William Hodges , Sawrey Gilpin

Two tigers in a rocky landscape

Two tigers in a rocky landscape by William Hodges, Sawrey Gilpin

Artwork Detail

While this was originally attributed to William Hodges and George Stubbs (1724-1806), it has since been suggested that the tigers were painted by Sawrey Gilpin and the landscape by Hodges. The latter had spent some time in India, and continued to explore Indian themes for some time, apparently convincing Gilpin to work on several canvasses with him. The tiger in the foreground is certainly taken from a work by Stubbs, The Tiger, painted between 1763 and 1768, which shows a single beast sitting in an identical position in a rocky lair. Stubbs often painted wild animals in exotic scenes, and indeed the present work could fairly be described as a compilation of several of his paintings, the beast entering the cave appearing first in A Lion and Lioness in a Cave, c1770. To complicate matters, Stubbs himself combined images of animals from several of his earlier works; his engraving of A Tiger and a Sleeping Leopard, 1788, shows the tiger in reverse, but with a sleeping leopard placed directly behind it. (In the eighteenth century the term 'tiger' was applied by some writers and artists to all big cats, but Hodges, Stubbs and Gilpin were more specific.) The landscape in the present painting is, however, significantly more detailed than the block-like rock forms favoured by Stubbs. (from The Guide, 2001)

Two tigers in a rocky landscape
William Hodges, Sawrey Gilpin
Production date
circa 1785
oil on panel
940 x 1093 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1957
Accession no
No known copyright restrictions
International Art
Display status
On display

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