I painted this work 'live' in the main foyer of the Good Hope Center in Cape Town, for the 100,000 visitors to the 'Design for Living Exhibition' in 1986.

I worked on it almost non-stop, nine hours a day for a period of ten days. The suc cess of the painting is due in no small measure, to the encouragement of the spectators and exhibitors, and to their forthright attention and response to it. Quite often as I worked, I would hear a gasp as someone came upon it unexpectedly.

In a very r eal sense, the painting expresses the enthusiasm of the moment and the circumstances which accompanied the action. The painting measures 6ft by 4ft6ins, and was painted in Liquitex Acrylics on 10oz cotton duck.


I named this lion after Amenhotep II, an Egyptian Pharaoh, who was recorded as having killed 125 lions in one day with a bow and arrows from a chariot! He was so fond of his great bow, that he had it buried alongside him, in case he should encounter any o f their angry spirits in the afterworld!


The Kalahari lion (Panthera leo) is the largest land predator to hunt in groups in Africa. Today, they are restricted to the continent of Africa, often within the confines of the national parks. This was not always so.


The Assyrian Reliefs, for example in the British museum, depict lion hunts, that show that they were once common across Asia. In Art, they are an enduring symbol of sovereignty and regal power throughout Europe and Asia. By the time of the Caesars howe ver, lions in Asia must have already become very rare.


Man has been the lion's most deadly predator. In Ancient Rome they were an integral part of the Games.The lions for these 'Games' were imported from North Africa.


Overwhelming demand, during the reign of Caligula, coupled with his profligate spending, encouraged later emperors to use the famous Muira, fighting bulls from the north of Spain, as a much cheaper alternative. The damage to the lion population in North A frica must have been considerable.

Yours sincerely,

Gordon Howard

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