George Stubbs
A Lion Resting on a Rock published 1788

Artwork details

George Stubbs 1724–1806
A Lion Resting on a Rock
Date Published 1788
Medium Engraving on paper
Dimensions Image: 227 x 314 mm
Acquisition Transferred from the British Museum 1984
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

Unlike most of  Stubbs's big cats, the majestic lion shown here is set in what appears to be an attempt at its native environment, with mountainous coastal scenery and exotic palm trees. It was traditionally believed that Stubbs first saw a lion in Ceuta, Morocco, on his return by sea from Italy in around 1756, but this story is now thought to be apocryphal. His accurate observations of the living beasts were more likely to have been made from studying caged lions at the Tower of London and at Lord Shelbourne’s menagerie on Hounslow Heath.

February 2004

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