"Panther Attacking a Civet", bronze sculpture | Antoine Louis Barye
ITEM #: C104024
"PANTHER ATTACKING A CIVET CAT" CAST AFTER A MODEL BY ANTOINE LOUIS BARYE
Signed in cast "A.L. BARYE"; conceived 1857, present cast circa late 19th century
Item # C104024
A rare and exquisite cast that has not been on the market since it was acquired by a private collector in 1935, this exquisite model of Panthère suprenant un zibeth (Panther attacking a civet cat) depicts the large beast pawing at the snarling cat with curiosity and confidence. Two versions of this were modeled by Antoine-Louis Barye, the present model (the same version held by the Walters Gallery) and one with a more active base, the Panther slightly separated from the Civet by a valley in the rocks. The rich modeling of the surface shows a relatively early model with the tooling and texturing of the mold beautifully captured in casting. It is signed in block lettering along the front edge A.L. Barye and is situated over an early mottled green marble base.
A tasteful group devoid of excess, Barye focuses the viewer entirely on the interaction of two animals: the playful and inquisitive personality of the panther is on full display as the insecurities and ferocity of the civet is only hinted. There is a softness captured in the features of the panther that shows this to be neither a challenge or a strain but rather a pursuit of sport and curiosity.
The original model, both in plaster and wax, as well as a bronze model with slight variations are held in the collection of the Louvre Museum. It is also a part of the Lucas collection at the Baltimore Museum of Art, held in the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Corocoran Gallery of Art in Washington and the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore.
Literature & Further Reading:
- The Animaliers, James Mackay, 1973, p. 23 [noted as "Sengalese Lioness with Prey, 9 in"]
- Bronzes of the Nineteenth Century: A Dictionary of Sculptors, Pierre Kjellberg, 1994, p. 63 [noted as "Panthère suprenant un zibeth, 11 x 23 cm"]
- Bronze Sculpture of Les Animaliers, Jane Horswell, 1971, p. 73 [present example pictured, notable variance in signature]
- The Barye Bronzes: A Catalogue Raisonne, Stuart Pivar, 1974, p. 166, f. A74
- Antoine-Louis Barye: Sculptor of Romantic Realism, Glenn F. Benge, 1984, ill. 20
- Barye: Catalgue Raisonné des Sculptures, Poletti & Richarme, 2000, p. 223, f. A86, ill. 195 & 196
- Purchased from the collection of James G. Shepherd at Anderson Galleries November 7th 1935 for $ 225
- Held in a private collection since 1935
- Walters Art Gallery, acc. 27.119, depicting the present example (version no. 1)
Measurements: 9 1/2" W x 3 5/8" D x 4 1/8" H [bronze]; 9 3/8" W x 4 1/8" D x 1 3/8" H [base]
Excellent condition, original patina. Originality of green base unknown, though present with the model at the time of sale in 1935.