The period of classicism began about the year 1760. Its models are the works of the ancient times and the Italian Renaissance. The aim of classicistic Arts was to create an idealizing beauty by means of measure and harmony. To show the idea of perfect nature was more important than depicting nature itself.
Animal representations are among the oldest motifs of human painting (as we find them in prehistoric cave painting) as well as of fine art.They inform us about the relation between man and animal in their time. However, pure animal images, where animals are not only symbolical attributes of the persons depicted, are a rather young development. In ancient times and in the Middle ages animals referred mostly to certain qualities of the depicted persons or they symbolized gods. In the Renaissance perception and representation of animals changed. A first high point of the representation of animals was the Dutch animal genre painting of the 17th century. In modern times it was the expressionist Franz Marc who created a great number of animal pictures.