Item #5000823 "Jardin des Plantes": drawing of a lion. William STRUTT.

Drawing of a lion…
"Jardin des Plantes": drawing of a lion.

Paris, at the Jardin des Plantes: 1895.

Original drawing, 170 x 100 mm, graphite and sepia on card; signed lower left William Strutt; mounted and framed.

Strutt's lion: "Nobility and Strength"

William Strutt (1825-1915) was born in Devon, England in 1825. For a period of his younger life he lived in France, returning there in the late 1830s to study painting at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, spending much time in the Louvre with the works of Raphael, which would remain a lifetime influence. In 1850 he sailed to Melbourne where he became a founder of the Fine Arts Society (later renamed the Victorian Society of Fine Arts) and exhibited at the Melbourne Exhibition in 1854.

William Strutt (1825-1915) was born in Devon, England in 1825. For a period of his younger life he lived in France, returning there in the late 1830s to study painting at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, spending much time in the Louvre with the works of Raphael, which would remain a lifetime influence. In 1850 he sailed to Melbourne where he became a founder of the Fine Arts Society (later renamed the Victorian Society of Fine Arts) and exhibited at the Melbourne Exhibition in 1854.

Strutt excelled as an animal painter. On his return to England in 1862, and influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, he came to "regard the lion as the greatest symbol of nobility and strength" (Marjorie J. Tipping, in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, online resource). So entranced was he with wild animals that he travelled to North Africa to study them in their native habitat.

This is a delightful group of drawings which together form a study of a lion at the Jardin des Plantes, the famous zoo in the centre of Paris. Captioned "Jardin des Plantes", it bears several inscriptions including the dates of "Paris May 23rd 1895" and "zoo August 7th/ 95". To the left he writes under the lion's face "cast of whiskers depressed" and to the right "the eyeball nearly melts away... in the light". Strutt's close and intimate study of several aspects of this lion demonstrates his outstanding skills as both a draughtsman and a superb animal artist. Strutt exhibited 23 times at the Royal Academy and was a member of the Royal Society of British Artists.

Provenance: Private collection (New South Wales).

Condition Report: In very good original condition

Price (AUD): $3,400.00

US$2,203.66   Other currencies

Ref: #5000823

Condition Report