The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 24, 2018

The Rabbit Hunt, 1560

etching, Sheet: 24.3 x 31.8 cm (9 9/16 x 12 1/2 in.); Platemark: 22.1 x 29 cm (8 11/16 x 11 3/8 in.). Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 2009.80

In his only original print, The Rabbit Hunt, Bruegel replicated the graphic vocabulary of dots and dashes seen in his most beautiful pen-and-ink drawings to evoke a vivid sense of atmosphere and light and create a deep recession into space. His representations of nature, including majestic mountains-an unusual and popular subject in the flat Netherlands-exemplify an unprecedented naturalism.

What at first appears to be a pleasant landscape peopled by a hunter searching for hares actually
illustrates an ominous and cautionary moral tale. Aiming his crossbow at the two hares, the hunter
becomes the unwitting target of a second man carrying a lance; the aggressor will become the
victim. The rotting stump in the foreground intensifies the sense of foreboding.

Inscribed in the plate, BRUEGEL, lower left and upper right H Cock excu.

CMA, "Treasures on Paper from the Collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art" (Mar. 9, 2014-Jun. 8, 2014)

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Detail Views