Eugene Delacroix’s “Lion Hunt” is a series of oil on canvas paintings depicting hunting scenes and animals fighting produced in the mid-1800s. Delacroix was fascinated by exotic locales, which is reflected in his choice of using the lion hunt theme executed on a monumental scale. The work embodies Romanticism’s love of all things wild and untamed, emphasizing Delacroix’s defiance against contemporary norms.
To bring the narrative to life with theatrical intensity, Delacroix skillfully synthesized his studies of landscapes, Islamic costume, and zoo animals. His animal paintings were based on studies he made in Paris’s Jardin des Plantes where he sketched lions in the zoo as well as drawings he made of domestic house cats. This resulted in a breath-taking and show-stopping quality to the art.
The Lion Hunt itself is a sketch for the large definitive painting delivered in 1855 but unfortunately sustained severe damage during a fire at Musée de Bordeaux in 1870. Nonetheless, it remains one of Delacroix’s best works from the 19th century. The Lion Hunt represents Romanticism at its finest with an unparalleled passion for nature that captivates its audiences until today.