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Lioness and Cubs

A work made of watercolor, with graphite, on ivory wove paper, laid down on japanese paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of watercolor, with graphite, on ivory wove paper, laid down on japanese paper.


c. 1832


Antoine Louis Barye
French, 1795-1875

About this artwork

Barye strove for anatomical accuracy in his sculptures, and his watercolors show his interest, shared with Delacroix, in the physiological similarities between humans and wild cats. A painting and print by Delacroix, from 1830 and 1831, respectively, may have inspired the feline family grouping seen here. Barye and Delacroix also spent time drawing animals from life at the Jardin des Plantes. Access to sketch the zoo animals was not guaranteed unless, like Barye and Delacroix, one knew the director; the fascinated public applied in droves for tickets when a giraffe entered the menagerie in 1827.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Antoine Louis Barye


Lioness and Cubs


France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Watercolor, with graphite, on ivory wove paper, laid down on Japanese paper


13.8 × 23.5 cm (5 7/16 × 9 5/16 in.)

Credit Line

Mr. and Mrs. Potter Palmer II Collection

Reference Number


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