From the early 1830's the term Animalier was used to label the French school of sculptors who used animals as the central subject matter in their work. Initially a derogatory description, it took several years before animal bronzes were accepted into the Salon as a primary art form of the nineteenth century. The foremost names amongst the artists are Barye, Fratin, Mene, Fremiet, Moigniez and the Bonheurs, all of whom established strong reputations in the field of animalier sculpture. Antoine-Louis Barye was the initiator of the movement with his new Romantic style almost exclusively made up of studies of wild animals. The examples here encapsulate Barye's skill in representing animals in their most familiar attitude, for example the 'Cheval Percheron' (lot 417) with its simple, slightly raised base and sense of movement from the strongly visible musculature.