This watercolour was completed only 4 years after London zoo or the Zoological Gardens, as it was then called, officially opened to the public. It wasn’t until 1867 that the word ‘zoo’ entered the international vocabulary when it was made popular by ‘The Great Vance’, a famous Edwardian who sang:
” The ok thing to do on a Sunday afternoon is to toddle in the zoo.”
The Zoological Gardens opened in 1828 only to members of the Society, known as the fellows, and their friends. It was only later in 1847 that the zoo opened its doors to the public, for financial reasons.
A pupil of William Etty, Bennett Hubbard (1806-1870) was known to be an animal and sporting artist who exhibited seven works, spaniels and ponies as well as portraits, at the Royal Academy in London.