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Animalier Bronze Sculptures

The term “animalier” dates from 19th century France and refers to an artist who specializes in the depiction or animals. While the term applies to all artists with this focus regardless of the medium in which they executed their work, the movement is particularly known for producing bronze animal sculptures and statuettes.

While early Animalier sculptors, such as Antoine-Louis Barye, frequently submitted their work to the Paris Salon, their work was frequently rejected. In the opinion of the selection jury, animals were inferior subjects. It was not appropriate for consideration as cast in bronze, as it lacked depiction of the human form and did not tie into the Greek or Roman historical tradition.

Public perception shifted when the French King Louis-Philippe gave a number of important federal work commissions to Barye, whose monuments adorned a number of important public spaces, such as the Tuileries gardens. Eventually animalier sculptures could be found in parks around the world. This increased profile and prestige led to an increased demand from members of the bourgeoisie. By the 1850s, animalier sculptures were considered tasteful and popular, especially amongst members of the middle class.

Quick Facts

  • American animalier sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington was one of the most successful female artists of her time. She was the first female artist elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters
  • Later animalier sculptures were mass-produced to meet heightened demand
  • While some animalier sculptors worked on a diverse body of subjects, others were noted for their particular skill at depicting one specific type of animal. Léon Mignon, for example, was particularly known for his depictions of bulls

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Sellers Who Sell Animalier Bronze Sculptures

World Auction Gallery

World Auction Gallery

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Weatherham Estate Treasures