image shaw, g_museum leverianum_1792_plate 12
Image number: RS.10530
Credit: © The Royal Society
Looking for a special gift? Buy a print of this image.

‘The Wolf’




William Skelton (1763-1848, British), Engraver


Charles Reuben Ryley (1747-1798, British), Painter

Object type




height (print): 216mm
width (print): 280mm


Content object

   > animal


Zoological study of a Eurasian wolf (Canis lupus lupus) shown lying in a wooded landscape.

Plate 12 from Museum Leverianum containing select specimens from the museum of the late Sir Ashton George Shaw (published by James Parkinson, 1792).

The accompanying text relates that: “It may be proper however to observe that the ferocity so conspicuous in the wolf in a state of nature, is greatly mitigated by an early education; of which the individual specimen from which the present figure was taken, is a remarkable instance; having been rendered in a great degree tame and gentle by the assiduity of the late Sir Ashton Lever.”

The plate is inscribed: “C.R.Ryley delt. W.Skelton sculpt. CANIS LUPUS. THE WOLF. Pubd. as the Act directs Jany.1 1791 by J.Parkinson. Leverian Museum”

Object history

The natural historian George Shaw (1751-1813) was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1789. His book, from which this plate is taken, was an account of the collection built up by Sir Ashton Lever FRS (1729-1788). The museum was originally at Leicester House, London and was displayed publically after Lever’s death, moving to a rotunda building near Blackfriars Bridge.

Associated place