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Statuette - Walking lion
  • Walking lion
    Barye, Antoine-Louis, born 1796 - died 1875
  • Enlarge image

Walking lion

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1836 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Barye, Antoine-Louis, born 1796 - died 1875 (designer)
    Barbedienne, Ferdinand, born 1810 - died 1892 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery, case 4

This statuette is by Antoine Louis Barye (1795-1875) who exhibited his first animal sculpture in the Paris Salon of 1831 when he was dubbed an 'Animalier', a maker of animals. Initially applied with derogatory overtones, this term became widely used for sculptors - of whom Barye was first and foremost - who specialised in this genre. He was referred to as the 'Michelangelo of the Menagerie' by the contemporaneous art critic Théophile Gautier.

Barye studied animals closely. He attended dissections of animals at the Museum of Natural History in Paris, where he served as the Master of Zoological Drawing from 1854 until his death. But he was also intensely interested in what lay underneath the physical appearance of animals - their inner vitality - and in this sense was in tune with his romantic contemporaries, for whom exotic or wild beasts held a particular fascination.

Although he obtained public commissions and enjoyed the patronage of the Dukes of Orleans, Luynes, Montpensier, and Nemours, Barye specialised in the relatively large-scale production small-scale animal sculptures. The expanding commercial market of the middle class helped ensure that his and other animalier sculptures gained in popularity through the latter half of the 19th century.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


1836 (made)


Barye, Antoine-Louis, born 1796 - died 1875 (designer)
Barbedienne, Ferdinand, born 1810 - died 1892 (maker)

Materials and Techniques


Descriptive line

Walking lion, by Barye and cast by Barbedienne, France (Paris), 1836

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Poletti, M, Richarme, A. Barye. Catalogue raisonné des sculptures. Paris. 2000. Cat. No. A61
Pivar, S. 'The Barye Bronzes'. Antique Collectors' Club. 1974, pp. 131



Subjects depicted

Lions (animals)




Sculpture Collection

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