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20-Nov-2017 17:56

Throughout history, many bronze pieces have been melted down to recover the raw metal itself, which would then be recast as weaponry or to create new sculptures if a piece had fallen out of favor.It is estimated that between 40 and 60 percent of modern...Barye was an accomplished artist as well as sculptor and his models are technically competent and based on his studies of actual wild animals, both living and dead, at the Jardin de Plantes, in Paris where he spent much of his time.Barye's first Salon exhibit, The Milo of Croton, in 1819 was awarded the second prize, but many of his later entries were turned down.He was appointed Professor of Drawings at the Museum of Natural History at the Jardin de Plantes in 1854, a post he held until his death.By 1857 Barye was able to pay off his debts of the last 10 years and regain control of the casts and models which he was forced to give up.In 1855 and again in 1867 at the age of 71 he was awarded the Grand Medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris for his works.He was elevated to the rank of Officer in the Legion d'Honneur, was named the first president of the Central Union of Beaux Arts and was appointed a Member of the Institute of France.

His Royal and State monumental commissions, as well as the patronage of the Duke of Orleans, and the Dukes of Luynes, Montpensier, and Nemours, allowed him to hire the finest foundry craftsmen in Paris and turn his hand to producing his smaller bronze models himself in his own foundry.His plasters, models, and the rights to produce them were sold to pay his debts.The casts made by Martin, Barbedienne, and others from the period 1848 - 1857 are not as well executed without Barye's personal hand and direction and are easily distinguishable from his finer early casts.Many articles appeared about his works of the previous decades praising his incredible ability of capturing wild animals in their natural state.