The lions Rubens used for his painting Daniel in the Lions' Den were Barbary or Asiatic lions. Some speculate that he observed them at a menagerie in Brussels. Rubens was also informed by ancient lion sculptures he saw in Italy.
I am more used to the look of sub-Saharan African lions, but that is not what he has in the painting. Rubens is known for the generous proportions of his subjects and that is no exception with his lions in this piece. The lions appear muscle-bound with that Rubenesque look.
To make my painting work, my lions need to be his lions at an angle and smaller. Rubens' Daniel in the Lions' Den measures 88.3" X 130.1". My entire painting is a bit smaller at 13.5" X 20".