DescriptionWILLIAM HENRY DRAKE (American 1856-1926)
Masters Of The Jungle, 1919
Oil on canvas
30 x 40 inches (76.2 x 101.6 cm)
Signed and dated lower right
William Drake, born in New York in 1856, studied painting in Paris at the Académie Julian with Benjamin Constant and Doucet, both of whom were Orientalist painters. His style and subject matter were greatly influenced by the trends in European painting at the time.
Upon returning from Europe, he studied at the Cincinnati School of Design, and would often go to the zoo in that city, where he could draw animals first hand. He was briefly employed at the Museum of Natural History, where he did some illustrational work. He also studied at the Art Student's League in New York City. Drake's work was widely reproduced in the Century and Harpers magazines. In 1902, Drake was made an associate member of the National Academy of Desing.
Drake illustrated The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling when it was first published in 1894. His specialty of subject matter became wild animals, particularly wild cats, which he portrayed with tenderness and endowed with almost "human" characteristics. This painting, Masters of the Jungle, was exhibited at the National Academy in 1919. Drake was the only American artist of the time to specialize in the portrayal of wild animals in the great gradation of Gérome and Delacroix.
Estimate: $12,000 - $15,000.
Condition report available upon request.
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2017 October 13 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas