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The River God
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The River God

Description Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description These bronzes (this one and Walters 27.182) are reductions of the stone sculptures that the architect Hector-Martin Lefuel (1810-80) commissioned in 1866 for the Carrousel entrance, a narrow, double passageway leading into the courtyard of the Louvre. Barye adhered to the ancient Roman tradition of showing nude male figures leaning against upturned water urns as symbols of rivers. These particular bronzes were cast by Ferdinand Barbedienne, who acquired the models at the artist's estate sale in 1876. Originally, the "River Gods" flanked Barye's large relief of Napoleon III dressed as a Roman emperor and mounted on a horse. After the fall of Napoleon III in 1870, the relief was removed and replaced by Antonin Mercié's (1845-1916) allegorical sculpture "The Genius of the Arts."
  • Untamed: The Art of Antoine-Louis Barye. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa; The Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, Palm Beach. 2007-2008.
  • From Rye to Raphael: The Walters Story. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2014-2016.
Provenance Ferdinand Barbedienne; William T. Walters, Baltimore, September 1884, by purchase [George A. Lucas as agent]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Signature] Inscribed: BARYE; [Foundry Mark]; [Transcription] Inscribed in circular gold plate: COLLECTION F. BARBEDIENNE PARIS.
Credit Acquired by William T. Walters, 1884

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modeled 1866-1867; first cast ca. 1876
bronze with black highlights over green patina
Accession Number
H: 23 7/8 × W: 33 1/16 × D: 15 in. (60.7 × 84 × 38.1 cm)


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