Jacques-Laurent Agasse was an animal and landscape from Switzerland. He was born in Geneva and studied in veterinary science in order to understand the anatomy of animals. He had a special fondness for English racehorses and exhibited ‘Portrait of a Horse’ in 1801, but nothing compares to the detail and excellence of his two Leopards. From 1782 to 1786, he attended Calabri’s drawing school. In 1786, Agasse left for Paris to continue his training in the studio of Jacques-Louis David. In parallel, he attended courses in anatomy, dissection and osteology at the Muséum d’histoire naturelle (Museum of Natural History).
In October 1800, thanks to the support of Lord Rivers, Agasse decided to settle in London as a painter of rich landowners’ horses and dogs. He lived with his friends, the Chalon family, who were of Genevan origin. Their sons (James and Edward) were also painters and members of the Royal Academy, where, as of 1801, Agasse would regularly exhibit his work until 1845. He also participated in other exhibitions in London: at the British Institution between 1807 and 1811, at the Old Society of Painters in Watercolours in 1816 and 1820, at the Society of British Artists from 1824, and at the Sketching Society in 1831 and 1832.