We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Study of dead lion for 'David's first victory'



William Strutt

England, Australia

03 Jul 1825 – 03 Jan 1915

  • Details

    Other Title
    Study of dead lion (Study for 'David's first victory')
    Media category
    Materials used
    pencil, watercolour on ivory wove paper
    17.8 x 25.5 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed l.l. corner, pen and brown ink "William Strutt./ ...". Dated bot.c., pen and brown ink "... March 17th 1868.".

    Purchased with funds provided by the Gil & Shay Docking Drawing Fund 2003
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    William Strutt

    Works in the collection


  • About

    This is a preparatory study for the painting 'David's first victory' 1868, in the Gallery's collection. Its subject is from 1 Samuel 17 in the Bible:

    'And David said unto Saul, thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth; and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God'.

    Strutt was well known for his studies of lions, made from both living and dead specimens at the London Zoo; the most famous painting made from these drawings is 'Sentinels of empire' 1901 in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart.

    excerpt from Hendrik Kolenberg, Anne Ryan and Patricia James, '19th century Australian watercolours, drawings & pastels in the Gallery's collection', Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2005

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

Other works by William Strutt

See all 13 works