Collection Online

A lion attacking a horse
(c. 1765)

oil on canvas
69.0 × 100.1 cm
Accession Number
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1949
Gallery location
Special Exhibitions Gallery
Ground Level, NGV International

This sensational image of animals engaged in mortal combat was a favourite subject for George Stubbs, one of England’s foremost animal painters throughout the second half of the eighteenth century. His focus on the violent forces of nature had a profound impact on the following generation of Romantic artists. Stubbs often replicated these figures exactly but varied the landscape setting in each work. The landscape was critical to Stubbs as it helped set the tone for his often repeated ‘sublime’ encounter. In this instance, the landscape is not as dark and dramatic as seen in his later works.