Arthur Wardle (British, 18641949)
Tigers at Kill
Oil on canvas, 26 x 38 1/4 in.
Signed lower left: ARTHUR WARDLE
DM 1869

In Tigers at Kill, Wardle shows two tigers enjoying the spoils of their hunt in a savannah that radiates energy. Animal painting was already a broad genre by the time Wardle began working, but generally speaking Victorian animaliers, such as the British artist Edwin Landseer, painted their works in a tight, academic style. Wardle, on the other hand—who chose to return his exotic subjects to their native homes— rendered them in a naturalistic style, evident here in the quick brushstrokes he used on the grass. These choices distinguished Wardle from his peers, indeed one critic for the Figaro Illustré, Roger Milés, praised Wardle for presenting animals “in picturesque settings” that contained all the “characteristics of race peculiar to them.”