Head of a Lion
Charles-Edme Saint-Marcel (1819-1890)

Head of a Lion, Ca. 1860-1880.

Pencil on paper., H. 0.20 mm; W. 0.26 mm

Signed lower left: STMarcel.

Provenance: Private collection, France.

Charles-Edme Saint-Marcel-Cabin was a pupil and later an associate of Delacroix, who gave him a taste for painting animals. He exhibited regularly in the Salon, showing animal drawings and landscapes.

His drawings are remarkable for their rapid technique and steady handling with broad lines, frequently heightened with watercolours. Their powerful expression combined with the lions’ simple dignity can be compared with the works of the sculptor Antoine-Louis Barye.

This lion is typical of his nervous, firm manner which can be compared with the series of drawings at the Musée Bonnat in Bayonne.