Animal Tales – Savage and Sublime: Animal Prints of the 1700s
On until Fall 2011
In the late 1700s images of wild animals – lions, tigers, leopards and untamed horses – appealed to the widespread fascination in Britain for the exotic and the dangerous. According to philosophers, an individual could experience the sublime through the contemplation of awe-inspiring, terrifying subjects. George Stubbs, for example, combined tension and alarm with an eerie calmness in his horse and lion combat themes. Stubbs’s images, and those of his contemporaries, reached large audiences through prints made after their paintings by other artists. Remarkable translations of the paintings were achieved using the tonal ranges and velvety blacks of the mezzotint engraving process.
Among the the eight works on view in this intimate installation are rare prints acquired by the AGO in 2007 from the estate of Christopher Lennox-Boyd, whose distinguished collection included the world’s largest holdings of mezzotints.
This exhibition is generously supported by:
Nance Gelber & Daniel Bjarnason
Patricia & David Rubin
Sara & Richard Charney