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Originally published in French in 2014, this sumptuous book presents a selection of over one hundred stunning artworks, depicting animals real and mythical, from the prints and photography collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
The work opens with a preface from celebrated cultural historian Michel Pastoureau, who considers the symbolic importance of animals to our dreams and imagination. Each image is accompanied by a commentary from one of the BnF's expert editorial team of curators and archivists, which provides information on the natural and symbolic history of the creature depicted. Featured artworks include such masterpieces as Dürer's rhinoceros, Manet's cats, a carp by Hiroshige and Matisse's swan.
This is a truly beautiful and authoritative collection of some of the most recognisable and accomplished works of animal-themed art, from the medieval period to the present day.
- "Beast of Gevaudan"
- Giant Squid
- Snowy Owl
- Sperm Whale
- Spiny Lobster
- Turtle Dove
- Water Spaniel
- Wild Boar
Rémi Mathis and Valérie Sueur-Hermel both work as curators at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris. Michel Pastoureau is a director of studies at the Sorbonne, France. He is an academician of the Académie Internationale d'Héraldique and vice-president of the Societe Française d'Héraldique.
"Opulent, provocative and mind-opening, Animal is a magnificent compendium, which is witness to the intertwining of human and animal lives, showing not only how richly and insistently humans have thought about animals, but also how good animals are to think with."
– Steven Connor, Professor of English at Peterhouse, University of Cambridge, UK
"Informative, thought-provoking and visually stunning, this volume will prove richly rewarding for anyone interested in probing the connections between animals, culture, art and history. The book's authoritative, engaging texts and sumptuous illustrations make Animal an intellectual and visual pleasure."
– Pia F. Cuneo, Professor of Art History at the University of Arizona, USA