George Stubbs, Lion and Lioness, 1771
From the Boston Museum of Fine Arts:
Stubbs began his career as a portraitist and an anatomical illustrator, becoming widely renowned with the publication of The Anatomy of the Horse (1766). His aptitude for rendering the physical structure of animals is evident in the muscular haunches of this lioness. Natural phenomena were both an object of study and a source of awe for eighteenth-century artists and scientists, who endeavored to describe the natural world, master its complexity, and convey its sublime power. By manipulating setting, light, and color, Stubbs gives his realistic representation of the lions, plants, and trees an eerie and fantastic quality.