Don’t forget: on Sunday 30th May 2021, it’s Mother’s day. Find the ideal painting! Discover the collection

Animal paintings

Carré d'artistes presents a wide selection of animal paintings. Animal painting is characterized by the more or less figurative representation of one or more animals in a painting.



A painting of animals is easily recognized: it is figurative, since it is possible to identify, at a minimum, one animal. It can be a pet, like a dog or a cat, or a domestic animal, such as a horse or farm animals, or even a wild animal. Any species from fauna can be represented. The possibility of composition is therefore immense. However, animal painting did not become a genre in its own right until modern times. Prior to this, although depictions of animals are found in paintings, they were hardly ever the central subject of the painting.


For a long time, animal paintings were made using the technique of oil painting. But with the arrival of the acrylic technique, most paintings are made with this medium. The development of an animal painting goes through an essential preparatory phase: that of the drawing and the sketch. There are therefore many drawings of animals throughout history, especially for classical learning of the arts, since animal postures and expressions are a great exercise for any artistic training.

History and famous paintings

History of animal painting

Animal painting is old. From prehistoric times, in rock art, there are representations of animals in caves (the Chauvet cave or the Lascaux cave, for example). Antiquity, too, takes hold of animals as subjects: it represents animals that are familiar or mythological to it. The Middle Ages, meanwhile, reproduced the animals that are present in the Bible. Among other things, there are representations of sheep, horses, dogs, foxes and birds. A great fantastic bestiary is developing in parallel. Later, in the Renaissance and in the classical period, it is often the figure of the horse that appears in paintings. Like the dog, it is an animal very close to man of this time. The hunting painting is also an opportunity to paint dogs and game with meticulous realism. If the animal is often the primary subject of a sculpture, this is not the case with a painting. Before the twentieth century and the rise of animal painting, rare are the painters who create the portrait of an animal.

Famous paintings

One of the most famous animal paintings is The Forest Fire (1515) by Piero di Cosimo. The tapestries from the beginning of the 16th century The Lady and the Unicorn are essential elements in the history of art. At the same time, we find the Rhinoceros (1515) engraved by Dürer, or the Dogs Fighting by Frans Snyders. History also retains the famous The White Horse by Gauguin (1898). In the twentieth century, among the most famous, we come across Picasso and his many representations of birds and bulls, or Foujita and his excessive love of cats, of which he paints portraits.

At Carré d'artistes, discover animal paintings by contemporary artists such as Anne R, Herve Maury, Raphaële Lennoz, Moogly, and many others.


(873 Artworks)

873 Artworks



Unique art for...



Selected by our art curators



Careful and secure packaging



Satisfied or refunded

We use cookies to give you the best shopping experience. If you continue to use our services, we will assume that you agree to the use of such cookies. Find out more about cookies and how to refuse them.