For all time, artists have maintained a close relationship with the animal world, which has proved to be an inexhaustible source of inspiration. First, they received inspiration directly from their environment. Next, animals were used in art for their status as domestic friends, symbols of an intimate and familial life, as well as starting points for a fantastic imagination, particularly held in high-esteem during the Renaissance. Later in Orientalism, animal art followed the discovery of exotic fauna which appealed to contemporary artists. The animal and its wild beauty are comprehended here through works of art from Albrecht Dürer, Pieter Brueghel, Leonardo da Vinci, Katasushika Hokuasi, Henri Rousseau, and Paul Klee.
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