Description "Python in a Tree" represents a snake coiled around branches in a lush, verdant tropical forest setting. This work dates from Barye's maturity in the 1850s to 1860s and is among his most colorful watercolors. This is especially evident in the flecks of blue, red, pink, and orange that animate the snake's skin. Barye defines the animal's shape in pen and India ink, making it stand out in relief and giving it a three-dimensional quality. He also demonstrates his penchant for scraping away paint, particularly in the two lowest loops of the snake's tail, where his vigorous scraping, to a degree rarely seen in the output of any 19th-century draftsman, reveals clearly the fibrous nature of the paper below.
|4/20/1979||Examination||examined for exhibition|
|1/01/2002||Treatment||examined for exhibition; cleaned; mounted; other|
- The Works of Antoine-Louis Barye. American Art Gallery (New York), New York. 1889-1890.
- Barye Sculpture and Drawings. American Federation of Arts, New York. 1959-1960.
- A Baltimorean in Paris: George A. Lucas, 1860-1909. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1979.
- A Supple Brush: The Flowering of Continental Watercolors. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1979.
- Millet and His Barbizon Contemporaries. Keio Department Store, Tokyo. 1985.
- The Wild Kingdom of Antoine-Louis Barye, 1795-1875. Wildenstein & Company, New York. 1994.
- The Essence of Line: French Drawings from Ingres to Degas. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham; Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma. 2005-2006.
- From Rye to Raphael: The Walters Story. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2014-2016.
Provenance Charles Binder [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Charles Binder Estate Sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 8, 1873, lot no. 2; Galerie Georges Petit, Paris; William T. Walters, Baltimore, 1883, by purchase; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions "BARYE" in lower right in red watercolor; "no. 82" and "4" on reverse in graphite
Credit Acquired by William T. Walters, 1883
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