A Hare in the Forest

Object Details

Title:

A Hare in the Forest

Artist/Maker:

Hans Hoffmann (German, about 1530 - 1591/1592)

Culture:

German

Date:

about 1585

Medium:

Oil on panel

Dimensions:

62.2 × 78.4 cm (24 1/2 × 30 7/8 in.)

See more

See less

Nibbling on a leaf pulled from a stalk of Lady's Mantle, an alert hare sits at the edge of a pine forest. Unlike the darkness one would expect to find in a forest, Hans Hoffmann painted a theatrically illuminated scene. Each plant and insect--snail, cricket, beetle--is seen in vivid detail. The finely wrought leaves of the thistle, the sprawling fronds of a plantain, and the bright blue flowers of the Hare Bell attest to Hoffmann's meticulous treatment of the subject. In fact, none of these plants could have coexisted in the natural world. Hoffmann imaginatively combined numerous individual nature studies in a single painting.

Hoffmann's golden-brown hare is based on Albrecht Dürer's famous and influential watercolor which, much like his Stag Beetle, shows a hare against a plain ground. Hoffmann had seen Dürer's hare while in Nuremburg. Later, when he went to work in the court of Emperor Rudolf II, he helped the Emperor acquire the watercolor for his Kunstkammer. Hoffmann's hare differs from Dürer's, however, appearing amid a striking arrangement of elegant plants and insects. At the time it was painted, this arrangement of nearly life-size subjects was entirely unique, not only within Hoffmann's body of work, but also within the tradition of German nature study.

Provenance
1585 - 1612

Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor, 1552 - 1612 (Prague Castle, Prague), purchased from the artist, 1585, by inheritance to his brother.
Source: Court accounts of Rudolf II, Kunstkammer inventory of 1621.

1612 - 1619

Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor, 1557 - 1669 (Prague Castle, Prague), by inheritance to his cousin.

1619 - 1637

Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor, 1578 - 1637 (Prague Castle, Prague), by inheritance to his son.

1637 - 1657

Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor, 1608 - 1657 (Prague Castle, Prague), looted by the Swedish Army, 1648.

1648 - 1648

Swedish Army, by gift to Christina, February 1649.
Source: 1648 inventory of works taken from Prague.

1648 -

Queen Christina of Sweden, 1626 - 1689 (Stockholm)
Source: 1652 inventory of Christina's collections in Stockholm.

about 1675 - 1800

Possibly X. Pertuis
Source: Inscription on reverse.

-

Elsie Mackay (Bishopthorpe, Yorkshire, England)
Source: Letter from Ann Hartas, December 2, 2001.

-

and Mary Mackay (Bishopthorpe, Yorkshire, England), to Alan and Lucy Mackay.

- about 1961

Alan Mackay (Wheldrake, Yorkshire, England)

- about 1961

and Lucy Mackay (Wheldrake, Yorkshire, England), given to Ann Hartas and Norman Hartas, about 1961.

about 1961 - 1983

Anne Hartas, née Mackay (Middleton, near Pickering, North Yorkshire, England)

about 1961 - 1983

and Norman Hartas (Middleton, near Pickering, North Yorkshire, England) [sold, Sotheby's London, November 30, 1983, lot 49, to Paul Josefowitz and Ellen Melas Kyriazi.]

1983 - 2001

Paul Josefowitz (London, England)

1983 - 2001

and Ellen Melas Kryiazi (London, England) [unsold, Sotheby's, London, July 4, 1990, lot 14.], sold half share to Robert Noortman Gallery, 1997.

1997 - 2001

and Robert Noortman Gallery [sold, Sotheby's, New York, January 25, 2001, lot 91, to the J. Paul Getty Museum.]

Exhibitions
Albrecht Dürer und die Tier- und Pflanzenstudien der Renaissance (April 18 to June 30, 1985) (49)
  • Albertina (Vienna), April 18 to June 30, 1985
Prag um 1600: Kunst und Kultur am Hofe Kaiser Rudolfs II (June 10, 1988 to February 26, 1989) (138)
  • Villa Hügel (Essen), June 10 to October 30, 1988
  • Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna), November 24, 1988 to February 26, 1989
Picturing the Natural World (June 17 to September 7, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 17 to September 7, 2003
Bibliography

Murr, Christophe Theophile de. Description du cabinet de Monsieur Paul de Praun à Nuremberg (Nuremberg: Jean Théophile Schneider, 1797) p. 17, under no. 130.

Perger, A. Ritter von. "Studien zur Geschichte der k. k. Gemäldegallerie im Belvedere zu Wien." Berichte und Mittheilungen des Alterthums-Vereines zu Wien 7 (1864) p. 106, under Fol. 34b.

Dudik, Beda. "Die Rudolphinische Kunst- und Raritätenkammer in Prag." Mittheilungen der K.K. Central-Commission zur Erforschung und Erhaltung der Baudenkmale 12 (1867) p. xxxix, no. 220.

Boehim, Wendelin, ed. "Urkunden und Regesten aus der K.K. Hofbibliothek." Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des Allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses 7, pt. 2 (1888) p. ccxx, no. 5456.

Granberg, Olof. Drottning Kristinas tafvelgalleri på Stockholms slott och i Rom, dess uppkomst och dess öden ända till våra dagar (Stockholm: Ivar Hæggströms boktryckeri, 1896) app. 1, no. 220, app. 2, no. 280.

Granberg, Olof. La Galerie de tableaux de la reine Christine de Suède ayant appartenu auparavant à l'empereur Rodolphe II, plus tard aux ducs d'Orléans. Pomian Hajdukiewicz, trans. (Stockholm: Ivar Haeggström, 1897) app.1, no. 220, app. 2, no. 280.

Granberg, Olof. Kejsar Rudolf II:s konstkammare och dess svenska öden och om uppkomsten af Drottning Kristinas tafvelgalleri i Rom och des skingrande: nya forskningar (Stockholm: Gustaf Lindströms Boktryckeri, 1902) pp. 48, 119, no. 278, app. 1, no. 88.

Zimmerman, Heinrich. "Das Inventar der Prager Schatz- und Kunstkammer vom 6. Dezember 1621." Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des Allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses 25 (1905), pt. 2 p. XL, no. 916.

Peltzer, Rudolf Arthur. "Hans Hoffmann." In Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker, eds. (Leipzig: E. A. Seemann, 1924) vol. 17, p. 257.

Granberg, Olof. Svenska Konstsamlingarnas Historia från Gustav Vasas tid till Våra Dagar. 3 vols. (Stockholm: Lindström, 1929) vol. 1, pp. 101, 168, no. 916.

Pilz, Kurt. "Hans Hoffmann: Ein Nürnberger Dürer-Nachahmer aus der 2. Hälfte des 16. Jahrhunderts." Mitteilungen des Vereins für Geschichte der Stadt Nürnberg 51 (1962) pp. 241, 251, no. 4.

Handzeichnungen Alter Meister aus Schweizer Privatbesitz, exh. cat. (Bremen: Kunsthalle, 1967) p. 28, under no.4.

Geissler, Heinrich, ed. Zeichnung in Deutschland: Deutsche Zeichner 1540-1640, exh. cat. 2 vols. (Stuttgart: Staatsgalerie, 1979) vol. 1, p. 192, entry by Heinrich Geissler.

Luther, Gisela. "Naturerscheinung, Bild-Erfindung und Ausführung. Zur Arbeitsweise des Künstlers im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert." In Stilleben in Europa, exh. cat. (Münster: Westfälisches Landesmuseum, 1979) p. 51.

Sotheby Parke Bernet & Co., London. Old Master Paintings. November 30, 1983 unpaginated, lot 49, ill.

Hundert Zeichnungen aus fünf Jahrhunderten, exh. cat. (Zürich: Edition Galerie Meissner, 1984) p. 28, under no. 2.

Koreny, Fritz. "A hare among plants by Hans Hoffmann." Art at Auction: The Year at Sotheby's 1983-1984 (London: Sotheby's Publications, 1984) pp. 18-23, fig. 1.

Kaufmann, Thomas DaCosta. L'école de Prague: la peinture à la cour de Rodolphe II (Paris: Flammarion, 1985) p. 257.

Schlumberger, Eveline. "La nature d'après Dürer." Connaissance des Arts, no. 399 (May 1985) p. 83, ill. (in reverse).

Sträter, Lothar. "Häschen in der Forschergrube." Rheinischer Merkur: Christ und Welt 19 (May 4, 1985) unpaginated, ill.

Koreny, Fritz. Albrecht Dürer und die Tier-und Pflanzenstudien der Renaissance, exh. cat. (Munich: Graphischen Sammlung Albertina, with Prestel-Verlag, 1985) pp. 132, 144, under no. 47; p. 146, under no. 48; pp. 148-49, no. 49, ill.; p. 150, under no. 50; p. 152, under no. 51; p. 154, under no. 52.

Schmidt, Doris. "Originale, Kopien, Legenden: 'Dürer und die Tier- und Pflanzenstudien der Renaissance' in der Wiener Albertina." Süddeutsche Zeitung 128 (June 5/6, 1985) p. 45.

Bodnár, Szilvia. "Hans Hoffmanns Zeichnungen in Budapest." Acta Historiae Artium 32 (1986) pp. 85, 102, under no. 24; p. 103, under no. 28; p. 106, under nos. 29 and 30, 119n48, 120nn98-100.

Fucíková, Eliska. "Historisierende Tendenzen in der Rudolfinischen Kunst-Beziehungen zur Älteren Deutschen und Niederländischen Malerei." Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien 82/83 (1986-1987) pp. 190-91, 193, fig. 196.

Budde, Hendrik. "Das 'Kunstbuch' des Nürnberger Patriziers Willibald Imhoff und die Tier- und Pflanzenstudien Albrecht Dürers und Hans Hoffmanns." Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien 82/83 (1986-1987) p. 241.

Achilles-Syndram, Katrin. "Naturstudien von Hans Hoffmann in der Kunstsammlung des Nürnberger Kaufmanns Paulus II. Praun." Jahrbuch der kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien 82/83 (1986-1987) p. 251.

Master Drawings: The Woodner Collection, exh. cat. (London: Royal Academy of Arts, with Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1987) p. 190, under no. 71, entry by Christopher Lloyd.

Bergström, Ingvar. "Hans Hoffmann's Oil-Painting 'The Hare in the Forest.'" In Prag um 1600. Beiträge zur Kunst und Kultur am Hofe Rudolfs II. Eliska Fucíková, ed. (Freren: Luca Verlag, 1988) pp. 16-18, figs. 1, 3.

Dvorský, Jirí, et al. Die Kunst am Hofe Rudolfs II. (Prague: Aventium Verlag, 1988) pp. 81-83, fig. 63.

Kaufmann, Thomas DaCosta. The School of Prague: Painting at the Court of Rudolph II (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988) pp. 215-16, no. 11.1, ill., pl. 4.

Koreny, Fritz. Albrecht Dürer and the Animal and Plant Studies of the Renaissance. Pamela Marwood and Yehuda Shapiro, trans. (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1988) pp. 132, 144, under no. 47; p. 146, under no. 48; pp. 148-49, no. 49, ill.; p. 150, under no. 50; p. 152, under no. 51; p. 154, under no. 52.

Schultze, Jürgen, et al., eds. Prag um 1600: Kunst und Kultur am Hofe Rudolfs II., exh. cat. (Essen: Kulturstiftung Ruhr, Villa Hügel, with Luca Verlag, 1988), vol. 1 p. 253, no. 138, entry by Szilvia Bodnár; p. 268, pl. 36.

Michalski, Sergiusz. "Prague around 1600. Essen and Vienna." The Burlington Magazine 130, no. 1028 (November 1988) pp. 873-4.

Koreny, Fritz, and Sam Segal. "Hans Hoffmann: Entdeckungen und Zuschreibungen." Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien 85/86 (1989-1990) pp. 57-58, fig. 55.

Ergmann, Raoul. "Le dernier empereur." Connaissance des arts, no. 443 (January 1989) pp. 58-60, ill.

Sotheby's, London. Old Master Paintings. July 4, 1990 pp. 30-31, lot. 14, ill.

Segal, Sam. Flowers and Nature: Netherlandish Flower Painting of Four Centuries, exh. cat. (Amstelveen: Hijnk International, 1990) pp. 59-60, fig. 33.

Sotheby's, London. A Highly Important Painting by Hans Hoffmann from the Collection of The Emperor Rudolf II (1552-1612) in Prague. July 4, 1990 unpaginated, ill.

Vignau-Wilberg, Thea. "Le 'Museum de l'empereur Rodolphe II' et le Cabinet des arts et curiosités." In Le Bestiare de Rodolphe II: Cod. min. 129 et 130 de la Bibliothèque nationale d'Autriche. Herbert Haupt, et al., eds. (Paris: Citadelles, 1990) pp. 37, 41, 61n61, 61n91.

Bergström, Ingvar. "The Hare in the Forest: A Recovered Master-Piece of the 'Kunstkammer' of Emperor Rudolf II." Tableau 15, no. 2 (November 1992) pp. 50-63, figs. 1, 4, 5, 8, 13.

Zwollo, An. "Boekbesprekingen / Book Reviews: Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, L'école de Prague. La peinture à la cour de Rodolphe II (Paris, 1985) [...] Painting at the Court of Rudolf II (Chicago and London, 1988)." Oud Holland 106, no. 1 (1992) p. 39, no. 11.

Schoch, Rainer. "Distel und Rotkehlchen auf einem Föhrenstumpf." In Kunst des Sammelns. Das Praunsche Kabinett: Meisterwerke von Dürer bis Caracci, exh. cat. (Nuremberg: Germanischen Nationalmuseums, 1994) p. 208, under no. 72, entry by Rainer Schoch.

Bodnár, Szilvia. "Hans Hoffmann." In The Dictionary of Art. Jane Turner, ed. Vol. 14 (London and New York: Macmillan Publishers Limited, 1996) pp. 626-27.

Hendrix, Lee. "Natural History Illustration at the Court of Rudolph II." In Rudolf II and Prague: The Court and the City, exh. cat. Fucíková, Eliska, et al., eds. (Prague: Prague Castle Administration; London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 1997) p. 159, fig. 10.5.

Stüwe, Rainer. "Dürer in der Kopie: Die Gemälde und Graphiken der Nürnberger Dürer-Kopisten de 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts." 3 Vols. Ph.D. diss. (Universität Heidelberg, 1997) vol. 1, pp. 89-90, 196, no. A 54; vol. 2, no. A 54, ill.

Fucíková, Eliska. "Prague Castle under Rudolph II, His Predecessors and Successors." In Rudolf II and Prague: The Court and the City, exh. cat. Fucíková, Eliska, et al., eds. (Prague: Prague Castle Administration, with Thames and Hudson, 1997) p. 23, 68n85.

Sotheby's, Art at Auction 2000-2001 (London: MacDonald, 2001) p. 44, ill.

Sotheby's, New York. Arts of the Renaissance. January 25, 2001 pp. 190-93, lot 91, fig. 91.

Wright, Jennifer. "Arts of the Renaissance." Sotheby's Preview (January 2001) pp. 61-62, ill.

Melikian, Souren. "The New Art Game: No Rules." Art & Auction 25 (March 2001) pp. 36, 38, ill.

Allen, Denise, et al. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, with Thames & Hudson, 2003) p. 110, no. 59, ill., entry by Anne Woollett.

Kolb, Arianne Faber. Jan Brueghel the Elder: The Entry fo the Animals into Noah's Ark (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum of Art, 2005) pp. 36, 39, ill.

Rosenberg, Pierre. Only in America: One Hundred Paintings in American Museums Unmatched in European Collections. Susan Wise, trans. (Milan: Skira, 2006) pp. 68-69, ill.; p. 231.

Kotková, Olga, ed. Albrecht Dürer: The Feast of the Rose Garlands 1506-2006, exh. cat. (Prague: Národní galerie, 2006) pp. 149-50, under no. II./14, entry by Eliska Fucíková; p. 156, under no. II./19, entry by Hana Seifertová.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007) p. 94, ill.

Bubenik, Andrea S. "The Reception of Albrecht Dürer in Central Europe, 1528-1700: Aspects of Art, Science and Collecting." Ph.D. diss. (Queen's University, 2007) p. 293, fig. 204.

Doherty, Tiarna, and Anne T. Woollett. Looking at Paintings: A Guide to Technical Terms. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2009) p. 85, ill.

Helvey, Jennifer. Irises: Vincent van Gogh in the Garden (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2009) p. 127, fig. 66.

Bubenik, Andrea. Reframing Albrecht Dürer: The Appropriation of Art, 1528-1700 (Burlington: Ashgate, 2013) pp. 114-15, fig. 75.

Education Resources

Education Resource

Subjects

Grades

Format

I Spy (Camouflaged Animals in Art!)

Students discuss animal camouflage and write about an animal and its relationship to its environment. Tied to Open Court unit Look Again.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; Science

K-2

Long-Term Unit

Tactile Poem—Forest Textures

Lesson in which students identify new texture vocabulary using a work of art, and use it to write a poem.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; ESL (English as a Second Language)

K-2; 3-5

Single Class Lesson

Related Media
  • /
    Audio: A Hare in the Forest (Family; Animals)
  • /
    Audio: A Hare in the Forest