Those who are not conversant in works of art are often surprised at the high value set by connoisseurs on drawings which appear careless, and in every respect unfinished; but they are truly valuable... they give the idea of a whole.
- Sir Joshua Reynolds
We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.
- Anais Nin


Friday, April 22, 2011

Jonathan Jones’ top five rabbits in art

Posted by Charley Parker at 8:08 pm

Titian (Tiziano Vecellio), Albrecht Durer, Sir John Tenniel, Jeff Koons, Robert Givens
I don’t know how small long-eared mammals (not to mention the shelled embryos of certain avian species and similarly shaped confections) came to be associated with the Christian holiday observance of Easter, but there they are, popping up in popular culture all over the place.

Jonathan Jones, writing in his OnArt blog on, uses that association with the upcoming holiday to suggest his top five rabbits in art.

It’s a fun idea, but for one reason or another, his article is only accompanied (at least online) by a single image. I won’t second guess his choices (as I’m all onboard with four out of five), but I’ve take the liberty of supplementing his article with images and, where possible, links to better examples of the works he mentions.

Images above: The Virgin and Child with Saint Catherine and a Shepherd, known as The Madonna of the Rabbit by Titian (Tiziano Vecellio), Young Hare by Albrecht Dürer, the March Hare from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Sir John Tenniel, Rabbit by Jeff Koons, early Bugs Bunny model sheet by Robert Givens.

12 comments for Jonathan Jones’ top five rabbits in art »

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  1. Comment by Dave Dubé
    Friday, April 22, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

    I’m happy with the Albrecht Dürer, which has always seemed to me to be the epitome of hare. I wonder if he lured it close with carrots? ;o)

  2. Comment by Marc Prasch
    Friday, April 22, 2011 @ 11:46 pm

    Just wanted to give you a submission. Painter is Luke Hillestad.

  3. Comment by gary d
    Saturday, April 23, 2011 @ 12:20 am

    Wayne Thiebaud’s rabbit has always been one of my favorites.

  4. Comment by Art paintings sale
    Saturday, April 23, 2011 @ 2:27 am

    Its really implausible paintings, rabbit is very beautiful animal and Luke Hillestad painted much beautiful as original. I am surprised to see the different look of this beautiful animal in painting.

  5. Comment by jensketch
    Saturday, April 23, 2011 @ 8:49 am

    Just thought you might like to know why a Rabbit is associated with Easter. It’s actually the other way around.

  6. Comment by Todd S
    Saturday, April 23, 2011 @ 9:17 am

    Bugg’s Bunny !

  7. Comment by Simon Fletcher
    Saturday, April 23, 2011 @ 9:43 am

    I have to vote for Teniel’s rabbit in first place, his expression and character are unforgettable! Bugs comes second.

  8. Comment by Cynthia Lee
    Saturday, April 23, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

    I’m surprised that Beth Cavener Stichter’s rabbits didn’t make the list.

  9. Comment by David Teter
    Sunday, April 24, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

    Durer’s “Young Hare” (and “The little Owl”) has always been a favorite of mine.
    I also agree with gary d on Wayne Theibaud’s rabbit.

  10. Comment by Daniel van Benthuysen
    Monday, April 25, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

    Durer’s rabbit looks very mature, older. I think of that one as “The Hare, a parent.”

  11. Comment by Charley Parker
    Monday, April 25, 2011 @ 12:10 pm


  12. Comment by modernart
    Monday, April 25, 2011 @ 11:31 pm

    Jeff Koons…
    So amazingly bad!

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