Antoine-Louis Barye (1796 1875), called by Gautier "le Michel-Ange de la Menagerie," is a sculptor whose star continues to rise both among critic-historians and among private collectors. Major museums notably the Louvre, the Metropolitan, and the Walters constantly add to their holdings of his work, while auction prices rose fivefold in the 1970's. Barye's relationship to contemporary sculptors and his influence on succeeding generations also are increasingly recognized. His art, in the author's words, "embodies the yearning and turmoil, the triumphs and anguish" of the Romantic Age. Bayre's work combines scientific precision (especially zoological), technical skill (particularly with bronze), and despite his apparent thoroughgoing realism composition approaching abstract expressionism. An introductory chapter tells what little is known of Barye's life: his friendship with Delacroix, his apprenticeship under the goldsmith to Napoleon I, his absorption of both the romanticism of Hugo and the positivism of Comte, his allegories for the royal house of Orleans, his association with Napoleon III in creating the New Louvre, and his tutelage of Rodin in the technique of animal sculpture. The bulk of the book presents a chronological critique of Barye's oeuvre, incorporating a complete catalog. It therefore serves not only as a study in artistic evolution but also as a handbook for curator and connoisseur."
Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
Number of pages: 312
Weight: 1406 g
Dimensions: 298 x 235 x 25 mm