A French Animalier Bronzed Terracotta Sculpture of a Dog c.1900

Origin: French
Period: 3rd Republic
Provenance: Ex Paul De Grande
Date: c.1900
Height: 27”
Width: 11”
Depth: 12” (all at extremities)

Beautifully modelled, the life-size(?) terracotta hound in an obedient seated position, with textured coat and subservient eyes, the whole being partially flat backed and with a bronzed patinated wash and surviving from the zeniths of nineteenth century France.

Remaining in good overall condition considering its relative fragility, it appears to be unsigned. There is a small hairline crack to one lower foot. This aside there are no other missives other than two very small chips. The finish has taken on a lovely soft glowing patina.

The Animaliers, a group of sculptors from the 19th century, focused on capturing the animal objectively. Leaders of this school include Antoine-Louis Barye, Pierre Jules Mene and the Bonheurs. The movement predominantly centered around Paris, France, and Italy, with some offshoots in England, Germany, and North America. The Paris salon thought animal subjects too common for fine art, but with the opening of the new Paris Jardin des Plantes zoo and the Ménagerie du Jardin des plantes, interest in animal art increased. Most of the original animalier sculptors used the traditional lost wax process of casting prevalent at the time.

Somehow embracing both realism and stylised naivety in one attempt, this is a brilliantly fluid and appealing piece from a sculptor that really knew their craft and their animals.