Let's mark the last day of LEO with this sensational, impressive piece. It is a beautifully-rendered model of the 1840 "Walking Lion" by French animalier par excellence Antoine-Louis Barye (1795-1875). Barye, who had little formal education, began his artistic career working for his father, a goldsmith and military engraver. He later was apprenticed to Napoleon's master goldsmith. After military service (1812-1814), he found work in a painting studio, followed by work with a sculptor. From 1818 to 1823, Barye studied at the esteemed École des Beaux Arts. His public debut as a sculptor occurred at the Paris Salon of 1831—after which he generated many government, religious and private commissions. When key patrons died, and commissions slowed, Barye began producing limited edition works directly for the collecting public. He is considered one of the finest animaliers of all time.
The sculpture above is a highly-realistic rendering after Barye's own sculpture. It is close in size to the version in the collection of the National Gallery in Washington, DC. This one, however, is bronze-clad (c. 1920), not solid bronze (from the 19th Century). Click on the photo above to learn more about it.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248