Peter Beard - Photographs London Thursday, May 20, 2021 | Phillips

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  • 'The lions were said to be ghosts of nature, immune to bullets and able to rise up against modern man’s intrusion…' —Peter Beard in Zara’s Tales: Perilous Escapades in Equatorial Africa (2004)

    Rejecting an anthropocentric perspective, Beard stated, ‘[In Africa] I came face to face with the truth that we too are animals, rather dangerous, territorial, and greedy, but animals all the same.’ This would become the cornerstone of his practice, documenting African fauna, and its irrevocable loss, as a direct result of humankind’s hubristic brutality. The present work is intensified by the visceral presence of blood. Colonel Patterson’s (1867-1947) first-hand account of the ‘Man Eaters of Tsavo’, a pair of lions who killed and consumed railway workers during the construction of the Kenya-Uganda track between March and December 1898, is inscribed below the image.

    • Provenance

      Kamel Mennour, Paris, 2000

    • Literature

      J. Bowermaster, The Adventures and MisAdventures of Peter Beard in Africa, Boston: Bulfinch, 1993, n.p. (variants)
      Peter Beard, Cologne: Taschen, 2008, pl. 188 (variant)


Lion Pride near Ndutu, Southern Serengeti – with Richard Bell

Unique work, comprising a gelatin silver print with ink, blood and an affixed gelatin silver print, executed later.
Sheet: 82 x 118 cm (32 1/4 x 46 1/2 in.)
Frame: 105 x 140 cm (41 3/8 x 55 1/8 in.)

Signed, titled, dated and extensively annotated in ink on the recto

This work is unique.

Full Cataloguing

£80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for £100,800

Contact Specialist

Rachel Peart
Head of Department, London

Yuka Yamaji
Head of Photographs, Europe

General Enquiries
+44 20 7318 4092



London Auction 20 May 2021