The Return from the Hunt

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

Not on view

This picture and its companion (also in The Met's collection) reimagine the early history of humankind and are among the most singular works of the Renaissance. Their inspiration was the fifth book of De Rerum Natura by the Epicurean poet and philosopher Lucretius (ca. 99–55 B.C.). A manuscript of Lucretius’s work was discovered in 1417 and published in Florence in 1471–73. Lucretius believed that the workings of the world can be accounted for by natural rather than divine causes, and he put forward a vision of the history of primitive humanity and the advent of civilization that was much discussed in Renaissance Florence—and beyond. For more information about these remarkable paintings, visit

The Return from the Hunt, Piero di Cosimo (Piero di Lorenzo di Piero d'Antonio) (Italian, Florence 1462–1522 Florence), Tempera and oil on wood

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