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More About The Hunting Series

Some scholars believe that certain symbols in these works signify religious connotations; there is controversy and no conclusive evidence. One of the four does depict a Magdalene-like figure with an ointment jar, and some have speculated that Christ, the husbandman (farmer), may be alluded to in the pastoral scenes with their fenced precincts evoking images of the Virgin's Immaculate Conception or the Garden of Paradise with stags and other animals that may have been used as symbols of purity. The combination of peasants and nobles is evocative of the Annunciation paintings.

Hunting in the Middle Ages
Hunting was an important activity during the Middle Ages; it has been described in song, in story, and in art. In the first of the four hangings from the Netherlands, dated c. 1515-35, a hunter spears a wild boar in the breast. A valet, standing with his hound, sounds his horn to herald the event. Another hunter, with a greyhound, appears ready to stab the boar again.

In another section of the clearing, away from the hunt, a woodsman is chopping a fruit tree. A mythical creature, half camel, half leopard, with a single horn coming out of its forehead ( a unicorn, perhaps) sits in front of the hunting scene, with a camel alongside. Outside the fence, fashionably dressed nobles mill about, some of them observing the goings on inside the precinct, one about to mount a horse. In the background, again outside of the enclosure, are castles and hills.

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The Middle Ages is inspired by programs from The Western Tradition.

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