Play by Herbert Dicksee




Herbert Dicksee

Ref GM320
Type Fine Art Print
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This wonderfully engaging study shows two young leopards at play, both clinging to a sturdy tree. The etching was produced by Herbert Dicksee, one of the great wildlife artists, in 1907; the original plate has since been destroyed. The work, also known as Play, was published by Frost & Reed in the same year, and the original print was shown at the Royal Academy soon after. 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. This is among the most charming of these pieces, and shows a master at the height of his ability.