Description When a plaster model for this sculpture appeared in the Paris Salon of 1831, critics were astonished by the choice of an animal theme over a more conventional human subject. One critic praised the manner in which Barye expressed both the suffering of the gavial (an Indian crocodile with a narrow snout) and the grim determination of the tiger. He also admired the sculptor's ability to portray a subject that he could never actually have witnessed. This particular piece bears the stamp, of A Victor Paillard (1805-1886) a Bourbon crown over the letters VP. His foundry was noted for the quality of the casting. There is a certain lack of clarity to the impression of the stamp, which led experts to consider the possibility that the bronze was a surmoulage (a cast after another cast), but this opinion has now been rejected.
- The Works of Antoine-Louis Barye. American Art Gallery (New York), New York. 1889-1890.
- 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 William T. Walters, Baltimore, prior to 1889 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Signature] Cast through from model: BARYE; [Stamp] Under crown: VP; [Number] Painted inside base in white: W 20
Credit Acquired by William T. Walters, before 1889
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