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Looking for an outstanding African leopard wall art piece to add character to your centerpiece wall? Or to enthral your special guests?
Well then, read on on why I think this African art piece might be right up your alley…
Conventional wisdom holds that African leopards spend virtually all their lives in trees. But this art piece raises several important rhetorical questions...
If that is indeed the case, how then does it find its mammalian prey as birds are not exactly a leopard delicacy?
How does a leopard demarcate and defend its territory if it spends its entire life perched on a tree branch? And why would it need to do so in the first place?
It’s in this context that this leopard wall art piece is more than just art; it is a reality check!
Geoffrey Mugwe, the artist, has basically taken the African leopard from its widely perceived hideout in the higher up branches of a tree...
And placed it on a patch of earth in the savanna so that we can admire every single facet of this predator that sits at the apex of the food chain.
Consumers all over the world now demand progressively higher resolution images.
This is characterized by the proliferation of full HD and even 4K TVs. Plus, most of us are adept at zooming in on photos, videos and other social media posts. Almost instinctively.
The unintended consequence of demanding the minutest detail of every medium we absorb is that we are gradually gravitating towards portraiture art.
Don't get me wrong…
Close-up wildlife art definitely has its place. But every so often, we need to take a step back and appreciate the entire animal instead of its handpicked, "most charismatic" parts. To see the forest for the trees, so to speak.
As a conservationist, it's hardly surprising that I am especially sympathetic to this whole-leopard perspective.
Look where the obsession with collecting leopard skins, teeth, whiskers, claws and other trophies has landed us! (The African leopard is sadly listed as an endangered species in CITES, the acronym for the international treaty on endangered species).
The eyes in this leopard wall art piece are less defined for sure because we are focusing on a whole animal so we cannot reasonably expect the same detail rendered in a wildlife portrait painting, right?
But I think this drawback (if it's one at all) is more than compensated for by the sheer splendor of the whole African leopard; from the head, neck, coat, paws, and tail which for some reason is my favorite part of this particular leopard.
Long story short, I'd long yearned for a whole leopard painting.
This was borne out of frustrations of trying to spot a leopard on a safari to Africa's national parks including the Maasai Mara (which is the jewel in the crown of national parks in Kenya and very probably Africa as well) and…
The Murchison Falls National Park in my home country Uganda through which the mighty Nile River thunders. By the way, the Nile's greatest claim to fame is that it is the world's longest watercourse. But I'll revel in that another day so back to my frustrations...
I could see bits and patches of the leopards' coats through binoculars and even then, only after painstakingly following the instructions of the tour guides…
"Look farther left… point the binoculars a little lower… oh not so low… raise the binoculars... look a tad left… adjust the lenses to zoom in…"
I was tired of these and other exasperating phrases.
And so I desperately needed to see a leopard lying down without clutter in its immediate vicinity.
Therefore I could barely contain my excitement when I received this piece where the leopard is surrounded by small tufts of grass and a few scattered pebbles on otherwise bare, red earth.
Clearly, I miss my nursery rhymes 😄. Seriously though, I am trying to make a point here.
I insisted to Geoff, as he is fondly referred to, that the tail had to be an integral part of the painting—and that it had to be given its due majesty as the hindermost but integral part of this super cat.
Artistic censorship? I wouldn't go so far!
And, while sighting a leopard lying on the savanna is admittedly rare, it is not unheard of from a possibility standpoint.
There is, after all, a terrestrial angle to this Big Cat's sometimes-arboreal life, as we have already seen.
Plus, it also gives you the opportunity to take in the splendor of the leopard in all its glory. God must have surely taken his time to sculpt and paint this beautiful carnivore.
The raft of backgrounds is a constant reminder that this wall art piece, indeed, depicts iconic Africa. Take each of the aspects below, for instance…
Turns out, Acacia tortilis is one of the iconic tree species of the African bush and it occurs liberally on this continent.
Geoff has nailed the acacia tree in innumerable, jaw dropping ways…
Every little leaf of that tree was painted so Geoff didn’t hurriedly gloss over it with huge brush strokes or a palette knife to churn out the leopard wall art piece (but then again, it's whole 😉).
The undergrowth of the acacia tree is intricately depicted.
Ditto every little, golden blade of grass in the immediate background.
Further afield is a lane of hazy trees which serve two principal purposes:
The clear sky on the horizon adds a touch of contrasting color to this leopard wall art.
Add this painting to your hanging collection for an ingenious way to beat the winter blues and remain on cloud nine throughout those endless months that precede the spring blooms.
But then again, the painting simply reflects reality because we also have a zillion blue skies in Africa, so much so that we take them for granted.
Want to get a sense of this?
Let's just say that we don't exactly lie down here sky gazing—night or day!
Is posture a huge determining factor for you? Well…
The star of this leopard wall art piece is not standing…
It's not lying loose-limbed on a branch of a tree in an African wildlife park with its tail dangling like a bell rope…
It's not on the prowl…
It's not carrying a kill in its mouth, muzzle clamp style…
None of those stereotypical poses.
This is different…
If it were on set, it couldn't even be bothered to look at the camera. If it was starring in a film, things wouldn't exactly be going according to script. And its director would probably have been quite furious by the time this snapshot was taken.
But then it's called a Big Cat for a reason. With no African lion in sight, this leopard is the undisputed King of the jungle—certainly for now.
We rearranged a few things from the photo that inspired this wall art so that the full body of the leopard could be seen.
For instance, we removed some overwhelming rocks outcrops in the background in order to put the limelight squarely on the current subject.
Geoff used his incisive study of Big Cat anatomy to bring this leopard piece to life.
Artist: Geoffrey Mugwe
Authenticity: Original. Signed "Geoffrey Mugwe" in bottom right corner.
Materials: Acrylics on canvas
Dimensions: 27.6 in x 35.4 in (70 cm x 90 cm)
Description: This iconic African leopard art is the perfect choice if you've been for searching for standout African wall art.
This obviously does not exempt you from embarking on an epic African safari to see this elusive Big Cat for yourself. This can only inspire you to save up and experience wild Africa for yourself and then to complement those memories.
Price: US$ 1,650, inclusive of courier shipping and insurance.
Ships from: Nairobi, Kenya.
Delivery: 7-14 days.
Discount Eligible? Yes. Buy any 2 pieces of artwork on this website and get 5% off the cheaper one.
My final thoughts on this leopard art piece?
This is a colorful, handsomely crafted leopard wall art piece that parallels a likely scene of an iconic African safari. It would be a great addition to any of the vertical spaces that are dear to you.
It would also make an excellent gift for anyone who loves leopards, the Big Cats, the Big Five or African art.
On a deeper level, the art piece does justice to this endangered wildlife species and makes a case for its continued existence.
Best of all, it's yours for the keeping if you acquire it now.