Boar Hunt, Peter Paul Rubens
- Posted by Peter Paul Rubens
- Museum: Dresden Gallery
- Year: 1615-1620
Description of the picture :
Boar Hunt – Peter Paul Rubens. 1615-1620. Wood, butter. 137×168
In Rubens’ works on the topic of hunting, you can distinguish between two phases of creativity. Pictures of the first period, which lasted until 1620, which includes the presented “Caban Hunt”, are characterized by a centripetal and diagonal compositional scheme, and unbridled forces operate on both sides. Later works develop a composition characteristic of frieze, that is, the action in them is shown in a horizontal angle parallel to the plane of the picture. In the first case, the climax of hunting is emphasized when the beast is overtaken and defeated, in the second – the fishing process. And if the work of the first period demonstrates the victory of hunters over a fierce predator, then the canvas of the second – the pursuit of defenseless animals.
The Dresden picture in terms of its content is much larger than just a genre hunting scene. It clearly “enlightens” the ancient myth of the Caledonian Hunt, the one in which Meleagr kills the Caledonian velveteen with a spear (this myth is set by Philostrat the Younger in chapter 15 of his “Cartin”). All participants in the story are depicted here: a boar stands under a tree in a dense ring of hunters and viciously barking dogs. Atalanta has just launched her arrow; the spear of Meleagra sticks into the beast. Near the fan lies a dead man. This topic is used by many Flemish artists for paintings representing hunting against the background of the forest landscape.