The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

October 23, 2013

October 23, 1769

James Ward (October 23, 1769 to November 17, 1859), became a member of the Royal Academy in 1811. So popular was his painting that at one time he was called the "Mammoth of animal painters." Our example, 'A lion And Tiger Fighting' by James Ward, dated to 1799 or 1797, according to whether you are on the British Museum website or The Tate'sA lion and tiger fighting
Diana Donald, author of Picturing Animals in Britain, 1750-1850 (2007) says of this painting or its type that it represents an awareness of violence in nature, during a decade of increasing darkness. By this she means that the French Revolution disrupted British assumptions, I think, that is what she means. Also the anatomical precision reflects an alertness to the commonality between human beings, and what they call the animals. 

The fame of James Ward was eclipsed mid century, with a new painting movement, the Pre-Raphaelites, and in the end did not revive. 


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