About This Artwork

Eugène Delacroix (French, 1798-1863)
printed by E. Ardit (French, act. 1828-1834)

Lion of the Atlas Mountains, 1829

Lithograph in black on light-gray China paper laid down on ivory wove paper (chine collé)
330 x 465 mm (image); 470 x 625 mm (sheet)

The Joseph Brooks Fair Collection, 1927.1646

Delacroix’s largest pair of pendant prints features a monumental lion (seen here) and a regal tiger (1927.1645), presented in a kind of face-off. Ancient Roman games regularly pitted Barbary lions and Bengal tigers against each other. Into the late 19th century, they were still made occasional enemies for entertainment and profit, as in one heavily wagered bout to the death in India. While this particular big cat may appear passive compared with the ravening lion, the tiger usually triumphed in these showdowns.

— Exhibition label, Lion Hunters: Copying Delacroix’s Big Cats, July 15, 2016–January 15, 2017, Galleries 220A.

Interpretive Resources

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