Alfred Barye Camel
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.
He specialised 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. The majority of the sculptures leaving the Barye foundry were sand castings rather than lost-wax castings. Alfred typically used mid-brown patinas but would sometimes add green (a colour famously used by his father) and auburn-colored hues in the patination process. 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. Alfred, too, would not let a sculpture leave his workshop without a perfectly applied and visually pleasing patina.
Alfred Barye Bactrian Camel
The Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus) is a large, even-toed ungulate native to the steppes of Central Asia. Of the two species of camels, it is by far the rarest. The Bactrian camel has two humps on its back, in contrast to the single-humped dromedary camel. Its population of two million exists mainly in the domesticated form. Some authorities, notably the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), use the binomial name Camelus ferus for the wild Bactrian camel and reserve Camelus bactrianus for the domesticated Bactrian camel. Their name comes from the ancient historical region of Bactria.
To view a selection of Animalier bronzes by Alfred Barye please click here.