Serendipity trails: Pets and pests, animal friends and foes

The relationship between man and animal is one of the richer themes in Arkyves with the most general Iconclass concept with which it may be tagged, already used more than 15,000 times.

Children playing with animals is a motif with a long history; apparently it started with Cain and Abel and their pet dog. Children may also be seen robbing bird's nest, a demonstration of which sufficiently distracts a farmer that his own pockets may easily be picked by a boy. Seeing this may sidetrack us to investigate the iconography of theft by animals.

Mousetraps, fly-swatters, finch traps, bird cages can all be retrieved separately. You can also retrieve all of them at the same time, and stipulate that you want to see them in an emblematic settings, or, on the contrary, not in such a setting.

Many instances may also be found of the reverse situation: animals threatening men, which of course also occurs frequently in biblical or mythological narrative, e.g. when Actaeon is attacked by his own dogs, Hercules kills Achelous shaped as a bull, [David kills a bear and a lion], or Samson kills a lion with his bare hands.

More friendly relationships between lions and men also existed as is shown by the examples of saint Jerome and the prophet Daniel

Warnung vor den Katzen

unbekannt [Stecher]

Kinders wie heeft dit ouyt meer verzonnen / Dat d'Ratten met katten den krijgh begonnen. (titel op object)

prentmaker: anoniem

Illustratie voor 'Het geduld' in de Kleine gedichten voor kinderen door H. van Alphen

Buys, Jacobus

Man met kat en muis

vermeld op object prentmaker: Danckerts, Cornelis (I)

Denis Lebey de Batilly, Emblemata, 1596 (serietitel)

prentmaker: Bry, Theodor de

A cat who pretends to do penance for killing mice, lures other mice from their hiding place

Mice encircle a cage with a cat

Young cats hunting mice and young monkeys looking for fleas in the hair of a boy who has his hand in his trousers, are observed by two men

From behind a wall Cupid is looking at a cat who is watching a mouse leaving the trap where he was captured yet safe

Mice encircle a cage with a cat

A cat playing with a mouse

Naakt meisje met een hond

naar eigen ontwerp van: Beham, Hans Sebald

Geschiedenis van Simson (serietitel)

naar eigen ontwerp van: Meester van het Amsterdamse Kabinet

David doodt een leeuw en een beer

vermeld op object prentmaker: Panneels, Willem

Hercules worstelt met Acheloüs ()

vermeld op object prentmaker: Cort, Cornelis

St. Jerome pulling a thorn out of the paw of a lion

Ein Jungfrau schön; ein Pfau und Pert... ()

schrijver: Sauri, Lud.