Stubbs made a series of works in different media showing a horse attacked by a lion. His original inspiration was a famous antique marble sculpture that he probably saw on his visit to Rome in 1754. The episode shown here, with the final surrender of the horse, is closest to the classical model. The setting for this violent encounter is the harsh, rocky landscape of Creswell Crags in the Peak District. The area was then an inaccessible, wild region whose mysterious caves and crannies fascinated Stubbs. The scenery makes a suitably romantic background for the ‘sublime’ drama of the scene.