In his paintings, artist Manjit Bawa pares figuration down to its most essential and poetic forms. Depicting icons of Indian culture and religion, Bawa's works are masterpieces of line and color, oftentimes bordering on the abstract in their fluidity. Deeply influenced by the saturated and gem-toned hues of Pahari miniature paintings, Bawa's work demonstrates a preference for form over narrative. Eliminating all extraneous details including ground line and landscape for a dreamlike placement of figures in space, the artist preserves only a subtle chiaroscuro to give depth and volume to his subjects. Extensively trained in silkscreen techniques, the compartmentalization of color, homogenous background and luminous surfaces characteristic of his work could have also originated from his experience in serigraphy. During the 1980s, Bawa embarked on a series of paintings which took inspiration from the street performers, acrobats and circus activities of his home in Punjab. This work, unusual in its choice of an animal as the sole subject, is most likely an example from this group. The lion, which serves an important role in Hindu mythology as the vehicle for the goddess Parvati, is shown here in a more secular light as the subject of a circus act.