The accompanying inscription in doggerel Latin by Cornelis Kiliaan explains the extraordinary subject depicted in the present work. Roughly translated it reads:
In order to disguise their scent, the stags rub themselves over the back of the bull and suspend themselves from the branch of a tree to avoid the hunters and their packs of dogs.
It is difficult to date Stradanus’ drawings for the Venationes since the engravings were produced over a span of about thirty years. Although some have been dated earlier, it is probable that most of the drawings date from well after the completion in the late 1560s of the Poggio a Caiano tapestries. A date in the late 1580s or early 1590s is likely for the present sheet.
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