"No one painted African animals like Wilhelm Kuhnert. It is an opinion that is widely shared among Africa's professional hunters, men who know the animals individually and fondly and who have little tolerance for misrepresentations" (T. Wieland, Wildlife Art News, July/August 1991, p. 46).
Trained at the Berlin Academy of Arts under Paul Meyerheim and Richard Friese, Kuhnert first traveled to Africa in 1891 followed by numerous trips to the Middle East, India and Ceylon. A big game hunter himself, he enjoyed the royal patronage of King Frederick of Saxony with whom he visited Sudan in 1911. He even had the opportunity to work in the Bialowies - Czar Nicholas II's private hunting preserve in western Russia. Captivated by the beauty of Wild Life, particularly those of majestic lions and tigers, he occasionally returned to Berlin only to execute his paintings of them based on his extensive sketches. In fact the inscription on his gravestone sums up Kuhnert's success in rendering of as well as his sincere affection for these wild life animals: Wilhelm 'Lion' Kuhnert.