Cheval Percheron

Cheval Percheron
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  • Cheval Percheron by Barye Bronze Sculpture barye-percheron.jpg
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    Cheval Percheron by Barye Bronze Sculpture z4105c
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A fabulous late 19th Century French bronze figure entitled ‘Cheval Percheron’ by Antoine Louis Barye the bronze study of the world’s most famous draft horse with right foreleg raised exhibiting deep brown lightly rubbed patination and excellent hand chased surface detail raised on a shaped naturalistic base, signed and stamped with Thiebaut foundry mark.

Barye had three distinct styles when sculpting horses, classical, romantic and naturalistic. From his earlier vocation as an accomplished goldsmith Barye had an adept understanding of classical gems and cameos and subsequently executed a number of distinguished equestrian statues, adeptly capturing the popular classicism of the period in his portrayal of Napoleon on horseback as Roman Emporer. Then there is the romantic mane and the tossing style of the thoroughbred Cheval Turc, adapted in other compositions such as the Tartar Warrior, and finally the realistically anatomically observed genre horses such as his studies of the half blood Cheval demi-sang and pure blood Cheval d’Arabie.

Barye’s Percheron is a noble composition, incorporating the physical attributes of the war-horse later deployed as a superior work-horse. Barye has captured the spirit of a classical statue and imbued it with full-blooded romanticism, at the same time as realistically portraying the distinctive Percheron breed.

 

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Additional Information

Height

Width

Condition

Circa

Foundry

Materials

Bronze

Book Ref

BARYE Catalogue Raisonne des Sculptures by Michel Poletti – Alain Richarme

Page No.

272

Book Ref

Animals in Bronze by Christopher Payne

Page No.

280

(The Percheron by Barye) Barye had three distinct styles when sculpting horses, classical, romantic and naturalistic. From his earlier vocation as an accomplished goldsmith Barye had an adept understanding of classical gems and cameos and subsequently executed a number of distinguished equestrian statues, adeptly capturing the popular classicism of the period in his portrayal of Napoleon on horseback as Roman Emporer. Then there is the romantic mane and the tossing style of the thoroughbred Cheval Turc, adapted in other compositions such as the Tartar Warrior, and finally the realistically anatomically observed genre horses such as his studies of the half blood Cheval demi-sang and pure blood Cheval d’Arabie.

Barye’s Percheron is a noble composition, incorporating the physical attributes of the war-horse later deployed as a superior work-horse. Barye has captured the spirit of a classical statue and imbued it with full-blooded romanticism, at the same time as realistically portraying the distinctive Percheron breed.

History of the Percheron

The Percheron is a breed of draft horse that originated in the Huisne river valley in western France. It was part of the former Perche province from which the breed takes its name. Usually gray or black in color. Percherons are well-muscled, and are known for their intelligence and willingness to work. Although their exact origins are unknown, the ancestors of the breed were present in the valley by the 17th century. They were originally bred for use as war horses. Over time, they began to be used for pulling stage coaches and later for agriculture and hauling heavy goods. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Arabian blood was added to the breed. Exports of Percherons from France to the United States and other countries rose exponentially in the late 19th century, and the first purely Percheron stud book was created in France in 1883. Before World War I, thousands of Percherons were shipped from France to the United States, but after the war began, an embargo stopped shipping. The breed was used extensively in Europe during the war, with some horses being shipped from the US back to France to help in the fighting. Beginning in 1918, Percherons began to be bred in Great Britain, and in 1918 the British Percheron Horse Society was formed. After a series of name and studbook ownership changes, the current US Percheron registry was created in 1934. In the 1930s, Percherons accounted for 70 percent of the draft horse population in the United States, but their numbers declined substantially after World War II. However, the population began to recover and as of 2009, around 2,500 horses were registered annually in the United States alone. The breed is still used extensively for draft work, and in France they are used for food. They have been crossed with several light horse breeds, such as the Criollo, to produce horses for range work and competition. Purebred Percherons are used for forestry work and pulling carriages, as well as work under saddle, including competition in English riding disciplines such as show jumping.

 

Characteristics of the Percheron

The head has a straight profile, broad forehead, large eyes and small ears. The chest is deep and wide and the croup long and level. The feet and legs are clean and heavily muscled. The overall impression of the Percheron is one of power and ruggedness. Enthusiasts describe the temperament as proud and alert, and members of the breed are considered intelligent, willing workers with good dispositions. They are considered easy keepers and adapt well to many conditions and climates.

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SKU: 4105

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