image shaw, g_museum leverianum_1792_plate 12
Image number: RS.10530
Credit: © The Royal Society
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‘The Wolf’

Date

1791

Creator

William Skelton (1763-1848, British), Engraver

After

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

Object type

Material

Technique

Dimensions

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

Subject

Content object

nature
   > animal

Description

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 Lever...by 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