The animal painter Briton Rivière was interested in Charles Darwin’s ideas on evolution and the relationship of animals to man. Beyond Man’s Footsteps represents the Arctic as a place of extreme and sublime beauty where man is, as yet, nowhere to be seen and the polar bear reigns. Rivière did not visited the region, and based his painting on a captive bear in London Zoo and on dramatic written accounts of Arctic explorers.
Gallery label, February 2016
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