A Lion (A Lion Resting on a Rock)
George Stubbs British
Not on view
Stubbs was eighteenth-century Britain’s greatest animal painter and a skilled etcher, an unusual combination of artistic skills for that period. The artist’s renderings of big cats generally are set in dark wooded settings; however, here, the lushly maned lion lies on a clifftop overlooking the sea. Distant palm trees evoke the animal’s native North African habitat, which the artist never visited. To study the lion’s form, Stubbs likely went to either the menagerie at the Tower of London or the one on Hounslow Heath maintained by Lord Shelbourne. The lion’s pose and expression convey his traditional status as king of beasts.