Famed French sculptor Antoine-Louis Barye was initially trained as a goldsmith, the profession of his father. After serving in Napoleon’s army, Barye studied sculpture and painting. He entered the École des Beaux-Arts in 1818. Like the painters Théodore Géricault and Eugène Delacroix, with whom he studied the animals at the Paris zoo, Barye exemplified the Romantic predilection for exotic and intense subjects. Many of his bronzes depict wild beasts in combat, though his work features more calm scenes as well. Barye inspired a school of sculptors known as the animaliers, or animal artists. First cast in plaster in 1833, versions of Lion with a Serpent are located around the world, both in miniature as this example is, and in life-size proportions.