Tiger and Lion - Eugene Delacroix. 23x30.5
Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863) loved to portray romantic scenes of animal confrontation. Predators from the cat breed have almost always been characters in such paintings, the artist was fascinated by their strength and grace, grandeur and rage, cruelty and beauty. Careful observation of the animals in the enclosures of the zoo helped Delacroix to understand their habits and disposition. With no less zeal and excitement, he studied the canvases of old masters with the image of powerful animals. Rubens, the French painter, especially liked Rubens; he even wrote several versions of his own plot.
In 1832, the artist was included in the official diplomatic mission on a visit to Morocco, and he had the opportunity to see the king of animals in the wild. The temperament and power of the lions especially impressed the creator of romantic paintings. "When Delacroix writes, it's a lion tormenting prey", They said about him. Tigers, like panthers, excited the master’s imagination not only with their fierce disposition, but also with the exotic brightness of their appearance.
To compare a lion and a tiger, two equal in strength, but different and not meeting with each other in nature predators, is a task worthy of the brush of romance. The artist presents a completely fictional picture: under the cover of darkness, a tiger cautiously creeps up to the lion. Spreading over the ground with his entire flexible and long body, he extended his right paw to the enemy and, it seems, was about to throw himself at him. The lion growls menacingly, pressing his ears to his head, he is also ready for a fight. Delacroix shows a tense moment when the predators have not yet begun the fight, they only demonstrate their strength, scaring each other. Another minute - and a choice will be made: the animals will either stick together in a furious tangle, or scatter. Lion and tiger meet at night, the scene is illuminated by the false light of the moon, which snatches out from the darkness animal figures and dry rocky soil. In the background, the horizon brightens slightly, in the mist already dawned. The diagonal composition and lighting effects tell the picture dynamism and mystery.