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Royal Tiger Notecard

5x7 inches
Single notecard envelope included

A popular drawing in the Morgan’s collection, the Royal Tiger by Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) is sure to please any recipient of this notecard!

Delacroix spent time in the Jardin des Plantes and the Paris Museum of Natural History alongside his friend, the animalier Antoine-Louis Barye, sketching living and preserved specimens of exotic animals. The animals formerly seen in the royal menagerie were housed in a zoo in the public gardens, accessible to all, reflecting the democratic society that arose following the revolution. The death of a famous lion in the summer of 1829 permitted Delacroix and Barye to undertake close study.

This experience carried over into the artist's depictions of other large cats, and the pose of a tiger in several drawings, including the present watercolor, was developed from the study of the dead lion. This close study yielded several works devoted to big cats between 1828 and 1830, including an etching with a profile depiction of a "Tiger Lying at the Entrance of Its Lair," and a lithograph titled "Tiger Royal," which shows the animal in reverse, with a three-quarters view of its face, set in front of a mountainous landscape.

This notecard was produced from the Morgan’s collections to accompany the exhibition Walton Ford: Birds and Beasts of the Studio on view at the Morgan Library & Museum April 12, 2024 through October 20, 2024.