'Attack of the Leopards,' 19th Century French oil painting


This beautiful oil painting, portraying a moment of intense action, demonstrates a variety of artistic influences, including the Orientalist and the Neoclassical.


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This impressive early 19th Century French oil on canvas painting is held within an ornately carved giltwood frame.

The painting portrays a moment of intense action: a group of people, travelling by horse, is being attacked by a leap of leopards. The action unfolds in an Italianate setting, the figures ambushed on a path by a rocky ledge beside a river. The men fight back, using their daggers and spears to fend off the attacking felines.

There are several points to note about the picture: there is a definitive Orientalising element, several of the figures wearing turbans on their heads. Moreover, there is a distinct classicism about the composition, particularly the semi-nude male who reclines lower right. Most interesting is the man on horseback centre-left, whose horse rears beneath him and who, to maintain his balance, throws his right hand into the air. This composition recalls Jacques-Louis David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps of 1801 to 1805. Indeed, it is very likely the artist of the current piece drew inspiration from David’s influential series of paintings.

Frame: Height 103cm, width 79cm, depth 6cm
Canvas: Height 87cm, width 63.5cm


Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Early 19th Century
Early 19th Century
Figurative Art, Old Master, Orientalist
Giltwood, Oil on Canvas
Gold, Multi-coloured


103 cm / 40.6 inches
79 cm / 31.1 inches
6 cm / 2.4 inches


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