Animals and the natural world have always been inspiring for artists. Modern artists create beautiful works of art based on the animal kingdom, from paintings to creations like this animal sculpture. One of the best-known artists who created beautiful animal sculptures is Antoine Louis Barye.
Born in Paris in 1795, he didn’t have much in the way of an education. His father was a metal worker, so he started training with him from an early age before going to work for a military engraver. Showing much promise in this line of work, he went on to then work for the goldsmith who supplied Napoleon himself!
After spending two years serving in the army, Antione then went to train with a sculptor and learn the fine arts, as well as undertaking training with a painter. He continued with his metal engraving and work as a goldsmith and went on to work for the goldsmith Jacques Henri Fauconnier. In 1827, he created some busts. These were exhibited at the Salon. This was an event held in Paris and was an art exhibition that was famed all over the world. This would not be the first time his work would be on display at this prestigious event.
In 1831, his interest in animal sculptures led him to create a series of pieces that represented the violence of predatory wild animals. This attracted a lot of attention, and off the back of this came his first government commission, Lion crushing a Serpent. A few years later, in 1836, he was also commissioned to create the animal decoration at the Place de la Bastille.
The success of Antione Louis Barye didn’t stop there – Royals had also noticed his excellent work and he created a number of pieces for their own private art collections. Despite the fact that he was not believed to have ever set foot outside of France during his lifetime, his works of art were in demand all over the world. All over Europe and in the United States his sculptures were sought after.
The work of Antione Louis Barye is still upheld as some of the finest examples of the study of both animal and human form in the world of art, and in combination with his excellent design skills and his early introduction to working with metal, it is clear why he is regarded one of the best animal sculptors of all time.