Delacroix often painted hunting scenes and animals fighting. This work is part of a lion hunt series he painted in the 1850s. The subject reflects a fascination for exoticism and the culture of the Muslim countries in North Africa. During a visit to Morocco in the 1830s, Delacroix had studied and made sketches of the landscape, horses and hunters on horseback – themes that were later used when he painted his lion hunts. These dramatic scenes, with their energetic compositions and warm hues, convey the new aesthetic ideals of the time.