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Antoine Louis Barye Signed Bronze Lion and Serpent

Antoine-Louis Barye animalier bronze sculpture

Antoine-Louis Barye (Paris, 1795-1875). Lion crushing a  Snake.
Bronze, brown patina signed Barye on the left hand side of the base.
Black marble base.

Period End of XIX centuryHeight 12.99 inWidth 15.74 inDepth 10.62 in Categories , Tags , ,


The best of Barye’s sculptures surpass mere anatomical description and resonate with human passion and conflict. Lion and Serpent(the plaster model is in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon), is the Barye’s most famous work. It has also been read as an allegorical representation of King Louis-Philippe’s (reigned 1830–1848) rise to power during the July Revolution of 1830. The noble lion, representing the new King and the people of France, is shown in a triumphant struggle against the serpent, symbolizing Charles X (reigned 1824–1830) and the ousted Bourbon dynasty. The pair additionally suggests a celestial sanction for Louis-Philippe’s reign by alluding to the constellations of Leo (the lion) and Hydra (the sea serpent), whichruled the heavensduring the days of the July Revolution (July 27-30, 1830). Barye exhibited his monumental plaster cast of this allegorical group at the Salon of 1833, where it was met with great acclaim. It was purchased by the Crown, cast in bronze, and exhibited again at the Salon of 1836, before being publically installed in the Tuileries garden. Although officially sanctioned by Louis-Philippe, the presence of a large-scale animal sculpture in such a public venue exasperated at least one critic in particular, who exclaimed: “Are the gardens to become a Menagerie? »

Technical Details

Materials Bronze, marbleColor gunmetal, blackPeriod End of XIX centuryCreatore Antoine-Louis BaryeOrigin FranceConditions Excellent conditions, wear consistent with age and use
Height 12.99 inWidth 15.74 inDepth 10.62 in

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