Landscape with Animals and Ruins

Roelant Savery
1 min
Year: 1616


(Sound of toads)

Do you see the toads on the ground? 

(River sounds, splashing water)

The deer running across the river? 

(A squirrel eating a nut)
The small squirrel on the branch? 

In the eighteenth century, the Dutch artist Roelant Savery was admired for his precise depictions of different animal species. 

(Sounds of various tropical, tame and wild animals)

As a painter at the court of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II in Prague, he had a unique opportunity to observe tropical and wild animals at close quarters. 

This was because the Emperor displayed his power and wealth by owning animals from all over the world. 

(Sound of parrot/scarlet macaw)

He imported scarlet macaws, such as the bird you see in the tree on the left, from Central and South America to chilly Europe. Such wild animal species were a rare sight at that time.  

But Savery's painting is not just an imaginative composition. The animals shown here represent the four elements: the frog represents fire; the land animals represent earth; the birds represent the air; and the fish represent water. 

In his art, Savery unifies ideas about the world – by depicting landscapes and animals from different continents.