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Gallery of the Pagan Easter Art: Funny Bunnies

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A bug inside a pink bunny, showing how art turns everyday objects to sinister purposes.

Next week, Weekend Special will continue with its series Great Barbecues of Texas, but this week our subject will be the pagan symbolism of the rabbit in seasonal Easter art. So sit back, put your smoking jacket on and your feet up, and enjoy our gallery.

Sporting a green citrus hat, this fierce-looking bunny evokes a Saracen warrior, or maybe a football player.

Not content to merely worship rabbits, some acolytes insist on trying to clothe themselves in rabbit raiment, often to middling effect.

Ours in not the first age that has worshiped the bunny; it has been commemorated in numerous works of art from all ages.

Improvements in bunny nutrition have led to larger, healthier specimens.

Next: Even more disturbing bunny art

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Genetic experiments gone awry have generated rabbit subspecies unknown to our forebears.

The most devoted worshippers insist on being dressed up as bunnies full time, and maintain an extensive collection of costumes — with fur for winter wear — with just that purpose in mind.

Of course, the bunny has been a sign of fecundity and rebirth for at least the last four millennia, and there’s nothing cuter than a baby bunny in a nest of spring flowers.

The rabbit as evoked in 19th-century literature (the epic Peter Rabbit series comes to mind) turned out to be a major influence on Freud, for whom the burrowing animal was seen as a symbol of his father’s furry white beard.

Next: not for the squeamish!

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Bunnies have also had their detractors, and even persecutors, down through the ages, and it was the deplorable habit of killing them by crucifixion that led early Christians to adopt this iconography for the death of their own savior.

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