Antoine-Louis Barye: 11 works

A slideshow of artworks auto-selected from multiple collections

By Google Arts & Culture

Crouching Tiger by Antoine-Louis BaryeHuntington Museum of Art

'Typical of Barye's watercolors the animal seen here is set not in its indigenous Asia, but rather in the Forest of Fontainebleau, which Barye visited and where he established friendships with many Barbizon painters. Another feature of Crouching Tiger common among Barye's watercolors is the sense of human emotion shown by his animal subjects, and which is true of his animal bronzes as well.'

Python Killing a Gnu (1840s–1860s) by Antoine-Louis BaryeThe J. Paul Getty Museum

'Sculptor Antoine-Louis Barye posed the animals in contradiction to their natures: the light-footed gnu, whose delicate legs skip over rough surfaces, here is brought to the ground, while the snake, whose lack of legs naturally forces him to shimmy along the ground, strikes the gnu's throat in mid-air. Images like this one of a dramatic and ultimately Romantic struggle between life and death made Barye one of the most popular animal sculptors of the 1800s.'

Large Lion (early 1830s) by Antoine-Louis Barye (French, 1795 - 1875)The Walters Art Museum

'This watercolor demonstrates well Barye's idiosyncratic technique of building up his surfaces in a manner similar to the way he built up clay in his sculptures. The analogy between his watercolors and sculptures was noted by several contemporary commentators.'

Surtout de table: Tiger Hunt (1834-1836) by Antoine-Louis BaryeThe Walters Art Museum

'Barye derived this subject from various sources, including a 17th-century Persian miniature.'

Stalking Lion (ca. 1830) by Antoine-Louis Barye (French, 1795 - 1875)The Walters Art Museum

'Barye could have drawn this rough sketch of a lion from life at the Jardin des Plantes.'

Sketches of a Lion (ca. 1832) by Antoine-Louis Barye (French, 1795 - 1875)The Walters Art Museum

'Barye drew these sketches in preparation for modeling "Lion and Serpent," his famous statue, which originally stood in front of the Tuileries Palace. In addition to showing the lion with its forepaw raised, as in "Lion and Serpent, No. 3," (Walters 27.87) he also included studies of the lion's claws and paw.'

Angelica and Rogero Mounted on the Hippogryph (1855) by Antoine-Louis BaryeMusée d’Orsay, Paris

'His decorative skills are particularly apparent in the impressive mantelpiece decorations he produced between 1844 and 1858.On the request of the duke of Montpensier, the younger son of Louis Philippe, Barye is believed to have designed about 1844 an earlier piece inspired by a literary theme very much in vogue at the time, taken from Ariosto's Orlando Furioso Barye showed "the beautiful queen of Cathay, the capricious Angelica, Roland's cold lover, whom Rogero had just snatched from death, flying through the air on the hippogryph, clasped in the arms of the amorous knight. "Over ten years later, Barye used the same design for this piece.'

Theseus and the Minotaur (Second Version) (modeled: 1843; first cast of second version: 1857) by Antoine-Louis BaryeThe Walters Art Museum

'No other work reflects Barye's neoclassical training as vividly as Theseus and the Minotaur.'

Tiger Walking (1850s) by Antoine-Louis Barye (French, 1795 - 1875)The Walters Art Museum

'The animal sculptor Antoine-Louis Barye regularly visited the Forest of Fontainebleau from the late 1840s and rented a house at Barbizon starting in 1867. In his watercolors, he created imaginary scenes by inserting wild animals he had seen in the zoo into the Fontainebleau landscape.'

Mountain Lion Mauling a Deer (Mid-19th Century) by Antoine-Louis BaryeThe Frick Pittsburgh

'Barye was known to visit Parisian zoos to draw animals from life. In 1859, Barye moved to Barbizon, a village located on the edge of the Fontainebleau forest, where he joined other artists of the Barbizon school, including Jean-François Millet and Théodore Rousseau.'

Napoleon I as a Roman Emperor (1860/1865) by Antoine-Louis BaryeMusée d’Orsay, Paris

'Barye had studied the animals in the Jardin des Plantes and in the comparative anatomy laboratory in the Natural History Museum in the company of Delacroix. His animal compositions are always lively and dramatic but the sculptor also had a taste for classical iconography and -- as here, in this plaster model for Monument to Napoleon I for Ajaccio, executed in 1865 -- for a sort of classical permanence which structures schemas and cools passions.'

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