Giuseppe Baldrighi (1723-1803)
18th century, Oil on canvas
The most reasonable hypothesis that can be formulated today on the animals painted by Baldrighi is that between 1752 and 1756 he executed a series of them at the Royal Menagerie in Versailles, later replicating them at leisure in his studio. Some of the works presumably remained in Paris, while others were brought to Parma by the artist when he returned there. This series included other 'ferocious animals..., made from life', according to the painter's widow in 1817. At the time, she also owned Wolf, which she brought back with her with other similar subjects when she returned to Parma in 1756. The series was dispersed over the years, and the other canvases can be found in different collections. This magnificent head of a wild animal is proof of this excellent painter's skill in this genre, and his absolute mastery of studies from nature. Here, he is able to render both the materiality of the animal’s fur and fangs and the ferocity of its nature with his typical glossy brushstrokes.