Item Number: 2762LR
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ABOUT THE IMAGE:
Thomas D. Mangelsen’s tranquil meditation on an African leopard, Shades of Sapphire
, is often mistaken for being a fine art painting. Over the course of his career, Mangelsen has enjoyed close friendships with a number of prominent artists, including some of the greatest wildlife painters of our time. Robert Bateman and the late Bob Kuhn have both used Mangelsen’s images as reference for some of their important works.
But here, the tables are turned and Mangelsen employs advice imparted by those masters. “Bob Bateman taught me, and demonstrated in his work, the power of repeating patterns, forms, shapes and negative space, which he employed to perfection,” Mangelsen says. “For the viewer, in considering all of the pieces including the leopard’s signature spots, it is like assembling a puzzle.”
Shades of Sapphire
captures the elusive leopard lounging in a sausage tree in the Seronera section of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. It won the praise even of Bateman. As the title implies, myriad shades of sapphire, aquamarine and brilliant green lichens play off the jewel-like eyes of the big cat. In some tribal legends if one peers into the gaze of a feline predator you can see eternity.