About This Artwork

Eugène Delacroix
French, 1798-1863

Studies of Lions, c. 1829

Graphite on cream laid paper
227 x 342 mm

David Adler Collection, 1950.1411

Delacroix created these preliminary images for the nearby Lion of the Atlas Mountains (1927.1646), which would appear in reverse as a result of the printmaking process. Experimenting with several positions for the lion’s prey, and two expressions for the feline itself, this abbreviated sheet suggests several close sessions at the Jardin des Plantes. Ever diligent in his research, Delacroix even sought permission to arrive before the zoo opened to the public, to watch the lions being fed.

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

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Tübingen, Germany, Kunsthalle Tübingen, "Ingres und Delacroix: Aquarelle und Zeichnungen," September 12-October 28, 1986, cat. 152; traveled to Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, November 6-December 21, 1986.

Frankfurt, Germany, Städelsches Kunstinstitut and the Stadtische Galerie, "Delacroix: Works on Paper," September 23, 1987-January 4, 1988.

Karlsruhe, Germany, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, "Eugène Delacroix," November 1, 2003-February 1, 2004, p. 190, cat. 78 (ill.).

Publication History

Loys Delteil, Le Peintre-Graveur-Illustre, III (Paris, 1908), no. 79.

Price, The Drawings of Delacroix (Los Angeles, 1961) (ill.).

Ira Moskowitz, Great Drawings of All Time, III (New York, 1962), no. 741.

Harold Joachim, French Drawings and Sketchbooks of the Nineteenth Century (Chicago, 1979), no. 2E4.

Melody Peters, Drawing: Space, Form and Expression (Upper Saddle River, 2002).

Ownership History

Estate of the artist [Lugt suppl. 838a]. Rene Paul Huet (died 1928), by 1908 [according to Delteil 1908]. Sold, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, June 28, 1946, lot 132. Sold by Marcel Guiot, Paris, to the Art Institute, 1950.

Interpretive Resources

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