One of the 20th century’s premier wildlife painters, Canadian Robert Bateman’s twin interests in art and the natural world began at an early age. He had been studying painting and traveling the world for some years while teaching high school when, in 1964, he saw an exhibition of Andrew Wyeth’s work in Buffalo. Inspired by the experience, Bateman began to paint wildlife in a realistic manner with dramatic narrative inflections. Bateman has illustrated and written numerous books and won just about every award in his field. The leopard in this painting, at rest in a tree, communicates the sensitivity of his species, even in his alertness, echoing Bateman’s keen interest in conservation and ecological balance.