tiger lying down with eyes open

Royal Tiger, 1829

Not on Viewexpand_more

This drawing relates closely to one of Eugène Delacroix’s most important early lithographs, Royal Tiger. Delacroix’s lithographs of wild animals and feral horses date to 1828–33, when he was studying in various menageries with the sculptor Antoine-Louis Barye. (See Barye’s sketchbook on display in the third gallery of this exhibition.) In the summer of 1829, Delacroix and Barye were permitted to sketch the remains of a dead lion at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. One of those studies, now in the Louvre, furnished the model for the tiger’s pose in the Minneapolis drawing and subsequent print.

Delacroix incised the drawing—that is, traced the outlines with a sharp point—to transfer the design to a new surface. The incision lines around the tiger’s head, especially around the ears, do not correspond to the contours of the drawing but do match those of the print. Their surprising liveliness indicates that Delacroix continued to invent and refine the composition even at this late stage.

Royal Tiger
Artist Life
Accession Number
Studio of the artist, Lugt 838a (until 1864; his posthumous sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, February 17-29, 1864, possibly no. 485 or no. 486, bt by Paul Huet); 'Paul Huet, Paris (1864-d.1869). René-Paul Huet, Paris (by 1885-at least 1908). [Peter Deitsch Gallery, New York, until 1967; sold to Andrus]; Marion and John Andrus, Wayzata, Minn. (1967-91; gave to MIA).
Catalogue Raisonne
Delteil, under no. 80
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.

tiger lying down with eyes open