The period in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, that was characterized by a renewed interest in ancient Greek and Roman art, philosophy, and science. Renaissance began in italy and spread over other european countries. It prefered motives from greek and roman mythology. Taking great interest in natural sciences and the individual human being, renaissance painters began to protray human beings and their environment in a more realistic manner. The portait became one of the typical forms of renaissance art.
Animal representations are among the oldest motifs of human painting (as we find them in prehistoric cave painting) as well as of fine art.They inform us about the relation between man and animal in their time. However, pure animal images, where animals are not only symbolical attributes of the persons depicted, are a rather young development. In ancient times and in the Middle ages animals referred mostly to certain qualities of the depicted persons or they symbolized gods. In the Renaissance perception and representation of animals changed. A first high point of the representation of animals was the Dutch animal genre painting of the 17th century. In modern times it was the expressionist Franz Marc who created a great number of animal pictures.