This scene of a lioness with a startled white horse is one of George Stubbs' best known compositions. It is known today through an engraving called The Horse and Lioness made by Benjamin Green as the last in a set of six prints after Stubbs, which he published in 1774 (see C. Lennox-Boyd, R. Dixon and T. Clayton, George Stubbs: The Complete Engraved Works, Culham, Abingdon, 1989, p. 142, no. 37) and numerous painted copies probably made after the engraving. An inscription on the engraving states that it was made from a painting dated 1771 in the collection of the renowned patron and friend of Stubbs, William Wildeman, now untraced. The orientation of the present canvas is in reverse of the print, suggesting that it may have been made from the 1771 painting. The lioness appears in the same attitude, without the horse and instead with her mate, in a canvas by Stubbs signed and dated 1774 in a private collection (see J. Egerton, George Stubbs, Painter., New Haven and London, 2007, pp. 362-363, no. 163, illustrated).