The Bestiarium of Aloys Zötl (1831-1887)

These beautiful watercolours come from the Austrian painter Aloys Zötl’s Bestiarium, a series of exquisite paintings of various animals undertaken from 1831 through until his death in 1887. He was relatively unknown until, decades after his death, his work was “re-discovered” by surrealist André Breton who was taken by the surrealist aesthetic he saw present in the images – as he writes: “Lacking any biographical details about the artist, one can only indulge one’s fantasies in imagining the reasons which might have induced this workman from Upper Austria, a dyer by profession, to undertake so zealously between 1832 and 1887 the elaboration of the most sumptuous bestiary ever seen.” (Wikipedia)

Housed at: Wikimedia Commons
Underlying Work: PD Worldwide | Digital Copy: No Additional Rights
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The Hoolock Gibbon (1835)


The Siamang Gibbon (1883)



The Gibbon (1833)


The Cheetah (1886)


The Boa Constrictor (1867)


The Quagga (1882)


The Camel (1846)


The Sea Turtle (1867)


The African Elephant (1886)


The Walrus (1879)



The Elk (1886)


The Lioness (1832)


The Striped Hyena (1831)







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