'Street of hunting Cheetahs and Lynx. Ulwar. India 1878'
Artist: North, Marianne (1830-1890)
Medium: Oil on paper
Oil painting depicting a street scene at Alwar in Rajasthan by Marianne North, dated 1878'.
Initially Marianne North (1830-1890) only painted botanical specimens and travelled around the world in search of interesting subject matter. She visited India in 1877-79 and completed over 200 paintings whilst there, painting landscape views as well. In her autobiography, 'Recollections of a happy life' of 1892, she wrote: "I saw a whole street full of hunting chetahs and lynxes. The latter are the most restless wild little animals, which jump at their victim's throats like bull-dogs and strangled them. I saw a man put a piece of meat on the end of the bamboo cane and hold it up as high as he could, and one of the small animals (not much bigger than a cat) made a prodigious spring from the ground to the top of it, took the meat, and was down again in an instant. Their ears stick up right over their heads and meet at the top. The chetahs are taken out in carts blindfolded and let out when within sight of the deer, when they creep up and spring upon them, holding them till hunter comes up and kills them. They are so intent on their work that they are easily blindfolded and led away again. All those wild beasts are chained to trestle-beds in front of the houses down the street, their keepers sitting or sleeping behind them, and little children, peacocks, cocks and hens, wandering among them without the slightest fear."