A Hunting Scene

Piero di Cosimo (Piero di Lorenzo di Piero d'Antonio) Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 613

The oblong shape and erudite subject matter of these paintings suggest they originally functioned as panels in a room intended for study and contemplation. The artist has imagined the early history of humanity unfolding in a landscape setting. In one scene, humans and mythological creatures take advantage of a forest fire to hunt animals. In the second, they transport their spoils ashore. Piero drew his inspiration from the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius (ca. 99–55 BCE), whose work had been rediscovered in the 1400s. Lucretius believed that the workings of the world could be accounted for by natural rather than divine causes, and he put forward a vision of human history that differed strikingly from biblical accounts.

#5071. A Hunting Scene

A Hunting Scene, Piero di Cosimo (Piero di Lorenzo di Piero d'Antonio) (Italian, Florence 1462–1522 Florence), Tempera and oil transferred to Masonite

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