Recumbent Lion Facing Right, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, after c. 1660 - 1664
This drawing of a lion was certainly done ‘from life’. The creature’s long dark mane spills down over its chest and well under its belly. This typifies it as a Barbary lion, a species indigenous to North Africa which is now extinct in the wild. These lions were a popular sight in menageries (zoos). Rembrandt closely observed and recorded the specific characteristics of these exotic animals in a few drawings.