Carnival of the Animals

The Carnival of the Animals is a musical composition by the French composer Camille Saint-Saëns in 1886.

Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
-Mahatma Gandhi

Svalbard, Arctic
Omo Valley, Ethiopia


Wadi Rum, Jordan


Cammino di Francesco – Rieti, Italy

A cat is a lion in a jungle of small bushes.
– Indian Proverb

Serchul, Tibet



All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.
-Cecil Frances, 1848

Johannesburg, South Africa

A horse is worth more than riches.
– Spanish Proverb





Varanasi, India









Without a shepherd, sheep are not a flock.
-Russian Proverb




Nature’s great masterpiece, an elephant;
the only harmless great thing.
– John Donne

Sri Lanka


Moray, Scotland
Ecuador, Galapagos


Mandalay, Myanmar/Burma




Mazar-e Sharif, Balkh, Afghanistan


Svalbard, Arctic

Until one has loved an animal,
a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.
– Anatole France


The music is from the final movement of the
the composition called the Swan.


Steve’s book, Animals, published by Taschen, is available here:

We welcome and appreciate your comments.

By Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry has been one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than thirty years, with scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name.

To read more about Steve go to

36 replies on “Carnival of the Animals”

Magnificent! As a cellist (who was lucky enough to be photographed by you!) I love the theme you chose and the music: I played that Saint-Saëns Swan hundreds of times. It goes so well with the beauty of your pictures!!! Thank you, Steve! Stay safe. Cécilia Tsan

Thank you Steve! It seems you do – you always have done – a great deal of work, traveled this earth, to tell us, your fans, and the world you know so well, that there is no ending that does not forge a new beginning, no heart that cannot find another, no night that is not followed by a new day – today.

When God created Eyes to see.. God created Steve McCurry. Someday I would like to see from his eye and create the same magic with mine.

When God created eye to see.. God made Steve McCurry.. Someday I would love to see through your eyes and create the same magic from mine.

Mesmerising with the way of capturing the emotions of all the living things in our planet, this carnival of animals!

Meraviglioso modo di catturare l’anima in tutte le sue sfumature…come solo un occhio sensibile , curioso e attento può fare . Grazie Steve di rubare un’emozione e di donarla al mondo.

L’anima catturata in tutte le sue sfumature..meravigliosa capacità di un occhio attento e sensibile … Grazie Steve

When Francis I was decorating his Château de Fontainebleau, Rosso Fiorentino was asked to frecoe the myth of the Abduction of Europa, but in a way that would show that the righteous way to live was to be in harmony with animals – an extraordinary take on the myth and a novel idea for the 16th c – the result was quite amazing ) Thanks for the great story of yours!

One of your most loving photo essays, the music, the quotes and above all the magic of your photographs💜💚💛

This earth is the home for animals too. They deserve kindness and love. What a great tribute to the animals of this world. Who can present this in such manner other than you. Salute to the legend Steve McCurry.

Regards, Vivek

every picture a wonderful story about the mysterious relationship between humans and animals. Thank you!

Gorgeous and inspiring. Nice to see a famous photographer take photos that aren’t out to show how close he could get to the animal’s nose with a super telephoto lens.

I fully agree with Anatole France. When you love an animal your soul lights up and you realize that in their soul there are emotions and sensibilities more intense than human ones. A splendid and dutiful contribution. Thanks.

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