Antoine-Louis Barye

Bradley & Hubbard Bookends with Mirrored Walking Lions After Bayre (LEO Design)

Antoine-Louis Barye was a Parisian Animalier—a sculptor of animals.   He was born in 1796 and got his start as an apprentice under Napoleon’s goldsmith.  In 1816, he was admitted to the Ecole des Beaux Arts where he pursued sculpture—initially honing his talent with medallions and bas relief works.  Barye enjoyed spending time sketching animals of the Royal Menagerie in Paris’s  Jardin des Plantes—and his sketches have been favorably compared to Delacroix’s.  From these sketches, the artist would craft small clay models which he would cast in bronze.  Both his sketches and his cast bronzes succeeded in capturing the wild, naturalistic personalities of their subjects.  Barye also produced monumental works in addition to the smaller ones.  The artist died in 1875 and is buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery.

The cast iron bookends above, made by Bradley & Hubbard in the Twenties, are inspired by Barye’s walking lion.  Crisply cast and finished with a golden wash, they are a handsome, understated and practical addition to any desk, bookshelf or credenza.  Please click on the photo to learn more about them.


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