How to Turn Your Pet into a Renaissance Hero: A Guide to Renaissance Animal Portraiture

Do you want to turn your pet into a Renaissance hero? While it may be tempting to commission a painting from Royal Pet Pawtrait. The real artists of the Renaissance era treated animals with much more respect. In this article, we will explore Renaissance animal portraiture and offer some tips for capturing the essence of your pet in art.

You too can get your pet portrayed with a ruff, robe, and stuffed toy. Photograph: Royal Pet Pawtrait
You too can get your pet portrayed with a ruff, robe, and stuffed toy. Photograph: Royal Pet Pawtrait

Capture the Essence of Your Pet

Renaissance artists portrayed animals as the different species they are, not as hideous human parodies. They respected animals and their unique characteristics, whether they were hunting dogs or domestic cats. When portraying your pet, it is important to see it as an animal and respect it as an animal. Here are some examples of Renaissance animal portraits that illustrate this point.

Hunting Dogs in Renaissance Art

Andrea Mantegna’s fresco of the Gonzaga family in their palace in Mantua features hounds panting patiently and poised to go hunting. Although hunting dogs may not count as pets in a modern sense. They were considered part of the family and were portrayed with great respect and dignity.

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Domestic Cats in Renaissance Art

Leonardo da Vinci was a vegetarian who bought birds at the market to set them free. He drew a cat in multiple moments as it rolled about and licked itself, capturing its essence in simple, elegant strokes.

Unconventional Pets in Renaissance Art

The hermit St Jerome was depicted with a tame lion, while Hans Holbein’s Portrait of a Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling showed a real Tudor woman posing with her pet squirrel on her arm, eating a nut. The squirrel was on a tiny lead that the woman held between her finger and thumb, while a pet bird perched on a branch behind her.

Respect Your Pet

The key to capturing the essence of your pet in art is to respect it as an animal. Avoid dressing your cat up as Henry VIII, no matter how overfed it is. Instead, take inspiration from actual Renaissance portraits of animals to photograph or draw your own. By doing so, you will be able to create a portrait that honors your pet’s unique characteristics and captures its true essence.

In conclusion, turning your pet into a Renaissance hero is a fun idea, but it should be done with respect for the animal. Renaissance artists treated animals with great respect and captured their unique characteristics in their art. By following their example and seeing your pet as an animal, you can create a beautiful portrait that captures the true essence of your pet.

Source: The Guardian

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