Alfred Barye (French, 1839-1882) Bronze Sculpture of Cicogne and Crab
EXCEPTIONAL BRONZE SCULPTURE OF A CICOGNE (STORK) WITH CRAB BY ALFRED BARYE
Signed “A. BARYE . F” on base
Item # 602DZR14Q
The excellent modeling of this bronze provides the viewer with an intimate image of the cicogne having just trapped a crab under it’s talons. The casting work is exquisite, the bird handsomely chiseled and filed with a warm brown patina over a highly detailed naturalistic coastal base with a black patina. The crab is perfectly cast with intricate claws and splayed legs projecting beside it’s body among the scattered shells and starfish of the rocky base. The subject is sand cast as a single piece, the base cast integral with the solid sculpture.
Modeled by the son of Antoine-Louis Barye, Alfred Barye probably had some inspiration for the subject from his father’s sculpture of a cicogne standing on the back of a tortoise; the present example is typical of his work, having an unusually fine patina with depth and incredible variation. Both father and son were inordinately hands on in the foundry and patination processes, for a considerable time operating the foundry personally and almost always handling or at least approving the patina work prior to allowing it to leave the shop. Antoine-Louis and his son Alfred had a falling out for several years due in part to the son’s signing of sculpture simple as “A. Barye”, which lent confusion as to whether the work was by the father or the son. At his father’s request, he began to typically sign his works “A. Barye Fils” and variations thereof. The present example is a truncated version of this signature. For collectors of fine animalier sculpture, this is a remarkable piece.
Measurements: 4 3/8” H x 4 5/8” W x 2 1/2” D
Some rubbing to patina in raised areas along ridges of back, light patina loss between two front toes. Overall excellent original condition.