by Alexandra Tuschka
Does he stay seated? Does he jump away? - Dürer's field hare is so alive that one thinks he is just waiting a few seconds for us to contemplate. That Dürer could have sat by a living animal, however, can be practically ruled out. All the biological details are captured - the hairs of the fur are individually recognizable, the whiskers of the hare, the spoons, the fine face - yet this is not a scientific study, but a highly animated work. Dürer's hare was often praised for this "liveliness".
Contemporaries already copied the motif and thus introduced a new type of picture - the animal piece. The fact that this is a completed pictorial motif is also revealed by Dürer's signature, which marks the work as finished. From the left, the hare is hit by a golden light, which creates a diffuse shadow. The eye is also hit by it and shines vividly. This is further enhanced as a window cross is reflected in its eye. This is a motif of Dutch painting and a formulaic element.
Albrecht Dürer - Young Hare
Watercolor and opaque colors, 1502, 25 x 23 cm, Albertinum in Vienna