“By his own account, the most ambitious work of Michallon’s career was a thirty-foot canvas depicting Noah’s Ark, which he exhibited in the Salon of 1875, where it went unmentioned by the critics. Preparatory work for this elaborate composition took him frequently to the Jardin des Plantes, where he made painstaking drawings and oil sketches of the animals on view. These studies were enthusiastically remarked upon by visitors to his studio, some of whom counseled him to give up history painting altogether and pursue the less dignified but presumably more lucrative career of animal painter. Following this advice, and profiting from the tremendous vogue in 1880s Europe for all things African, Michallon began painting atmospheric but zoologically correct images of exotic animals in the wild…”

– Wheelock Whitney, September 2004

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