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Go On a Virtual Art Museum Scavenger Hunt to Find Animals Hidden in Plain Sight

Think you can find all the animals hidden in famous works of art around the world? Ready, set, hunt!

Josey Miller · 5 months ago

  • art
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Art museum scavenger hunts are super-fun in person, and just as entertaining during virtual visits. You simply pick a category — in this case, animals — and search. See it? Pounce! You might even be surprised when you start appreciating the shading and brushstrokes as much as the fur and feathers. Get ready to use your animal instincts on a museum safari!

The Letter by Gerard Ter Borch

The Letter by Gerard Ter Borch

National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Can you find a tiny brown and white spaniel snoozing on a purple velvet chair? That’s just one of the details to notice in The Letter by Gerard ter Borch. Metallic surfaces are this artist’s specialty. See a few here, like the tray and the chandelier? Even the silk skirt has that shimmery sheen. By the way, nobody has a clue what the letter was supposed to say, and we really want to know ... almost as much as we want to boop that puppy’s nose. Don’t you?

The Horsewoman: Portrait of Marie Lefebure by Edouard Manet

The Amazon by Edouard Manet

Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP)

What animal — or animals — do you see here? This oil painting called The Horsewoman by Edouard Manet is a portrait of a woman named Marie Lefebure, who was most likely… on a hunting outing. And look closely at her hand: Manet painted it twice to give the optical illusion that it’s moving up and down. 

An Elephant by Rembrandt

An Elephant by Rembrandt

The Albertina Museum, Vienna

Okay, this one is admittedly hidden in plain sight. But there's a lot to love about An Elephant, a Baroque-style drawing by Rembrandt (who was born Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, but usually just goes by his first name, like Cher and Madonna), including the way he created texture using tic-tac-toe-board-type lines. There’s also a definite “smize” on this animal’s face, like Austria’s Next Top Model.

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat

Art Institute of Chicago

A monkey on a leash? Ooh-ooh-ah-ahhh. That’s certainly something you don’t see every day! You’ll discover one in this famous impressionist painting, though. Parents, here’s a hint as you try to pin down the primate in question: We proudly present… an opportunity to discuss not only artist George Seurat with your children, but also Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. And it’s all sure to make a huge impression.

North Conway, New Hampshire by Samuel Lancaster Gerry

 North Conway, New Hampshire by Samuel Lancaster Gerry

High Museum of Art, Atlanta

In this restful painting by Samuel Lancaster Gerry, ranchers are tending their sheep and cows. And even though the livestock are in the front part of the painting — practically close enough to pet — they manage to camouflage surprisingly well in the shadows; you’ll have to look really closely to catch them. On the other hand, check out how the mountain is so far away, yet much more noticeable in the light. It shines bright like a diamond.

Two Jaguars by Jacob Gerritsz Cuyp

Two Jaguars by Jacob Gerritsz Cuyp

Kunsthaus, Zürich

Can you spot two jaguars? (See what we did there?) This is a Jacob Gerritsz Cuyp piece — a fun surprise for his fans because he was much more well-known for portraits of young humans than wild animals. In fact, exotic animals were rare across the board in Dutch art at the time. And while one animal in the scene is asleep, the cub behind her looks like she is hyperaware of your presence and would very much like you to move on to the next painting. Intruders! 

Chickens and Ducks by Melchior d’Hondecoeter

Chickens and Ducks by Melchior d’Hondecoeter

The Mauritshuis (The Hague, Netherlands)

Don’t fly by this painting of birds in the air, on land, and in the water. How many different kinds of birds do you see in this 17th century piece by Melchior d’Hondecoeter, and what's got their feathers all ruffled? You may want to print this out so you can ask your stylist to give you a similar haircut to the running redhead.