Antoine-Louis Barye was born in Paris on the 24th on September 1795, died on the 29th on June, 1875 in Paris. (He is interred at the Père-Lachaise cemetary.) Barye spent almost his entire life in Paris except when he resided in Cherbourg from1870- 1871 and when he left Paris to work in the forests of Fontainbleau.

Barye was born the son of a goldsmith. At 13 years old he was apprenticed as an engraver in the studio of Fourier creating the metal decorations for army uniforms. He was initiated there into various of methods of working with all types of metals, including the art of a ciseleur (doing the fine hand chasing required to finish bronze sculpture). Barye entered the studio of the sculptor Bosio in 1816 and also worked under Gros in 1817.

Barye attended the Ecole des Beaux-arts in Paris from 1818 to 1824. In 1819 he received an honorable mention in a competition for the grand prize in Engraving and Medals for his work "Milos of Croton Devoured by a Lion". By 1820 he had received a second grand prize for sculpture, with "Cain Cursed by God" and in 1823 he recieved first prize for a competition in equestrian art. In order to make a living he worked in 1823 for the goldsmith Fauconnier, where he created small animal figures. His detailed studies of nature and realistic animal movement weree undertaken in in the Jardin des Plantes. Barye's debut at the Salon de Paris took place in 1827, where he exhibited several busts.

By 1831 he had become well known to the public with his exhibition of "Tiger Devouring a Gavial, (Crocodile)", a tortured and expressive work earing him a second place award, and which also classed him with the most famous of the romantic sculptors, equivalent to the stature of the painter Delacrois. In 1833 the king commissioned a large sculptural group, "Lion and the Serpent" for the Jardin des Tuileries. ( For Barye this work symbolized the monarchy crushing insurrection.) Between 1831 and 1835 Barye's works attracted the attention and admiration of many artists and intellectuals, but his works were refused entry at the Salon from 1935 until 1850. (In 1850 he returned in triumph with his sculpture of " Theseus Combatting the Centaur', a more classical subject than those animalier sculptures which had been rejected by the Salon jury in previous years)

Barye operated his own foundry in order to control the casting of his works and employed the most modern techniques of the times. He created extensive decorative works with a hunting motif for the table of Ferdinand-Philippe d'Orléans and became the quasi- official sculptor of Napoleon III, under whose reign he created various monuments for the decoration of the Louvre such as the "Seated Lion" in at the entrance to the Lion gate at the Louvre, along with a clossal bas-relief equestrian statue of Napoleon III at the entrance, created between 1868 and 1875. Between 1854 and 1860 Barye created four allegorical figures for the Denon and Richeliu pavillions at the Louvre. However Barye encountered many financial difficulties in his life. By 1848 he was unable to pay his a debt of 36,000 francs and so lost possession of all his models and the rights to cast them. (He was not able to regain the rights to his own models until 1857.) Barye never stopped creating masterful works, often of small dimensions, which were sought after by many collectors throughout the world. He was named adminstrator in charge of casts and plaster models at the at the Musee de Louvre in 1848.( In 1850 this position was given instead to Niewerkerque.) In 1854 Barye became a professor of drawing at the Museum of Natural History and an officer of the Legion of Honneur in 1855. He participated in the Exposition Universelle of 1855, where he was a member of the jury and where he obtained a gold medal for his bronze of "Jaguar Devoring a Hare". In 1863 he became president of the Central Union of Industrial Arts.

Antoine Louis Barye is considered a master for both types of sculptures that he executed; for the abundant number of forceful, vibrant animalier works (previously disregarded by his peers), as well as the allegorical figures whose execution rivals any of the most well regarded romantic classical sculptors.


« Antoine-Louis Barye », dans Marie-Nicolas Bouillet et Alexis Chassang [sous la dir. de], Dictionnaire universel d’histoire et de géographie,

1878)Michel Poletti et Alain Richarme, Barye - Catalogue raisonné des sculptures, Univers du Bronze, Paris, Edition Gallimard 2000

Michel Poletti, Monsieur Barye, Univers du Bronze, Paris, Edition Acatos 2002

Pierre Kjellberg, Bronzes of the 19th Century 1994

E. Benezit Dictionnaire des Peintres Sculpteurs Dessinateurs et Graveurs 1999 edition


Antoine-Louis Barye (French 1795-1875) " Tigre Qui Marche ", ( avec plinthe rectangulaire ) a very rare version signed BARYE, inscribed F. BARBEDIENNE FOUNDEUR, and with gold FB stamp on base. Bronze,with spectacular mid green patina over a mid brown. Cast between 1876-1889. Inscribed on the underside in ink 5596 and siu . nl ? and also stamped on the underside 44 AA. (The plaster for the model is in the Walters Art Gallery Baltimore.)
Dimensions: Height 8 &1/2 inches by 15&1/2 inches in length