the tiger: tiger stories

Posted: January 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

Last tiger hunts….Between the tiger hunter and his prey lies India itself. Nineteenth-century villagers could venerate the European hunter with a gaudy parade, or just as easily revile him for killing the one animal that kept the ferocious wild pig in check…

The tiger influenced the settlement of India. Every Indian village had, its wall of brush or stakes or thorns as defense against the cats. During the British imperial period, agriculture expanded, but the English often saw huge areas of farmland returning to jungle when the farmers were driven back by that awful cry in the night and the deaths that followed it.

---While this was originally attributed to William Hodges and George Stubbs (1724-1806), it has since been suggested that the tigers were painted by Sawrey Gilpin and the landscape by Hodges. The latter had spent some time in India, and continued to explore Indian themes for some time, apparently convincing Gilpin to work on several canvasses with him. The tiger in the foreground is certainly taken from a work by Stubbs, The Tiger, painted between 1763 and 1768, which shows a single beast sitting in an identical position in a rocky lair. Stubbs often painted wild animals in exotic scenes, and indeed the present work could fairly be described as a compilation of several of his paintings, the beast entering the cave appearing first in A Lion and Lioness in a Cave, c1770.---Read More:http://www.nzmuseums.co.nz/account/3236/object/1369/Two_tigers_in_a_rocky_landscape

—While this was originally attributed to William Hodges and George Stubbs (1724-1806), it has since been suggested that the tigers were painted by Sawrey Gilpin and the landscape by Hodges. The latter had spent some time in India, and continued to explore Indian themes for some time, apparently convincing Gilpin to work on several canvasses with him. The tiger in the foreground is certainly taken from a work by Stubbs, The Tiger, painted between 1763 and 1768, which shows a single beast sitting in an identical position in a rocky lair. Stubbs often painted wild animals in exotic scenes, and indeed the present work could fairly be described as a compilation of several of his paintings, the beast entering the cave appearing first in A Lion and Lioness in a Cave, c1770.—Read More:http://www.nzmuseums.co.nz/account/3236/object/1369/Two_tigers_in_a_rocky_landscape

The tiger held his numbers stable, more or less, until the invention of the repeating rifle and the high powered cartridge. Beginning about 1850, however, a steady slaughter of tigers, led by the inveterate English hunter and abetted by the aristocratic Indian sportsman, reduced the population to near oblivion. In the seven years before World War II, the Maharajah of Nepal and his guests disposed of nearly four hundred and fifty tigers. The Maharajah of Udaipur dropped at least one thousand tigers during his lifetime, while the Maharajah of Surguja had shot his way through colonialism, war, and democracy by April, 1965, for a grand total of eleven hundred and fifty tigers.

---William Simpson painting from 1876 of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales Beating the Jungle with Sir Jung Bahadoor in the Nepal Terai.---click image for source...

—William Simpson painting from 1876 of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales Beating the Jungle with Sir Jung Bahadoor in the Nepal Terai.—click image for source…

In all, about one hundred thousand tigers were killed between 1850 and the mid 1970′s when the systematic eradication became too obvious to ignore. Most of the great white hunters wrote books on their experiences, but few of them were able to reveal much natural history about their victims. As George Schaller said, “I’m afraid the tiger was studied mainly by men looking down the barrel of a rifle.”


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