“ The  extraordinary  Hunting  Motif ”

Snyders, Frans (1579 Antwerp 1657). Lioness striking a Wild Boar. In hilly extended landscape overgrown with trees the boar in front has already gone onto his fore knees with the lioness jumped laterally onto his back and bitten into his neck. Chalk lithograph by Ferdinand Piloty (Homburg, Saar Palatinate, 1786 – Munich 1844) printed with yellow-brownish and medium brownish tone plates. (1816.) Erroneous inscription: P. Snayers (Pieter Snayers, 1592 Antwerp after 1666) pinx: / f. Pilotj del. 15⅝ × 21⅝ in (39.8 × 55 cm).

Frans Snyders. Lioness striking a Wild Boar

Winkler, (The Early Period of German Lithography), 622/24, II (of III) + 954, 12. – Cf. Robels, Frans Snyders, Munich 1989, no. 258 with ills. + Hantschmann, (Nymphenburg Porcelain), Munich 1996, p. 354, no. 71.

Incunabula  of  lithography . – The 2nd state equivalent to the first except for the largely removed chalk traces extending beyond the picture left and below. The 3rd state printed with only one tone plate in subdued chamois with simultaneous omission of the bold framing line. – Watermark M(anufacture) a (?) Hartmann.

Sheet 12 of the 200-sheet set “Bavarian Picture Gallery at Munich and Schleißheim” published since 1816 and reviewed in Baierisches National-Blatt of June 17, 1820, (col. 575 f.) as following :

“ If one convinces oneself from eyesight of these marvelous works of art, with which truth the originals are reproduced, which power and gentleness the lithographic prints allow, how tenderly and lovely the tones run into one another, what the great masters cannot work easily out of the copper plates … so it creates just admiration … ”

The long, last by Robels also in regard of the thematically special position, assumed original pendantship to the Two Young Lions pursuing a Roebuck in Munich, too, (Winkler 622/25, see our 28,623 for the 2nd + 13,367 for the 3rd state) is doubted by Sutton, The Age of Rubens, Boston 1993, p. 565 with reference to the 9 cm piecing on in the lower margin of the lion-roebuck motif presumably made by later hand to approximate the formats. The spacious, “far seen” (Bernt) ambience supposedly by  Jan  Wildens  (1586-1653, see Robels 259 and additionally pp. 147 f.).

The  monumental  motif

created about 1620/25 that along with Snyders’ Two Young Lions pursuing a Roebuck, also in Munich, (Robels 258 f., via Piloty here available),

“ hold a special rank because of their theme … (the first) assumes an invention by Rubens. For in her movement (the Lioness) is similar to the attacking tiger on a hunting painting in Rennes and a lion on a variant in Dresden that themselves ( – Because ‘As with the princely dynasties and noble families

entire  genealogical  trees  of  influences

can  be  traced  for  painters’ ,

so Gina Thomas in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of Feb. 20, 2001; suitable to literature see “Goethe’s Gespräche mit Eckermann”, Berlin 1955, pp. 160 f. – ) go back to an ancient copy ”

(Hella Robels, op. cit., p. 92).

So also Stefan Morét in Ridinger Catalog Darmstadt, 1999, p. 91:

“ The sujet of the animal fight exists since classical antiquity, in prints since the 16th century. A famous ancient example, the marble of a horse killed by a lion, on the Capitol in Rome, served as model (recte rather via Giambologna, see below) for Ridinger’s first sheet of the set (Fights of Killing Animals, Thienemann 716-723) “.

Towards the end of the 16th century the lions of Antiquity enjoyed particular favour in the Medici collection in Rome in general, for which in 1594 Flaminio Vaccra made a companion piece to the lion statuette by Giambologna (Giovanni Bologna, Douai 1529 – Florence 1608, see Cat. Rudolf II and Prague, 1997, p. 521, II/243 with ills.). For the latter Thieme-Becker mention among the remarkable small sculptures also the one of the horse clawed by a lion (“an unusual variation on the theme”, Cat. Prague) and the bull killed by a tiger resp. for which, disregarded moreover from repetitions and numerous copies, Bologna widely had delivered only the sketches. A version of his lion-horse-work rising him to fame nevertheless he also had only borrowed it presumably commissionedly worked by Antonio Susin(i) about 1600 in bronze in that time in the art chamber of Rudolf II, where it should have inspired Roelant Savery (p. 520, II/236 of the Prague catalog with ills.).

Rubens now should have seen as well the marble group as he had become acquainted with the Bologna works during his stays in Rome (1601/02 and late in 1606). Understood as a fascinosum the theme, however, evidently lay in the air again. The interesting at this, and therefore shown here, is the school overlapping revival as an applause for the

“ Magic  of  the  Beasts “

(Justus Müller-Hofstede in his review of the 1985 Cologne/Utrecht Savery exhibition [FAZ Nov. 10, 1985] with illustration of his 1628 oil of the lion striking a cow), understood like a parabel for the order of the world. In the century after it Ridinger for his part not only shall pick up it with his said set, but making them by the verses of Brockes now also to a theme.

Robels sees in the case of Snyders only a nexus with the fable tradition,

“ after which (at Æsop) the end of a fight between a lion and a boar is awaited by a vulture (see the illustration in Robels, page 350) … However, the missing of the vulture at Snyders does not reveal the intention of a tale’s illustration. But the origin … should not be questioned … Thus in a broader sense the picture might insinuate to the blindness of two pugnacious fighters … (Revealing altogether Snyders’) secret sense for

the  tragic  beauty  of  the  fight , an  affirmation  of  natural  law ”

(Hella Robels, op. cit. pp. 93 + 42, but see also p. 40).

The latter then also quite in the sense of Ortega y Gasset

“ Because  in  the  universal  fact  of  the  hunt

a  fascinating  secret  of  nature … is  revealed ”

(Meditationen über die Jagd, Stuttgart 1981).

In the expressionist new setting of a desert oasis as ambience as familiar to him as lion hunts Franz Heckendorf used the motif for his painting of no. 29,061 here.

Beside Senefelder, for Winkler only technically talented, for Nagler Piloty is beside Mannlich and Strixner one of those “most famous lithographers” of foremost own artistic eye, too. In the sheets of the Picture Gallery they

“ developed a technical perfection not achieved till then, and as experienced draughtsmen were able to give a true copy … Especially Piloty’s sheets were always praised in respect of intellectual and characteristic interpretation of the original. Even the foreign countries, and especially France talked with admiration about those early results, partly in extensive reviews … ”


“ Therefore  the  term  reproduction  has  to  be  thought  over  for  the  early  age  of  lithography …

Here by drawing the multiplication of a representation of contents is given that formerly was almost impossible … In a word, we have to change our views. These manually lithographed reproductions of other models in the early period of lithography are … in truth … interpreting prints …

These remarks may show how interesting the history of lithography is if one grasps it starting from the works, if one observes how this new and versatile technique enchants artists and amateurs, publishers and consumers … ”

(Winkler, at the same time deploring that especially the large and scenic sheets were and are “downright ‘used up’ as wall decoration”).

With 18¼ × 25¼ in (46.4 × 64.2 cm) virtually corresponding to the sheet size of about 18½ × 25⅝ in (47 × 65 cm) Winkler reports for the set and by this with fine wide margins of 3.3-4.5 cm and also otherwise of quite excellent condition.

Offer no. 28,624 / EUR  965. / export price EUR  917. (c. US$ 1104.) + shipping

„ Herzlichen Dank für die schnelle Antwort … Mit Freuden werde ich weiterhin Ihre wunderschön gestaltete Homepage besuchen … Mit besten Grüßen “

(Herr W. S., 16. Februar 2009)