Animal painter

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"Animal art" redirects here. For artwork created by non-humans, see Animal-made art.
A typical composition of dead game from 1692 by Jan Weenix, probably an overdoor for a country house.

An animal painter is an artist who specializes in or is known for their skill in the portrayal of animals, essentially up to about 1900. During the last century "wildlife artist" became the preferred term for contemporary animal painters.

Especially in the 17th century, animal painters would often collaborate with other artists, who would either paint the main subject in a history or mythological piece, or the landscape background in a decorative one. Frans Snyders, a founder of the Baroque animal painting tradition, often provided the animals, and also still lifes of food, for Peter Paul Rubens; a different landscape specialist might provide the background. In the Dutch Golden Age such specialists tended to produce smaller genre paintings concentrating on their specialism. Animal painters came low down in the hierarchy of genres, but the best painters could make a very good living; many royal and aristocratic patrons were more interested in their subject matter than that of the more prestigious genres. Mainly in England, there were still more specialized painters from the 18th century who produced portraits of racehorses and prize specimens of livestock, whereas in France animal subjects continued to be decorative capriccios often set around garden statuary.

Animalier as a collective plural noun, or animalier bronzes is also a term in antiques for small-scale sculptures in particular, but also paintings, of animals, of which large numbers were produced, often mass-produced, in 19th century France and elsewhere. Although many earlier examples can be found, animalier sculpture became more popular, and reputable, in early 19th century Paris with the works of Antoine-Louis Barye (1795–1875), for whom the term was coined, decisively, by critics in 1831.[1][2] By the mid-century, a taste for animal subjects was very widespread among all sections of the middle-classes.

Prominent animal painters[edit]

See also Category:Animal artists

Before 1800[edit]

After 1800[edit]

Selected gallery[edit]