25 April 2003
ANTOINE-LOUIS BARYE (FRENCH, 1795-1875)
Lion au serpent No3, esquisse (Lion crushing a snake No3, sketch model)
signed BARYE, the underside with partial label printed Exposition centennale de l'art français à St. Petersbourg, and inscribed Sculpteur - [A. L.] Barye/Sujet - Petit [....]/patte levée/Collection - René C[harli]er/3, Avenue Matignon
bronze, dark-brown/red patina with touches of verdigris
5 1/8 in. (13 cm.) high
René Charlier, 3, avenue Matignon, Paris.
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Poletti & Richarme, 2000, no. A54, pp. 178-9
Ballu, 1890, p. 49
Exposition centennale de l'art français, Yusupovsky Palace, St. Petersburg, 15-28 January 1912, no. 10.
Barye's personal favourite, Lion au serpent No3 differs from the other versions of the subject, in that it takes us to an earlier stage in the demise of the snake. In fact, here, the raised paw of the lion and nervous stance of his body, suggest almost a playfulness. Early casts bearing the date 1832 place the model before the Tuileries version, for which it was probably a sketch. As it is today, Lion au serpent No3 was very popular both during Barye's lifetime and immediately after, when the model was edited until 1905 by Delafontaine.
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