Wednesday, 7 September 2011


I recently read in a publication that scientifique research indicated modern Homo sapiens (we, us) making decisions on impuls made no poorer judgements than the ones making decisions after careful consideration and calculation. So much for the development and functioning of modern human braines. Thus reinsured and backed-up with this new insight in mind I made an impulsive phonecall this morning after finding "Resting Tiger" in a local Internet market. 
It took me an hour and 80 miles of impulsive driving after a quick morning's  coffee meeting Gérard. Besides meeting Gérard I am now very pleased with my new acquisition. I really haven't a clue who the maker is. There is maybe something colonial or Indonesian about it. The tiger most probably Sumatran (Panthera tigris sumatrae). 

It has been framed in Amsterdam and the only thing I can decipher from what is left of the signature is the beginning letter G or (J) + a short family name and ending with 22.

Please agree with me this is a masterful rendering of the beasts habitat,  the Sumatra rainforest. The distribution and alternating dark and light in the print is superb and the soft tones of gray in the animals fur very delicate. And it's big: 23 x 47 cm !   
There were some specific animal specialist artists in the Netherlands in the period but mostly in drawing, watercolour, oil or pastel. The only great woodcut animal specialist I can think of is Samuel Jesserun de Mesquita (1868-1944).

He did many (Zoo) animals but to my knowledge he didn't do tigers. Besides his approach is far more stylistic and he left always a very distinct marking in the block. I promis I'll do a posting on him soon. So if it isn't him, who could be ?
Cornelis Jan Mension (1883-1950) drew some great, even resting, tigers but he did not  make prints.

And thinking, looking and researching I found this great tiger print by English printmaker John Dickinson Batten (1860-1932) but now I am definitely slowly slipping away from the subject.


  1. Subtle. I like the way he suggests both shade and the animal's camouflage. I love all the leaf shapes, too. Lucky you!


  2. Yes, it sometimes pays to be impulsive and let your activist brain have a say in decision making. When I woke up I had never in my life dreamed of having a tiger in the house. Three hours later I did. Have a tiger in the house. Besides Gérard stuck me up with a red and blue parrot too. But he's in the aviary with the others.