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.