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Visitors to London exhibitions from Continental Europe were often struck by the vigour of British sporting and animal painting. Lewis, though best known for exotic scenes of Spain and the Near East, began his career as an animal painter.He was a protégé of Thomas Lawrence, the president of the Royal Academy and a royal favourite. Lawrence obtained permission for him to work in the park and menagerie at Windsor. This is one of several pictures he painted between 1824 and 1826, showing the royal deer-keepers and staghounds.

May 2007