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The Lion’s Share

MA students
18 December 2023 - 11 March 2024
Online exhibition

Comparing constructs of masculinity and femininity through depictions of humans and animals in 18th and 19th century art.

The Lion’s Share is a virtual art exhibition curated by MA students from the University of Leeds. This digital installation features paintings from the late Georgian to early Victorian period from the collections of the Yale Center For British Art.

The exhibition takes a look at the representation between men and animals and women and animals and aims to demonstrate the ways in which the art of the period represented the idea of binary gender roles. Comparisons show men often taking a dominant and assertive posture, opposed to the homely, traditionally docile depictions that women receive.

The exhibition is separated into three main subsections, each featuring a different social context in which these binary gender roles are constructed. These include paintings of pets, hunting, and colonial scenes, all culminating to outline a landscape of binary gender roles.

The Lion’s Share aims to provide visitors with an understanding of the binary nature of gender roles in the 18th and 19th century through the lens of paintings, while encouraging visitors to compare such depictions with modern notions of gender.

Visit the exhibition

The Lion’s Share is part of a wider series of online exhibitions curated by Art Gallery and Museum Studies and Arts Management and Heritage MA students from the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, as part of an Interpretations course module.

Visit the online exhibition.


Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, 1802–1873, British, Portrait of Mr. Van Amburgh, As He Appeared with His Animals at the London Theatres, Summer 1846 to March 1847. Oil on canvas. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. CC0. 1.0 Universal license.