Between 1867-1868, Chevalier toured Australia as part of the entourage of Queen Victoria's second son, Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1844-1900) on a voyage to the East. Chevalier was invited by the Duke to join his group for the return journey from Sydney to London.
The party stopped in many places including Tahiti, Hawaii, Japan, China and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), and the Duke became the first British prince to visit both Hong Kong and India. It is said that the native rulers in India fought to entertain him during the three months that he was in the country. The present watercolours depict the Duke and his retinue taking part in tiger hunts on elephants. One watercolour illustrates the party spread across the landscape in hot pursuit of their prey, whilst the other shows the final kill as the tiger is surrounded by the huntsmen amongst the tall grasses.
Chevalier was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and travelled to Switzerland in 1845 where he studied painting and architecture. In 1851 he moved to London to work as a lithographer. He exhibited two landscapes at the Royal Academy in 1852. On his return to England after the Royal tour, Chevalier exhibited a series of views from his travels at The Crystal Palace and another series at the South Kensington Museum in January 1872.
A similar account of a Royal Indian tour was given by William Simpson, who was employed by the The Illustrated London News to cover a tour undertaken by the Prince of Wales in 1875. One of Simpson's finest watercolours of the Prince of Wales's tiger hunt was sold in these Rooms, 5 June 1996, lot 63.
See lot 82 for a futher depiction of a Tiger hunt.