Antoine-Louis Barye (1795-1895)

Antoine-Louis Barye was born on 24thSeptember 1795 in Paris, France. Barye initially worked as a goldsmith studying under French sculptor Guilaume-Joseph Biennais who was the chief goldsmith to Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1818 Barye gained a place at the renowned École des Beaux-Arts where he studied for five years. Barye began to specialise in the natural depiction of animals and would often spend time in the Jardin des Plantes keenly observing and sketching the surrounding wildlife. Barye exhibited numerous works over many years at the Paris Salon such as ‘Tiger Devouring a Gharial on the Ganges’ (1831), ‘Lion crushing a Serpent’ (1833) and ‘Jaguar Devouring a Hare’ (1855). Barye was commissioned to create larger works including the Lion columns in the Jardin de Tuileries, a series of works for the renovation of the Pont Neuf and further works for the expansion of the Louvre. Barye was awarded Professor of Zoological Drawings at Musee d’Histoire Naturelle and was elected to the Académie des beaux-arts in 1868. Barye is regarded as one of the great animal sculptors of his generation and holds a significant place in 19thCentury French sculpture.  Baryes’ works are collected worldwide by private and corporate companies and are also held in museums across the world including the Musée d’Orsay, Courtauld Institute London, National Gallery London, National Gallery of Art Washington and the Louvre.