Akin to scenes created by naïve painter Henri Rousseau, this picture
depicts an Indian leopard walking on a tree branch in a fantastic forest.
The bold colors and the clear contours are typical of the visual language
used by primitive painters. The result is a dreamy wildlife composition,
drawing the viewers to it in an almost hypnotic way. While this painting
takes its inspiration from an encounter with a leopard in the forests of
India, it is clear that the woodland could hardly exist in reality. A
dreamlike mood emanates from it, something absent from Asian woods
with their many perils. Everything is very still and quiet, and no sense of
danger emerges from this painting. While we should fear the predator
facing us, we are left contemplating him as he peers into our eyes. No
other wildlife is visible, ensuring the viewers focus on the big cat’s
presence. The cat is the center of attention, taking a good third of the
composition in a sovereign way, showing us he is the king of the forest.
Pausing mid-stride, he looks at us with curiosity, inviting us to do the
same and forget the dangers of life for a second.
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