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"Surtout de table": Python Killing a Gnu

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description Barye was fascinated by large snakes and portrayed them in sculptures and paintings. Two Javanese pythons were sent to the Jardin des Plantes in 1838. In this sculpture, a python has entwined itself around the body of a gnu, an African antelope also known as a wildebeest. This sculpture is one of four animal combats that originally stood at the base of the triumphal arch supporting the "Tiger Hunt." Two of the other combats, "Eagle Attacking a Wounded Ibex" and "Lion Attacking a Boar," are now in the Louvre Museum; the fourth, "Tiger Devouring a Large Antelope," belongs to the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Date Description Narrative
12/12/1979Examinationexamined for loan
  • The Romantics to Rodin: French Nineteenth Century Sculpture from North American Collections. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis; The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis. 1980-1981.
  • Un âge d'or des arts décoratifs: 1814-1848. Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Paris. 1991.
  • 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.
Provenance Duc d'Orléans, 1834, by commission; duchesse d'Orléans Sale, Paris, January 18-20, 1853, no. 2; Alphonse de Hautpoul; Maurice Mallet; Henry Walters, Baltimore, November 19, 1906, by purchase [George A. Lucas as agent]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Signature] Cast through from model: BARYE.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1906

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bronze with warm brown patina over areas of metallic flake or powdered surface with traces of gilding
Accession Number
8 1/2 x 11 1/2 x 9 1/2 in. (21.6 x 29.2 x 24.1 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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