The Wallace Collection

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The Lion in Love
  • Camille (Joseph-Étienne) Roqueplan (1800 - 1855)
  • The Lion in Love
  • France
  • 1836
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 195.5 x 153 cm
    Object size: 219 x 174 x 10.5 cm
  • Signature: 'Clle. Roqueplan. 1836.'
  • P285
  • West Gallery III
  • Exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1836. The subject, which concerns the power of love over wisdom, is taken from Jean de La Fontaine’s 'Fables' (IV, i). A noble lion, having fallen in love with a shepherdess, foolishly agrees to her father’s request to have his teeth and claws clipped so that he might not injure her. But when this is done the dogs will be set on him. The subject inevitably recalls the biblical story of Samson and Delilah, although it is Roqueplan rather than La Fontaine who is responsible for the representation of the shepherdess as a femme fatale. In his fable La Fontaine does not state who cut the lion’s teeth and claws.Roqueplan's composition has interesting parallels to that of Delacroix's 'Medea' (Lille, Musée des Beaux-Arts), exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1838.