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Exploring our enduring interest in the animal world through historical prints on loan from the British Museum’s collection.

Engravings, woodcuts, mezzotints, etchings and drypoints dating from the 5th to the 19th century provide a fascinating record of early modern imagination and creativity.

Created to be easily transportable and relatively affordable, these prints were accessible to many levels of society, proving the wide-ranging popularity of animal subject matter.

The display divides into three main themes; allegorical animals, observing animals and encountering animals. As such, the prints explore everything from the moral and symbolic significance of different creatures to the techniques used to record newly discovered species, as well as examples documenting how animals were used in sports and entertainment, such as bull-baiting.

Featured artists include Albrecht Dürer, Francisco de Goya and George Stubbs, whose works can be seen alongside a selection of lesser-known and rarely-seen prints.

Free to all

20% off shop

Valid to 31 December 2020

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Valid to 31 December 2020


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