Michael wanted to paint this study of a Bengal tiger in its natural habitat. To make it more realistic and threatening, he decided to depict it facing the viewer, as it emerges from cover, deep in the jungle. It stops to take a drink; watching for an opportunity to attack its prey.
The beautiful harmonious colour of the tiger is second to none, with flashes of white highlighting its renowned orange and black stripes. While the green foliage and muted tones of the muddy water enhance the high key of the tiger. To quote the great poet and artist William Blake: “God excelled himself when he created the tiger.”