A superb Victorian study of a polar bear by Cuthbert Edmund Swan (1870–1931). Oil on mahogany panel. Original bamboo frame. Signed 'C. E. Swan '94'.


Cuthbert Edmund Swan was born in Co. Kilkenny, Ireland. After an education in Sussex, he went on to study at the Academie Julien in Paris. On his return to London, he settled in Camden Town where he befriended fellow artists Walter Sickert and Lucien Pissarro. His father, John Macallam Swan R. A. was also an artist, renowned for his studies of animals. He was clearly an influence on both of his artistic sons, Cuthbert and Edwin.


Cuthbert spent some time in India, where he was able to study and paint big cats such as pumas, jaguars, and leopards in their natural dense jungle habitat. In London he regularly made visits to London Zoo to study other animals. His paintings could be regularly seen in 'adventure' books of the early 1900s, such as 'Boys Own' annuals. A large collection of his animal studies appear in 'The Wild Beasts of the World' by Frank Finn, published in 1906.


He exhibited at the Royal Academy, Royal Society of Oil Painters, and the Paris Salon amongst others. He also taught animal drawing at the Central School of Arts and Crafts.

NOW SOLD - C. E. Swan oil painting - Polar Bear

SKU: KS7220
  • Date/period


  • Dimensions (h x w)

    26 x 31cm




Garden & Salvage


Decorative Objects





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