Startled by Herbert Dicksee




Herbert Dicksee

Ref GM319
Type Fine Art Print
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This striking engraving, by one of the last century’s finest wildlife artists, is a wonderful depiction of a rangy tiger, stealthily stalking its prey over barren terrain. The work was executed in 1919, as a companion piece to The Alarm, which depicts a family of lions. It was immediately published by Frost & Reed, and was exhibited at the Royal Academy in the same year. Having won a scholarship to the Slade School of Art at the age of 16, Herbert Dicksee quickly developed a love for animals while under the tutelage of the distinguished etcher Alphonse Legros. Rising at six o’clock each day, he would install himself in London’s Zoological Gardens before visitors arrived to obstruct his view. There he could be seen, day after day, making painstaking studies of the zoo’s big cats, both at rest and in their mesmerising movements. Soon after his return from a visit to New Zealand after leaving the Slade School, Dicksee produced his first plate of a big cat. His Majesty was a study of a lion, drawn from life at London Zoo; it began a series of studies of lions, tigers and leopards, which saw initial hesitancy among publishers dispelled by a rapturous reception from the public. Of all these hugely successful pieces, none is more impressive than this: a stunning representation of a truly majestic wild creature.