Mark Dery pointed me to this painting by the 17th Century French artist Nicolas Poussin. Hard to see just what the snake in the foreground is doing here, but thankfully we have the title to help us: Landscape with a Man Killed by a Snake. (The link will take you to the National Gallery's website, which offers a little background.) I've never seen a Poussin painting in person, but to judge by what I see online, the guy has serious problems matching tone with material. Over on Art Renewal, for example, I see a lovely painting of a fellow getting disemboweled, and a delicately colored view of a guy stomping on a baby. I'm finding this snake one inappropriately beautiful as well.
More animals in art: