Ward shared with his contemporary Benjamin Robert Haydon an understanding of the importance of anatomical study. Around 1801 he began to attend anatomy lectures at Joshua Brookes Academy, where special classes were held on the anatomy of the horse and dog three times a week at 9 pm and where the present drawings were probably executed. For another anatomical study of a lioness see James Ward R.A. 1769-1859, exhibition catalogue, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 1991, p. 7, no. 4. Another anatomical study of a lioness is in the Witt collection, Courtauld Institute, London.