Rudolf Ernst (Austrian, 1854-1932)
Tiger in the Mountains
Oil on panel, 91/4 by 13 inches
Signed lower right: R. Ernst
This superb image of a tiger in a dramatic setting is the fourth painting by Ernst, one of the most successful Orientalist artists of the 19th century, to enter the Museum collection. This is the fourth work by Ernst to enter the Museum’s permanent collection. Famous for his exquisite images of daily life in the Middle East, Ernst also produced striking images of tigers at rest, being hunted, as a pasha’s pet, or on the prowl as in Tiger in the Mountains, where a magnificent tiger stands on a mountain ridge observing an obscured object or prey. It is quite different from his more detailed and vividly rendered compositions that juxtapose multiple figures, architecture, and decorative motifs. Here, Ernst’s looser brush strokes reveal a sole animal in a vast mountainous terrain with a subdued color palette of violet, blue, and ocher that evokes the first rays of morning light.