Items (Barye, Antoine-Louis) (T) (Sculpture)
Other Europeans had been fascinated with Russia and its natives since before it came into existence as such. From that region of the earth had rumbled conquering hordes drawn of master horsemen from the great steppes of Europe, whether calling themselves Huns or Mongols, who had terrified even the warlike Romans and fierce Crusader knights. In the 18th century, Peter the Great and Catherine the Great had Westernized what was previously perceived as, at best, a semi-barbaric nation and made it more firmly European, an idea at which other Europeans looked somewhat askance. Particularly after Napoleons steady march across the...
After years of self-study at the zoo of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, Barye's sculptures put his knowledge of anatomy to good use, emphasizing the musculature of animals in conflict and creating far more realistic portraits of them than the static, posed figures of Academic art. His early work was not successful and he supported his family for eight years by working for a jeweler, creating small animal images, but continued to study various naturalists in his spare time. In 1831, he finally had a breakthrough; Tiger Devouring a Gavial was a sensation at the Paris Salon and won...