History is considered to begin at the time writing is invented. The earliest examples of ancient artoriginate from Egypt and Mesopotamia.The great art traditions have their origins in the art of one of the six great ancient "classical"civilizations: Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, India, or China. Each of these greatcivilizations developed their own unique style of art.Animals were commonly depicted in Chinese art, including some examples from the 4th Centurywhich depict stylized mythological creatures and thus are rather a departure from pure wildlife art.Ming dynasty Chinese art features pure wildlife art, including ducks, swans, sparrows, tigers, andother animals and birds, with increasing realism and detail.In the 7th Century, Elephants, monkeys and other animals were depicted in stone carvings inEllora, India. These carvings were religious in nature, yet depicted real animals rather than more
mythological creatures.Ancient Egyptian art includes many animals, used within the symbolic and highly religious natureof Egyptian art at the time, yet showing considerable anatomical knowledge and attention to detail.Animal symbols are used within the famous Egyptian hieroglyphic symbolic language.Early South American art often depicts representations of a divine jaguar.The Minoans, the greatest civilization of the Bronze Age, created naturalistic designs includingfish, squid and birds in their middle period. By the late Minoan period, wildlife was still the mostcharacteristic subject of their art, with increasing variety of species.The art of the nomadic people of the Mongolian steppes is primarily animal art, such as gold stags,and is typically small in size as befits their traveling lifestyle.Aristotle (384-322 BC) suggested the concept of photography, but this wasnt put into practice until1826.The Medieval period, AD 200 to 1430This period includes early Christian and Byzantine art, as well as Romanesque and Gothic art(1200 to 1430). Most of the art which survives from this period is religious, rather than realistic, innature. Animals in art at this time were used as symbols rather than representations of anything inthe real world. So very little wildlife art as such could be said to exist at all during this period.Renaissance wildlife art, 1300 to 1602.This arts movement began from ideas which initially emerged in Florence. After centuries ofreligious domination of the arts, Renaissance artists began to move more towards ancient mysticalthemes and depicting the world around them, away from purely Christian subject matter. Newtechniques, such as oil painting and portable paintings, as well as new ways of looking such asuse of perspective and realistic depiction of textures and lighting, led to great changes in artisticexpression.The two major schools of Renaissance art were the Italian school who were heavily influenced bythe art of ancient Greece and Rome, and the northern Europeans... Flemish, Dutch and Germans,who were generally more realistic and less idealized in their work. The art of the Renaissancereflects the revolutions in ideas and science which occurred in this Reformation period.The early Renaissance features artists such as Botticelli, and Donatello. Animals are still beingused symbolically and in mythological context at this time, for example "Pegasus" by JacopodeBarbari.The best-known artist of the high Renaissance is Leonardo-Da-Vinci. Although most of hisartworks depict people and technology, he occasionally incorporates wildlife into his images, suchas the swan in "Leda and the swan", and the animals portrayed in his "lady with an ermine", and"studies of cat movements and positions".
Durer is regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern European Renaissance. Albrecht Durerwas particularly well-known for his wildlife art, including pictures of hare, rhinoceros, bullfinch, littleowl, squirrels, the wing of a blue roller, monkey, and blue crow.Baroque wildlife art, 1600 to 1730.This important artistic age, encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church and the aristocracy of thetime, features such well-known great artists as Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Rubens, Velazquez,Poussin, and Vermeer. Paintings of this period often use lighting effects to increase the dramaticeffect.Wildlife art of this period includes a lion, and "goldfinch" by Carel Fabrituis.Melchior de Hondecoeter was a specialist animal and bird artist in the baroque period withpaintings including "revolt in the poultry coup", "cocks fighting" and "palace of Amsterdam withexotic birds".The Rococo art period was a later (1720 to 1780) decadent sub-genre of the Baroque period, andincludes such famous painters as Canaletto, Gainsborough and Goya. Wildlife art of the timeincludes "Dromedary study" by Jean Antoine Watteau, and "folly of beasts" by Goya.Jean-Baptiste Oudry was a Rococo wildlife specialist, who often painted commissions for royalty.Some of the earliest scientific wildlife illustration was also created at around this time, for examplefrom artist William Lewin who published a book illustrating British birds, painted entirely by hand.Wildlife art in the 18th to 19th C.In 1743, Mark Catesby published his documentation of the flora and fauna of the explored areas ofthe New World, which helped encourage both business investment and interest in the naturalhistory of the continent.In response to the decadence of the Rococo period, neo-classicism arose in the late 18th Century(1750-1830 ). This genre is more ascetic, and contains much sensuality, but none of thespontaneity which characterizes the later Romantic period. This movement focused on thesupremacy of natural order over mans will, a concept which culminated in the romantic artdepiction of disasters and madness.Francois Le Vaillant (1769-1832) was a bird illustrator (and ornithologist) around this time.Georges Cuvier, (1769-1832), painted accurate images of more than 5000 fish, relating to hisstudies of comparative organismal biology.Edward Hicks is an example of an American wildlife painter of this period, whos art wasdominated by his religious context.Sir Edwin Henry Landseer was also painting wildlife at this time, in a style strongly influenced bydramatic emotional judgments of the animals involved.
This focus towards nature led the painters of the Romantic era (1790 - 1880) to transformlandscape painting, which had previously been a minor art form, into an art-form of majorimportance. The romantics rejected the ascetic ideals of Neo-Classicalism.The practical use of photography began in around 1826, although it was a while before wildlifebecame a common subject for its use. The first color photograph was taken in 1861, but easy-to-use color plates only became available in 1907.In 1853 Bisson and Mante created some of the first known wildlife photography.In France, Gaspar-Felix Tournacho, "Nadar" (1820-1910) applied the same aesthetic principlesused in painting, to photography, thus beginning the artistic discipline of fine art photography. FineArt photography Prints were also reproduced in Limited Editions, making them more valuable.Jaques-Laurent Agasse was one of the foremost painters of animals in Europe around the end ofthe 18th C and the beginning of the 19th. His animal art was unusually realistic for the time, andhe painted some wild animals including giraffe and leopards.Romantic wildlife art includes "zebra", "cheetah, stag and two Indians", at least two monkeypaintings, a leopard and "portrait of a royal tiger" by George Stubbs who also did many paintingsof horses.One of the great wildlife sculptors of the Romantic period was Antoine-Louis Barye. Barye wasalso a wildlife painter, who demonstrated the typical dramatic concepts and lighting of the romanticmovement.Delacroix painted a tiger attacking a horse, which as is common with Romantic paintings, paintssubject matter on the border between human (a domesticated horse) and the natural world (a wildtiger).In America, the landscape painting movement of the Romantic era was known as the HudsonRiver School (1850s - c. 1880). These landscapes occasionally include wildlife, such as the deerin "Dogwood" and "valley of the Yosemite" by Albert Bierstadt, and more obviously in his "buffalotrail", but the focus is on the landscape rather than the wildlife in it.Wildlife artist Ivan Ivanovitch Shishkin demonstrates beautiful use of light in his landscape-orientedwildlife art.Although Romantic painting focused on nature, it rarely portrayed wild animals, tending muchmore towards the borders between man and nature, such as domesticated animals and people inlandscapes rather than the landscapes themselves. Romantic art seems in a way to be aboutnature, but usually only shows nature from a human perspective.Audubon was perhaps the most famous painter of wild birds at around this time, with a distinctiveAmerican style, yet painting the birds realistically and in context, although in somewhat over-dramatic poses. As well as birds, he also painted the mammals of America, although these worksof his are somewhat less well known. At around the same time In Europe, Rosa Bonheur was
finding fame as a wildlife artist.Amongst Realist art, "the raven" by Manet and "stags at rest" by Rosa Bonheur are genuinewildlife art. However in this artistic movement animals are much more usually depicted obviouslyas part of a human context.The wildlife art of the impressionist movement includes "anglers prize" by Theodore ClementSteele, and the artist Joseph Crawhall was a specialist wildlife artist strongly influenced byimpressionism.At this time, accurate scientific wildlife illustration was also being created. One name known forthis kind of work in Europe is John Gould although his wife Elizabeth was the one who actually didmost of the illustrations for his books on birds.Post-impressionism (1886 - 1905, France) includes a water-bird in Rousseaus "snake charmer",and Rousseaus paintings, which include wildlife, are sometimes considered Post-impressionist(as well as Fauvist, see below).Fauvism (1904 - 1909, France) often considered the first "modern" art movement, re-thought useof color in art. The most famous fauvist is Matisse, who depicts birds and fish in is "polynesie laMer" and birds in his "Renaissance". Other wildlife art in this movement includes a tiger in"Surprised! Storm in the Forest" by Rousseau, a lion in his "sleeping Gypsy" and a jungle animal inhis "exotic landscape". Georges Braque depicts a bird in many of his artworks, including"LOiseaux Bleu et Gris", and his "Astre et lOiseau".Ukiyo-e-printmaking (Japanese wood-block prints, originating from 17th C) was becoming knownin the West, during the 19th C, and had a great influence on Western painters, particularly inFrance.Wildlife art in this genre includes several untitled prints (owl, bird, eagle) by Ando Hiroshige, and"crane", "cat and butterfly", "wagtail and wisteria" by Hokusai Katsushika.Wildlife art in the 20th Century, Contemporary art, postmodern art, etc.Changing from the relatively stable views of a mechanical universe held in the 19th-century, the20th-century shatters these views with such advances as Einsteins Relativity and Freuds sub-conscious psychological influence.The greater degree of contact with the rest of the world had a significant influence on Westernarts, such as the influence of African and Japanese art on Pablo Picasso, for example.American Wildlife artist Carl Runguis spans the end of the 19th and the beginnings of the 20thCentury. His style evolved from tightly rendered scientific-influenced style, through impressionistinfluence, to a more painterly approach.The golden age of illustration includes mythical wildlife "The firebird" by Edmund Dulac, and "tiledesign of Heron and Fish" by Walter Crane.
George Braques birds can be defined as Analytical Cubist (this genre was jointly developed byBraque and Picasso from 1908 to 1912), (as well as Fauvist). Fernand Leger also depicts birds inhis "Les Oiseaux".There was also accurate scientific wildlife illustration being done at around this time, such as thosedone by America illustrator Louis Agassiz Fuertes who painted birds in America as well as othercountries.Expressionism (1905 - 1930, Germany). "Fox", "monkey Frieze, "red deer", and "tiger", etc byFranz Marc qualify as wildlife art, although to contemporary viewers seem more about the stylethan the wildlife.Postmodernism as an art genre, which has developed since the 1960s, looks to the whole rangeof art history for its inspiration, as contrasted with Modernism which focuses on its own limitedcontext. A different yet related view of these genres is that Modernism attempts to search for anidealized truth, where as post-modernism accepts the impossibility of such an ideal. This isreflected, for example, in the rise of abstract art, which is an art of the indefinable, after about athousand years of art mostly depicting definable objects.Magic realism (1960s Germany) often included animals and birds, but usually as a minor featureamong human elements, for example, swans and occasionally other animals in many paintings byMichael Parkes.In 1963, Ray Harm is a significant bird artist.Robert Rauschenbergs "American eagle", a Pop Art (mid 1950s onwards) piece, uses the imageof an eagle as a symbol rather than as something in its own right, and thus is not really wildlife art.The same applies to Any Warhols "Butterflys".Salvador Dali, the best known of Surrealist (1920s France, onwards) artists, uses wild animals insome of his paintings, for example "Landscape with Butterflys", but within the context ofsurrealism, depictions of wildlife become conceptually something other than what they mightappear to be visually, so they might not really be wildlife at all. Other examples of wildlife inSurrealist art are Rene Magrittes "La Promesse" and "Lentre ed Scene".Op art (1964 onwards) such as M. C. Eschers "Sky and Water" shows ducks and fish, and"mosaic II" shows many animals and birds, but they are used as image design elements ratherthan the art being about the animals.Roger Tory Peterson created fine wildlife art, which although being clear illustrations for use in hisbook which was the first real field guide to birds, are also aesthetically worthy bird paintings.Young British Artists (1988 onwards). Damien Hirst uses a shark in a tank as one of his artworks.It is debatable whether this piece could be considered as wildlife art, because even though theshark is the focus of the piece, the piece is not really about the shark itself, but probably moreabout the sharks effect on the people viewing it. It could be said to be more a use of wildlife in/asart, than a work of wildlife art.
Wildlife art continues to be popular today, with such artists as Robert Bateman being very highlyregarded, although in his case somewhat controversial for his release of Limited-Edition printswhich certain fine-art critics deplore.Wildlife Art Blog, lots of great posts on wildlife art, have a look...Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Thomas_Goldman==== ====Are you an art lover? Would you like to become one? Nothing to buy, simply enjoy art at:http://www.showoffart.com/==== ====