Modern art or “classical modernism“ begins with the 20th century. Modern art contains still the realistic figurative representation but also its rejection up to total abstraction. It is characterized by artistic experimentation and the rejection of the traditional use of colours and forms. The classical modernism includes different art styles as expressionism, cubismus or “New objectivity“.
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.