PIERRE JULES MENE (FRENCH, 1810-79) BRONZE SCULPTURE GROUP OF HOUNDS WITH FOX AT BAY
Signed along base "P.J. MENE 1849"
Item # 502PLA14W
An aggressive and difficult subject, particularly for Méne with his tendency for the serene and nostalgic in his modeling of groups, this fascinating hunt scene depicts a pair of hounds holding a fox at bay in an overgrown forest hollow. The sheer excellence of the cast is evident, each animal chiseled and chased into such perfect realism that even their teeth remain sharp and claws well defined. The bodies completely own the tension of the moment. A complex original patina brings the scene to life, mixing a deeper and more nearly black painted patina in the base and trunk with the red oxide, greens and browns of the scene. For the serious collector of animal subjects, this is an exquisite and incredibly striking selection, one rarely found on the open market.
Born in Paris in 1810, Pierre-Jules Mene was the second most successful and prolific animalier of his day, Barye being the only peer of greater renown. He won four medals at the Salon, receiving the Cross of the Legion d'honneur in 1861. Beginning in 1837, Pierre-Jules Mene cast his works in his own foundry, later also casting works by his son-in-law - as an avenue into the profitable English market, he arranged the Coalbrookdale Foundry and the Falkirk Foundry to cast models of his works. A sculptor of incredible success and personal renown during his lifetime, his influence on the realist movement remains tangible.
References and Literature:
- Animals in Bronze, Christopher Payne, p. 205 (present model pictured and discussed)
Measurements: 10 1/2" H x 19 1/8" W x 10 1/2" D
Patina wear throughout, as seen in the detailed slideshow photographs: haunches and legs of dogs, some painted patina losses to the base with accompanying verdigris, scratch along the backs of both dogs, patina loss around the molded edge of the base, etc. Overall in an outstanding state of preservation.