Born in Danzig, Carl Borromäus Andreas Ruthart enlisted as a free master of the Painter’s Guild in Antwerp in 1663 after a visit to Rome in 1659. Under the influence of painters like Jan Fyt and Frans Snyders, he here began a career as a wildlife painter, frequently showing animals hunting or fighting. Ruthart’s lively paintings, while always maintaining a highly recognisable individualised style, certainly demonstrate his clear engagement with the wider artistic context in which he worked, as well as his precise knowledge of the anatomy of his subjects and skill in rendering texture. In this scene, one of the few known works to be signed by the artist, a lion and tiger fight over the carcass of a stag in a cave filled with antique sculptures, ruins and monuments. To the right, a lioness nurses her cubs (comparable to the tigress in Rubens’ Four Rivers, now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) while a small fox observes the fighting cats, perhaps awaiting its chance to scavenge a meal.