–  Feld Haus – Museum of Popular Imagery


Depictions of animals from around the world on popular prints

Animal motifs are still very popular today. The public clicks grim-looking cats into viral Internet stars, videos of adorable kittens are accessed millions of times, and the advertising industry also takes advantage of the sales-promoting four-legged friends. The exhibition at the Museum für Populäre Druckgrafik showed that depictions of animals were already spreading en masse in the era of industrially produced wall decorations.

The variety of creatures depicted, but also the use of the motifs varied. Images of dogs with children are fixed types of representation:

The connection of the protective with the tender. Stories in which the drowning child is saved by the dog testify to the unwavering sense of responsibility of the four-legged friends. Images of playful cats were also popular as early as the 19th century. Horses were shown in various contexts: at war, as mounts on the hunt, and immediately harnessed in groups in front of a carriage. Also on depictions of farms all the animals mentioned, extended by cows, sheep, chickens and pigs, can be found again. Idyllic landscapes show moving herds in front of a wide horizon.

The animals of the forest are depicted separately. In this group is also the well-known roaring deer to be located. Exotic animals, on the other hand, can be found mainly on the educational picture sheets of the time or also in precise execution in the emerging popular encyclopedias. Didactic intentions are often evident in pictures showing animals together with children. In the religious context, animals can be found as attributes of saints. Thus, the evangelist Mark can be recognized by the lion belonging to him.

Of course, animals also appear in entertaining, funny episodes. In picture stories and fables, animals are given human features.

The viewer recognizes himself in the creature.


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