The Barbary Lion (Panthera leo leo) is a lion subspecies that once roamed much of North Africa, including the Atlas Mountains, hence they are also called Atlas lions. Although none have been sighted in their natural habitat since the late 1960s, their distinctive traits such as their very dark and long-haired manes that extended over the shoulder and under the belly have been observed in zoo specimens, possibly indicating the survival of the subspecies in captivity. The Barbary lion was generally larger in size than the average African lion, and their overall thicker manes covering more of their body is believed to have been a genetic adaptation to the colder climate of the Atlas Mountains. This is actually my second attempt at sculpting a lion, my first version, made almost exactly 2 years ago, was for the Water Bearer and the Lion. I based the pose on an illustration by Joseph Bassett Holder, an American zoologist and physician (and evidently also quite a remarkable artist). My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.
Wet clay model