The figure of Shere-Khan by Paul Jouve appears for the first time in 1919 when he illustrates the famous “Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling. This fictional tiger is Jouve’s iconic character. Artist’s striking modernity comes through in every cubist plane of the feline and will have a strong impact on his friend and contemporary François Pompon when he conceives his famous “Polar Bear” in 1922.
The success of this work launched Jouve’s career. Paradoxically, the artist never painted or drew Shere-Khan, but instead after the illustrated book, in 1920 he produced a limited edition of 20 lithographs out of which 3 are finished in gold leaf. Out of the three, ours is the only one highlighted with gouache by the artist, giving it a rare and exceptional character.
Madame Hinglais, Epernay, France. Close friend and collector of Paul Jouve.
Société Royale d’Anvers, June 24 - July 12, 1954. Illustrated on the cover of the exhibition brochure.
Illustrated in “Miroir du monde” July 11, 1931, p.28
Marcilhac, Félix, Paul Jouve, peintre sculpteur animalier, Editions de l’Amateur, 2005 p.98 and 175