Robert Bateman (Prints)
Kopje Lookout – Leopard (Print)
Offset Paper; Edition Size 950
16.25 x 32.5 / 40.64cm x 81.28cm
Unframed (US Dollar): $235.00
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(22 x 44; Giclee Canvas; Edition Size 180; $950.00 U.S.)
“Leopards lurk. Those of us who love to look for wild animals in Africa are always conscious
of that fact. We know that leopards see us many, many times more often than we see them.
During my first two safaris I saw plenty of lions and cheetahs but not one leopard. On my next
two safaris I saw one each time but that was because someone else’s vehicle was parked
beside a tree that hid a leopard. The eyes of the guides in those vehicles were obviously
sharper than mine. In each case I had been driving along the Seronera River in the
Serengeti Park of Tanzania.
This is supposedly the best place to find them. You look up into the branches of the yellow ‘fever’
acacia trees not for the leopard but for the tail dangling down. Their spotted bodies are so
camouflaged you can look right at them and not see them as they are pressed against a
branch. It is much easier to spot another vehicle and go over and check what they
are looking at.
This is why I have placed the leopard in the cleft of the granite cliff in Namibia. So that they are
not so easily seen they often lower their nose so that it is concealed and the head shape is
less obvious. I have placed the sunlit bare branches of the fig tree in front to help with the
hiding. Of course my real joy in doing this painting was to show the light glancing across
the texture of the rock and to play with the forms and textures and warm colors. These
plus the tree and the leopard speak to me of the soul of Africa.”