To Peter Paul Rubens, flamboyant disciple of a vigorous and confident age, man and beast were created to heroic proportions. In The Wolf and Fox Hunt the snarling and writhing animals are the center of a maelstrom of color and convulsive action into which huntsmen force themselves with spear and club while horses rear in nervous excitement. Rubens painted this monumental canvas circa 1617 for his friend and patron General Legranes, commander of the Marquis de los Balbases' Spanish artillery in Flanders. As a study of animals it has few peers, and the human figures (the mounted couple supposedly is the artist and his wife) are commanding and purposeful.
COURTESY OF THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, NEW YORK