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Arab Horseman Attacked by a Lion

A work made of oil on panel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on panel.




Eugène Delacroix
French, 1798-1863

About this artwork

Man and beast intertwine to form a single writhing body in this emotionally charged depiction of a lion attacking a horse and its rider. Through short, energetic brushstrokes and carefully manipulated contrasts of light and shadow, Eugène Delacroix imbued this imagined scene with action and drama. While many artists of the period explored the theme of man versus nature, depictions of Arab men entangled with wild animals served a specific propagandistic function, justifying the brutality of French colonial rule by depicting its subjects as violent and inhuman.


On View, Gallery 220


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Eugène Delacroix


Arab Horseman Attacked by a Lion


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.



Oil on panel


43.9 × 38.1 cm (17 1/4 × 15 in.)

Credit Line

Potter Palmer Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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