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Life of ANTOINE-LOUIS BARYE


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  French sculptor, painter and printmaker, celebrated for his portrayal of animals. He laid the basis of his extensive knowledge of animal forms while employed by a goldsmith making models of animals in the Jardin des Plantes, Paris (1823-31). His work was in the spirit of Romanticism , particularly his preference for rendering violent movement and tense posture. He also did the pediment Napoleon dominating History and the Arts on the Pavilion de l Horloge of the Louvre and an equestrian statue of Napoleon at Ajaccio, the Emperor s birthplace in Corsica.
  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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Bull Attacked by a Bear
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Tiger Devouring a Gavial Crocodile of the Ganges
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Theseus Slaying the Minotaur
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Roger and Angelica
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Lions near their Den
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