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Creator:
James Ward, 1769–1859, British
Title:

Man Struggling with a Boa Constrictor, Study for “The Liboya Serpent Seizing His Prey”

Former Title(s):

Study of a Negro Struggling with a Boa Constrictor for 'A Boa Serpent Seizing a Horse'

Liboya serpent seizing his prey

Study for ' The Liboya Serpent Seizing its Prey'

The Boa Serpent Seizing a Horse, Portrait of Adonis, the Favourite Charger of His late Majesty George the Third; a study for a large picture [1822, Royal Academy of Arts, London, exhibition catalogue]

Date:
ca. 1803
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
Support (PTG): 33 x 47 inches (83.8 x 119.4 cm) and Frame: 40 1/2 × 53 1/2 inches (102.9 × 135.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
B1981.25.664
Classification:
Paintings
Collection:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
brushstrokes | figure study | man | movement | pain | slavery | snake | strangling
Access:
On view in the galleries
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:1126
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This painting is a full-scale study for James Ward’s lost canvas The Liboya Serpent Seizing His Prey. That painting depicted a black man being pulled off a white horse by a giant boa constrictor. Ward was part of a circle of artists and writers who called for the abolition of the slave trade, and the iconography here is thought to refer to a nineteenth-century idea that the avariciousness of slave owners could be equated with the appetite of a serpent.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

The Critique of Reason : Romantic Art, 1760–1860 (Yale University Art Gallery, 2015-03-06 - 2015-07-26) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

James Ward (Yale Center for British Art, 2004-05-21 - 2004-08-22) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Constable to Delacroix : British Art and the French Romantics 1820-1840 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2003-09-29 - 2004-01-04) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Constable to Delacroix : British Art and the French Romantics 1820-1840 (Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2003-06-01 - 2003-08-27) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Constable to Delacroix : British Art and the French Romantics 1820-1840 (Tate Britain, 2003-02-06 - 2003-05-11) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Catalogue of the works of british artists placed in the gallery of the British Institution, Pall-Mall, British Institution, London, 1806, p. 11, No. 32, N5055 B7 A06+ Oversize (YCBA Rare Books) [ORBIS]

Christie's sale catalogue : Collection of paintings, the original works of that greatly-admired artist, James Ward : 29 May 1829, Christie's, London, 29 May 1829, Lot. 58, Not Available at Yale [ORBIS]

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 234, 235, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

C. Reginald Grundy, James Ward R.A., his life and works, with a catalogue of his engravings and pictures , Otto limited, London, 1909, p. 38, no. 48, NJ18 W21 G7+ OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Hugh Honour, The Image of the Black in Western Art Vol. 4 From the American Revolution to World War I, Part 1 Slaves and Liberators , vol. 4, part 1, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1989, pp. 90-91, 320 note 225, fig. 44, N8232 .I42 2010 vol. 4:1 + OVERSIZE (YCBA) Citations are to Vol. 4, Part 1 [YCBA]

Harry Mount, James Ward:, 'Study of a negro struggling with a boa constrictor' adapted from an Art In Context talk, 10 April 1990 , New Haven, CT, 1990, p. 1-8, V2395 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Patrick Noon, Constable to Delacroix, British art and the French romanticism , Tate Publishing, London, 2003, p. 164, no. 83, ND457 N66 2003 + (YCBA) [YCBA]

Patrick Noon, Crossing the Channel : British and French painting in the age of romanticism, Tate Publishing, London, p. 164, no. 83, ND467.5.R6 N66 2003 Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

Edward John Nygren, Art of James Ward R.A. (1769-1859) [PhD Dissertation, Yale University], New Haven, CT, 1976, p. 29-38, NJ18 .W21 N95 1976A (YCBA) [YCBA]

Edward John Nygren, James Ward, RA (1769-1859) : Papers and Patrons, Volume of the Walpole Society, vol. 75, 2013, pp. 265-66, no. 46, N12 W35 +A1Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

Linda Furgerson Selzer, Reading the Painterly Text, Clarence Major's "The Slave Trade: View from the Middle Passage" , African American Review, vol. 33, Summer 1999, pp. 222, 228, Available online via JSTOR [ORBIS]

Linda Furgerson Selzer, Reading the Painterly Text, Clarence Major's "The Slave Trade: View from the Middle Passage" , African American Review, vol. 33, Summer 1999, pp. 222, 228, PS 153 N5 B53 (SML) [ORBIS]


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