The Hippopotamus and Crocodile Hunt

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The Hippopotamus and Crocodile Hunt
Peter Paul Rubens 083.jpg
Artist Peter Paul Rubens
Year 1615—1616
Type Oil on canvas
Dimensions 248 cm × 321 cm (98 in × 126 in)
Location Alte Pinakothek, Munich

The Hippopotamus and Crocodile Hunt is a large painting by Peter Paul Rubens, featuring the hunt on hippopotamus and crocodile with three hunting dogs. There is also a reference to a leopard in the pelt on the horse of the upper left rider. Rubens used the dramatics of diagonals to heighten the sense of immediacy and movement and redirected attention downward into the center of action.

The Hippopotamus and Crocodile Hunt is one of the four hunting paintings, commissioned by Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria to decorate the old Schleissheim Palace. After the seizure of this cycle during the Napoleonic Wars only The Hippopotamus and Crocodile Hunt was returned to Munich.[1] In the notice of January 25, 1847 Eugène Delacroix admired the crocodile as a "masterpiece of execution", remarking, however, that "its action could have been more interesting".[2]


  1. ^ Reinhold Baumstark. The Alte Pinakothek, Munich, C.H.Beck, 2002, p. 91
  2. ^ Natalie Harris Bluestone. Double vision: perspectives on gender and the visual arts, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1995, p. 27

Related subjects by Rubens[edit]