Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Lion Hunt by Emile Vernet-Lecomte 1836


The Lion Hunt-1836
Emile Vernet-Lecomte was born in Louvre and came from a long family history of painters. He traveled with the French army to Algeria and painted many of the scenes he came across.  He traveled back and forth to the region on a number of occasions and continued to complete paintings from Arabs, hunting and military conflict. He was such a strong painter that he eventually became the director at the French Academy of Rome. 

In the painting you can see the Arab hunters fighting with the lions. They are using the simple tools of spears, knives and the more advanced rifles to fight. Even though the hunters have the advantages of a horse and camel it should remembered that lions have cunning and mobility that makes them difficult to defeat. One man is on the ground already suffering from their defense. The cubs are being taken for market fetching a high price during this time. The fur is likely to be made into clothing, rugs or other items. 

The lion in religion and literature is an important creature of nobility. They are seen as have courage, willing to fight, truth seekers, and able to stand within a group or alone. They are seen as a creature with intelligence and lightning strength. To be lionhearted is to be brave and courageous.  It is this noble perception that has maintained human interest and fascination from the very beginning of time. 

Lions have been an important part of history since early humans put them in Paleolithic cave paintings. As one of the only species that would regularly hunt humans and other big prey the human race naturally has some fear of them. The lion is anatomically more geared for survival than us. They can see, fight, and pounce.  It was human’s ability to adapt tools that made them more successful. Lions are currently declining due to habitat changes. You may be interested in reviewing an organization that supports lions.

http://www.mountainlion.org/

Video on the Curious Nature of Lions

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