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While the great George Stubbs was most widely recognized for his mastery in equestrian painting, his profound knowledge of anatomy made him the perfect choice to portray the wondrous beasts brought back by British officials from their adventures in Africa and the East. Being so, when Sir George Pigot, Governor-General of Madras, returned to England after passing on his position bringing with him a collection of what he called “wild beasts and curiosities,” he made sure Stubbs was hired to portray the members of the collection in all their glory. Widely recognized for his work in equestrian painting, George Stubbs painted many a commission of famous racehorses, jewels of the stud farms of the British rich and powerful. Still, his career wasn’t restricted to painting paid portraits of race winners. While those were more than able to maintain his lifestyle, Stubbs also dedicated his time and effort to the portrayal of more allegorical themes, not necessarily directly connected to a specific model, but to display his great talent and knowledge of anatomy.
In this 1762 oil on canvas, he does so by confronting his most usual subject matter, a strong and muscular horse, with a beast from distant lands, a fully maned male lion. This painting is, in fact, part of a greater sequence of attempts at the same theme, starting with this piece and ending in 1770, with the paintings’ background becoming more prominent and the animals being dislocated increasingly to the bottom right of the canvas while increasing in detail and anatomical excellence. Due to his recognition os an equestrian and anatomical painter, Stubbs would have been able to access a vast array of Natural History Museums, menageries, and private kennels to study the exotic animal he was so fond of portraying.
What is interesting to note in this first attempt is the difference in detailing between the horse and its nemesis, making it evident that the artist was much more intimate with equine anatomy than he would have been with the feline. While the horse is masterfully rendered, with every fiber of muscle and lock on its mane carefully crafted, the lion has enormous paws that do not seem to respect perspective or proportion. Its fangs look like those of a poisonous snake as it bites into the back of the horse’s lower neck. The lack of proportion between the lion’s body and its legs might indicate that, while Stubbs must have had enough access to the animals to understand their anatomy, he was not able to see them in action and thus had to project how he thought that might look.
Now in possession of the Yale Centre for British Art in Hartford, Connecticut, along with many of Stubb’s most famous paintings, including the two others that derive from this piece, it allows us to glimpse into the learning process of a man who was known in his time as one of the great luminaries of anatomical painting.
Real Oil Paints, Real Brushes, Real Artists, Real Art. The Certificate of Authenticity which arrives with every painting provides an assurance and verifies the authenticity of the hand painted fine art reproduction you purchased. Each oil painting is created by hand using only the finest canvas and oil paints available.
Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of A Lion Attacking a Horse, c.1762, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of A Lion Attacking a Horse, c.1762 that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.
Free shipping is included in the price of the painting. Once the painting is ready and dry enough to ship, we will roll it and ship it in a sturdy cardboard tube.
We always ship express via courier to ensure your order reaches you as soon as possible - normally within three business days. The total delivery time from the moment you place your order until the package is delivered to your door is normally between three to four weeks.
If, in the unlikely event you were dissatisfied with the painting after reviewing it in person, it can be returned for a full refund for up to 365 days after delivery.
When you receive the painting; you are free to return it for more revisions or else for a full refund minus our actual shipping cost -- which is, on average, $25 per painting.
1st Art Gallery provides a full warranty covering manufacturing and material defects for paintings purchased from our website. The warranty covers damage for normal use. Damage caused by incidents such as accidents or inappropriate use are not covered.
Depending on the degree of damage to the warranted painting, it will either be repaired or replaced. This warranty service is provided free of charge.
When purchasing a painting on its own, it will arrive rolled inside a secure tube with an extra 1.5" of white canvas on all sides so you can easily frame it in any local frame shop.
You may choose to purchase your painting framed, in which case, it will arrive "ready to hang". We offer more than 20 beautiful models, all hand finished and expertly assembled by our experienced framers.
Note that for safety reasons we can only frame up to a certain size. Once the maximum size is reached the framing option is automatically disabled.
If you are planning to frame your painting yourself,
use an existing frame, or frame it locally, you may choose to order your painting with a stretching service,
meaning that it will arrive mounted on wooden bars.
If you're considering not framing your painting at all, you may opt for a Gallery Wrap. The term Gallery Wrap refers to the way the canvas is stretched, which is by wrapping it around thick stretcher bars, about 1.5 inch thick, with the canvas being secured to the back rather than the sides of those bars.
All orders ship with UPS, FedEx or DHL and will arrive directly to your home or office. A tracking number will be emailed to you as soon as the order leaves our studio so you can track it online. All orders ship express and usually arrive within 4-5 days from the shipping date. Due to shipping restraints, many of our framed, stretched, and oversize paintings may take 6-21 days for arrival depending on the safest route determined by the postal service.