The Royal Menagerie at the Tower of London Study
Graphite on paper
11 x 13 7/8 inches (27.9 x 35.2 cm)
Gift of the artist.
Walton Ford established his reputation in the 1990s with his monumental watercolor paintings of wild animals inspired by true or legendary stories of dramatic encounters between man and nature. Fascinated by the perception of wilderness in the collective imagination, and a keen observer of animal anatomy and behavior, Ford develops complex narratives that have renewed the genre of animal painting, represented in the past by artists such as Eugène Delacroix, Antoine-Louis Barye, and John James Audubon. To prepare his large-scale works, Ford produces a vast number of studies, such as this one, often made from observation in zoos and museums of natural history.