Do You Know About The Rabbit Painting That Will Improve Your Mood Instantly?


Rabbits have been used in the visual arts for centuries. They have been used for different motifs with various mythological and artistic meanings.

Generally speaking, the rabbit signifies rebirth or resurrection. Artists also use rabbits to symbolize fertility and sensuality.

But over the centuries, other symbolic values have also been allocated to rabbits. For example, they are depicted by some painters in their paintings only as wild creatures of hunting, without any symbolic value whatsoever.

But rabbit painting can also be cute and funny. One well known famous cute rabbit painting is Andre Gill’s “Lapin Agile Cabaret” in Paris. It is a painting that will improve your mood instantly when you look at it.

In this article, we’ll briefly examine how rabbits have been used in art over the centuries, and then we’ll discuss Andre Gill’s famous painting.

The Depiction of Rabbits in Judaism and Classical Antiquity:

The rabbit is considered an unclean animal In Judaism because it does not have a divided hoof. This was one of the reasons for the critical and often disrespectful attitude towards rabbits by Christian artists of the Middle Ages. Rabbits were often seen as “evil.”

But although rabbits were a non kosher animal for the Old Testament Jews, there were also positive symbolic connotations in paintings and sketches during the earlier centuries.

For example, the 16th century German scholar Rabbi Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi saw rabbits as a symbol of the Diaspora.

In Classical Antiquity, rabbits were seen to survive only by prolific breeding. Aristoteles, for instance, described rabbits as the most fertile of all animals.

The rabbit became the symbol of fertility and desire. In later antiquity, rabbits were also used in art to symbolize good luck.

The Depiction of Rabbits in Early Christian and Medieval Art:

In early Christian art, rabbits appeared on articles like icons and oil lamps, but it is not clear what the symbolic connotations were.

Some art scholars believe rabbits in the early Christian artworks are symbolic of the Christian belief that salvation must be found in Christ as the Rock and not in worldly “down on the ground” things.

They base this theory on the teachings of that time where rabbits were seen as to be “escaping” onto rocks instead of falling to the ground to be hunted.

In Medieval art, the rabbit was sometimes used in paintings to symbolize the negative connotation of lust. But art scholars believe that a rabbit symbolizes something positive for many other artists in medieval times, a symbol of the steep path to salvation.

Rabbits in Non Religious Art:

In non religious art, the rabbit is sometimes just depicted as prey for the hunter. But it can also symbolize spring or autumn and is often used as a symbol of physical love.

In Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, rabbits can be found in many famous paintings. For example, Pinturicchio’s depiction of “Susanna in the Bath” shows two old men accompanied by a pair of rabbits, indicating wanton lust.

Another reason artists sometimes include rabbits in their paintings is that small animals with fur, including rabbits, are excellent vehicles to showcase the artist’s ability to paint in fine detail.

Two Wonderful Rabbit Paintings in European Art:

One of the most beautiful rabbit paintings in European art’s earlier history is probably Albrecht Dürer’s 1502 painting “Young Hare.”

This rabbit does not have any symbolic meaning but is one of the most reproduced images of a rabbit in European art history.

It has been printed in many art textbooks, published in hundreds of reproductions, and copied and used in many other ways, even up to today.

The other trendy and famous rabbit painting, “Lapin Agile Cabaret,” was created in the second half of the 1800s.

It depicts a rabbit jumping from a saucepan and has become the “model” of many modern caricature artists.

Let’s find out who this artwork’s creator was and the story behind the painting.

Andre Gill – the Creator of Lapin Agile Cabaret

Andre Gill – the Creator of “Lapin Agile Cabaret”

The 19th century French caricaturist André Gill drew celebrities of his time with giant heads on tiny bodies.

This practice influenced virtually all cartoonists of the late 1800s and even today.

André Gill was born in 1840 in Paris. His family was of high social standing, his father was a count. By using “Gill’ as part of his pseudonym, he honored James Gillray as the person who had influenced him the most.

Although he had a traditional art education, he is known for his cartoon like pictures created in a graphic style.

He drew famous and well known people as a caricature with large heads and small bodies.

His first drawings appeared in 1859 in “Le Journal Amusant,” “Le Hanneton,” and the socialist journal “La Rue.”

He portrayed several famous politicians like Napoléon III, novelists like Charles Dickens, and composers like Georges Bizet.

Unfortunately, Gill’s final years ended in tragedy. In 1883 he was admitted to an asylum because of a mental illness and lost all his former friends except his loyal student, Émile Cohl.

Cohl paid Gill’s medical expenses until he passed away in 1885.

Lapin Agile Cabaret

André Gill was also well known in the cabaret milieu in Paris.

He frequently visited the “Cabaret des Assassins” at the Montmartre. But he was not only a visitor to the club, but he also performed as a singer in this club.

His association with this club was why he created one of his most famous paintings.

The “Cabaret de Assassins” asked him to design a sign for the club. The sign he created depicts a rabbit jumping out of a saucepan.

The local people in Paris loved this sign, and they referred to it as “Lapin à Gill” (“Gill’s rabbit”). As a result, the “Cabaret de Assassins” has become known as” Lapin Agile Cabaret” and is still in operation and is a well known tourist attraction in Paris.

It is said that when you look at this painting your mood instantly improves.

What you should remember?

Rabbit paintings have been part of the art scene for centuries already, and there are many reasons why painters up to today include rabbits in their artworks.

But not many rabbit paintings make you feel good when you look at the image.

However, Andre Gill’s” Lapin Agile Cabaret” depicting a rabbit jumping out of a saucepan will increase your mood every time you look at it.

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