The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope, painting by H. Rousseau

The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope, painting by Henri Rousseau Culture's Ways

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The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope is a large oil-on-canvas painting created by Henri Rousseau in 1905.


What is The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope?

Following Scouts Attacked by a Tiger the previous year, The Hungry Lion was the second jungle painting to mark Rousseau’s return to this genre after a 10-year hiatus caused by the generally negative reception to his 1891 painting, Tiger in a Tropical Storm.

Rousseau’s first jungle painting, Tiger in a Tropical Storm, was rejected by the Académie de peinture et de sculpture for their official Paris Salon, but he was able to show it at the 1891 Salon des Indépendants. Despite his increasing reputation, Rousseau continued to exhibit his works at the annual Salon des Indépendants, but The Hungry Lion was first shown at a third show, the Salon d’Automne, in 1905, alongside works by Matisse and Derain. Rousseau wrote a longer subtitle or caption to accompany his painting:

“The lion, being hungry, throws itself on the antelope, [and] devours it. The panther anxiously awaits the moment when it too can claim its share. Birds of prey have each torn a piece of flesh from the top of the poor animal which sheds a tear. The sun sets.”


Who was Henri Rousseau?”

He was a French post-impressionist painter (1844 – 1910) in the Naïve or Primitive manner. He was also known as Le Douanier, a humorous description of his occupation as a toll and tax collector. He started painting seriously in his early forties; by age 49, he retired from his job to work on his art full-time.

Ridiculed during his lifetime by critics, he came to be recognized as a self-taught genius whose works are of high artistic quality. Rousseau’s work exerted an extensive influence on several generations of avant-garde artists.

Text: Wikipedia contributors. “The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 3 Jul. 2017. Web. 20 Aug. 2017. & Wikipedia contributors. “Henri Rousseau.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 22 Jul. 2017. Web. 20 Aug. 2017.

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