Animals in Art

Animals have fascinated artists for ages and played a significant role in art throughout human history. Some of the first artworks ever created, painted on cave walls, showed animals and their significance to ancient humans. 

Animals have been featured in the arts to symbolize challenging ideas and emotions. For example, the lion represents bravery and strength, and the dove symbolizes peace and purity. 

Additionally, they are frequently portrayed for their aesthetic and cultural values, motivating both artists and viewers. Drawing on the connection to and appreciation of nature’s complexity, representing animals in art helps to honor and maintain the cultural traditions connected to these species, from depictions of rural life and development to myths and tales.

Winslow Homer’s “Hunting Dogs in a Boat” (1889) is one of the most well-known paintings of animals. Instead of people, the subject matter of this work is a pack of hunting hounds sailing over a lake on a small wooden boat.  The bright autumn leaves in the background suggest the dogs were prepared for a hunt. Autumn is typically considered the hunting season for many distinct wild animal species, especially in the United States.

Hunting Dogs in a Boat (1889) by Winslow Homer

“Hunting Dogs in a Boat (Waiting for the Start)” (1889) by Winslow Homer
14″ x 20″ Watercolor on Paper

Take a look at these artworks created by the artists of!


Maria Pusa

“Maria Pusa”
10″ x 8″ Acrylic on Canvas

Spring No. 1

“Spring No. 1”
12″ x 12″ Mixed Media on Canvas

Streams of Water

“Streams of Water”
20″ x 16″ Acrylic on Canvas, Board


20″ x 16″ Acrylic on Canvas

Pets and Wildlife

“Pets and Wildlife”
24″ x 18″ Acrylic on Canvas

-Toby Denise Concepcion