Antoine-Louis Barye Bronzes
All of the bronzes by Antoine-Louis Barye (French, 1796-1875) in this exhibition are from the collection of the Corcoran Gallery of Art.
Barye studied with his father, a goldsmith, before studying the fine arts. He made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1831 with a crouching tiger sinking his teeth into the underside of a serpentine gavial, a crocodile-like animal. Always naturalistic, and often violent, his animal sculpture, was soon famous throughout Europe and the United States. He ultimately was one of the most celebrated sculptors of the century.
Barye retained the right to cast and sell multiple versions of his designs. In 1869, William Wilson Corcoran selected Baltimore collector William T. Walters to serve on the Board of Trustees of the newly established Corcoran Gallery of Art. As chairman of the acquisitions committee, Walters commissioned in 1873 a copy of every work Barye had produced in bronze, executed under the sculptor’s direct supervision, some one hundred and twenty pieces. "To have been able to give this commission," he wrote, "was one of the most agreeable acts of my life in relation to my art experience."