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Animal Prints

Similar to the encyclopedic documentation of botanical prints, scientists used printmaking techniques to create multi-volume collections of natural history illustrations. The best example of animal prints is the Swiss naturalist Conrad Gessner’s 4,500 page Historiae animalium. Printed in the mid 16th century, it aimed to closely document the details of every living thing known to man, even fictional animals, through woodcuts.

In the late 1500s, Albrect Dürer created strikingly detailed images of animals, less for science than for the enjoyment of collectors interested in science, exploration, and travel. Despite the number of well-respected artists that created prints with animal subject matter, animal illustrations were seen as a method of practicing different techniques and indicating technical mastery than fine art, and as such fell out of favor until the 1700s.


Quick Facts

  • 18th century British artist and engraver George Stubbs was responsible for reviving interest in animal illustrations by creating engravings of his paintings of horses for a wider audience
  • 16th and 17th century prints of animals were often created without the artist ever seeing the animal in person. Thus prints from this time period may appear exaggerated and distorted today
  • In the 19th century, John James Audubon created one of the largest bodies of zoological works called "Birds of America." Audubon worked with a professional printmaker to create engravings and lithographs from his drawings and paintings, often making the prints large enough to represent the animal in life-size

Recommended Items at Auction

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A LARGE NUMBER OF 19TH CENTURY HAND PAINTED PRINTS, depicting all sorts of animals.
May 29, 11:00 AM AEST
A LARGE NUMBER OF 19TH CENTURY HAND PAINTED PRINTS, depicting all sorts of animals.
by E J Ainger
Est: AUD30- AUD50
AUD1008 Bids
Audubon - Large-tailed Skunk. 102
May 28, 10:00 AM CDT
Audubon - Large-tailed Skunk. 102
by Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books
Est: $300- $600
$2206 Bids
Brasher - White Gyrfalcon. 353
May 28, 10:00 AM CDT
Brasher - White Gyrfalcon. 353
by Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books
Est: $200- $400
$3756 Bids
, DECORATIVE BIRDS IN A TREE, Framed: 42 1/4 x 22 3/4 in. (107.32 x 57.79 cm.)
May 25, 10:00 AM EDT
, DECORATIVE BIRDS IN A TREE, Framed: 42 1/4 x 22 3/4 in. (107.32 x 57.79 cm.)
by Potomack Company
Est: $100- $200
$2756 Bids
Audubon - Blue Heron. 372
May 28, 10:00 AM CDT
Audubon - Blue Heron. 372
by Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books
Est: $500- $1,500
$1005 Bids
Andy Warhol Lithograph Signed In Plate
May 28, 10:00 AM MST
Andy Warhol Lithograph Signed In Plate
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$1004 Bids
Brasher - Pileated Woodpecker. 405
May 28, 10:00 AM CDT
Brasher - Pileated Woodpecker. 405
by Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books
Est: $200- $400
$904 Bids
Siemen Dijkstra (1968)
May 25, 7:00 PM CEST
Siemen Dijkstra (1968)
by Richard ter Borg kunsthandel
Est: €300- €400
€1804 Bids
Andy Warhol - Some Play With Themselves
May 26, 12:00 PM EDT
Andy Warhol - Some Play With Themselves
by Dane Fine Art
Est: $2,000- $2,500
$8503 Bids
Brasher - Redhead Woodpecker. 406
May 28, 10:00 AM CDT
Brasher - Redhead Woodpecker. 406
by Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books
Est: $200- $400
$953 Bids
Charles van Sandwyk "Canada Goose" 19/50, hand-coloured etching
May 29, 4:00 PM PDT
Charles van Sandwyk "Canada Goose" 19/50, hand-coloured etching
by 4th Meridian Fine Art
Est: $300- $400
$1103 Bids
Jamie Wyeth, Runaway Pig
Jun 02, 11:00 AM EDT
Jamie Wyeth, Runaway Pig
by Rago Arts and Auction Center
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$2503 Bids
Flip Gaasendam (1957)
May 25, 7:00 PM CEST
Flip Gaasendam (1957)
by Richard ter Borg kunsthandel
Est: €1,000- €1,500
€5003 Bids
Brasher - Aiken & MacFarlane Screech Owl. 373g
May 28, 10:00 AM CDT
Brasher - Aiken & MacFarlane Screech Owl. 373g
by Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books
Est: $200- $400
$552 Bids
"Young Crows" wood engraving, James Agrell Smith
May 29, 4:00 PM PDT
"Young Crows" wood engraving, James Agrell Smith
by 4th Meridian Fine Art
Est: $300- $400
$1202 Bids
Los Cuatro Jinetes Del Apocalipsis Art Etching By Cantin 1945
May 27, 11:00 AM EDT
Los Cuatro Jinetes Del Apocalipsis Art Etching By Cantin 1945
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$262 Bids
John Robert Weaver (American/Kansas, 1935-2018)
May 25, 11:00 AM CDT
John Robert Weaver (American/Kansas, 1935-2018)
by Neal Auction Company
Est: $100- $200
$302 Bids
Audubon - Piping Plover. 321
May 28, 10:00 AM CDT
Audubon - Piping Plover. 321
by Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books
Est: $300- $600
$502 Bids
Jamie Wyeth, S.O.S.
Jun 02, 11:00 AM EDT
Jamie Wyeth, S.O.S.
by Rago Arts and Auction Center
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$2252 Bids
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Lebadang (aka Hoi), Stone Horses 2, Etching
May 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Lebadang (aka Hoi), Stone Horses 2, Etching
by RoGallery
Est: $600- $900
$3001 Bid
Wilson & Evans, Hawaii - Mamo (Drepanis Pacifica)
May 28, 10:00 AM CDT
Wilson & Evans, Hawaii - Mamo (Drepanis Pacifica)
by Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books
Est: $500- $1,500
$1001 Bid
Charles van Sandwyk "American Robin" hand-coloured etching, colour proof
May 29, 4:00 PM PDT
Charles van Sandwyk "American Robin" hand-coloured etching, colour proof
by 4th Meridian Fine Art
Est: $300- $400
$1001 Bid
Cape Dorset Kinngait Prints, Mangitak, Ashevak
May 28, 1:00 PM EDT
Cape Dorset Kinngait Prints, Mangitak, Ashevak
by Kavanagh Auctions
Est: $50- $15,000
$501 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Animal Prints


Robinhood Auctions

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Dane Fine Art

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Luxury Fine Arts