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A Hare in the Forest by Hans Hoffman
A Hare in the Forest by Hans Hoffman

A Hare in the Forest, 1585

Hans Hoffman

Nibbling on a leaf pulled from a stalk of Lady's Mantle, an alert hare sits at the edge of a pine forest. All around it, vividly detailed and meticulously painted forest creatures — a lizard, a grasshopper, snails, a butterfly — slither, creep and fly. The finely wrought leaves of the thistle, the sprawling fronds of a plantain, and the bright blue flowers of the Hare Bell — the only bright spot in this dun-colored scene — show Hoffmann’s careful treatment of the subject. None of these plants could have coexisted in the natural world; Hoffmann imaginatively combined numerous individual nature studies in a single painting.

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