Alfred Barye

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Alfred Barye "Le Fils"
Alfred Barye

21 January 1839
Paris, France
Known forSculptor
Notable work
The Arab Warrior Knight on Horseback
MovementAnimalier and wildlife art

Alfred Barye "Le Fils" or Alf Barye (Paris, France, 21 January 1839 – Paris, France, 1882) was a French sculptor, of the Belle Époque, pupil of his father the artist Antoine-Louis Barye. In cooperation with Émile-Coriolan Guillemin, Barye did the artwork for "The Arab Warrior Knight on Horseback". Included in Barye's oeuvre were animalier bronzes as well as Oriental subjects. At his father's request, he signed his work as "fils" to differentiate his work from his father's.[1]

Early life[edit]

Alfred Barye was born in Paris, France, on 21 January 1839,[1] the son of Antoine-Louis Barye. He learned his craft of animalier sculptor under the watchful eye of his father who was one of the original pioneers of animal sculpture in the mid-to-late 19th century. The younger Barye didn't always get along with his father; there were times when the two of them were not on speaking terms because until instructed not to do so, Barye was signing some of his bronzes as "A. Barye" which the senior Barye objected to because it created confusion as to which Barye, father or son, created the sculpture.[2]


A silvered bronze sculpture of a pheasant by Barye (c. 1875)

He specialized in the animalier school in the production of bronze sculptures. Although a fine artist in his own right, he struggled to create his own identity living in the shadow of his more famous father. The vast majority of his pieces are signed "A. Barye, fils" while some are marked "Barye" or "A. Barye" which created some confusion – intentional or not – with those of his father.[1] The majority of the sculptures leaving the Barye foundry were sand castings[2] rather than lost-wax castings. Alfred typically used mid-brown patinas but would sometimes add green[3] (a color famously used by his father) and auburn-colored hues in the patination process.[3] Any Barye bronze – by father or son – will generally have an exquisite patina. Antoine-Louis was particularly finicky with his patinas and would not allow other foundries to apply them, preferring to do it himself for appearance and quality control purposes.[1] Alfred, too, would not let a sculpture leave his workshop without a perfectly applied and visually pleasing patina.

Alfred Barye did a production of bronze sculptures and focused his attention on race horses or horses on the move. Some of his well-known bronzes are The Arab Warrior Knight on Horseback (1890–1910, made in Paris, height 87 cm, width 61 cm, depth 30 cm, bronze).

Death and legacy[edit]

Barye died in Paris in 1882. He is known for the precision detail in his bronze sculptures, as shown in the pheasant sculpture (pictured right).[1] Barye was known for great attention to detail on his bronzes. He produced a number of bird sculptures as well as genre figures.[1] He received "honourable mention" honors in the 1897 Salon for the work Aide Fauconnier Indien, Retour de Chasse à la Gazelle. Alfred Barye's final submission at the Salon de Louvre was in 1882.[1]


His bronzes are now in many museums collections:


Alfred Barye did several exhibitions in Paris from 1864 to 1882.

  • The Salon de Louvre Museum, Paris, 1864 through 1882
  • The racehorse Sir Walter Scott, 1865
  • Italian jester, 1882

Signature examples[edit]

Signature of Alfred Barye
Alternate signature of Alfred Barye[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Kjellberg, Pierre (1994). Bronzes of the 19th Century (1st ed.). Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. p. 53. ISBN 0-88740-629-7.
  2. ^ a b "Alfred Barye, French -- Rhinoceros (Lot 139)". Retrieved 23 July 2015.


  • Patricia Janis Broder, Bronzes of the American West, H. N. Abrams, 1974
  • News, Volumi 29–30, Baltimore Museum of Art, 1967
  • Musée du Louvre. Département des sculptures, Françoise Baron, Corinne Jankowiak, Christine Vivet, Geneviève Bresc-Bautier, Isabelle Lemaistre, Guilhem Scherf, Jean-Charles Agboton-Jumeau, Sculpture française: Renaissance et temps modernes, Réunion des musées nationaux, 1998
  • Théophile Thoré, Les Salons: Salons de 1864–1868, H. Lamertin, 1893
  • Stanislas Lami, Dictionnaire des sculpteurs de l'École française, Volume 8, Champion, 1921
  • Dictionnaire universel des contemporains contenant toutes les ..., Volume 1, 1870
  • Musée du Louvre (Paris). Département des sculptures du Moyen Age, de la Renaissance et des temps modernes, Musée national du Louvre (Paris). Département des sculptures, Sculpture française, Réunion des musées nationaux, 1998
  • The Sculpture Journal, Volume 6, Public Monuments and Sculpture Association, 2001
  • The University of Rochester Library Bulletin, Volumi 38–43, University of Rochester Library, 1985
  • The São Paulo Collection: From Manet to Matisse, Mazzotta, 1989
  • Arlene Hirschfelder, Paulette F. Molin, Yvonne Wakim, American Indian Stereotypes in the World of Children: A Reader and Bibliography
  • Fogg Art Museum Handbooks, Editions 4, Harvard University, 1983
  • Pierre Kjellberg, Les Bronzes du XIXe Siècle, 1986, (p. 369, "the Arab warrior knight on horseback")
  • Eleonora Luciano, William U. Eiland, Georgia Museum of Art, Animals in bronze: the Michael and Mary Erlanger collection of animailer bronzes, Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, 1996
  • Elisabeth Hardouin-Fugier, Le peintre et l'animal en France au XIXe siècle, Éditions de l'Amateur, 2001
  • Harold Berman, Bronzes; Sculptors & Founders, 1800–1930, Volume 2, Abage, 1976
  • Yves Devaux, L'univers des bronzes et des fontes ornementales: chefs-d'œuvre et curiosités, 1850–1920, Éditions Pygmalion, 1978
  • Arts Magazine, Volume 17, Art Digest Incorporated, 1942
  • Théophile Thoré, 1864–1868

External links[edit]