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date: 20 November 2019

Barye, Antoine-Louislocked

(b Paris, Sept 24, 1796; d Paris, June 25, 1875).
  • Glenn F. Benge

Extract

(b Paris, Sept 24, 1796; d Paris, June 25, 1875).

French sculptor, painter and printmaker. Barye was a realist who dared to present romantically humanized animals as the protagonists of his sculpture. Although he was a successful monumental sculptor, he also created a considerable body of small-scale works and often made multiple casts of his small bronze designs, marketing them for a middle-class public through a partnership, Barye & Cie. His interest in animal subjects is also reflected in his many watercolours. He thus challenged several fundamental values of the Parisian art world: the entrenched notion of a hierarchy of subject-matter in art, wherein animals ranked very low; the view that small-scale sculpture was intrinsically inferior to life-size or monumental work; and the idea that only a unique example of a sculptor’s design could embody the highest level of his vision and craft. As a result of his Romantic notion of sculpture, he won few monumental commissions and endured near poverty for many years....

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[flourished]
S. Lami: Dictionnaire des sculpteurs de l’Ecole française, 8 vols (Paris, 1898–1921/R Nendeln, 1970)