Lion Crushing a Serpent, Rittenhouse Square

Antoine Louis Barye

Barye, one of the best of the French "Animaliers school," often did dramatic sculptures depicting violent struggles between wild animals, often the large cats. His works were based on his studies of actual wild animals and are beautifully realistic.

The most dramatic moment

Here a roaring lion has pinned to the ground a large snake, which hisses and is coiled back, ready to strike at the lion. The muscular lion is vigilant with a tensed tail, spread claws, and rigid mane.

The lion's head suggesting a dramatic contest--with puckered muzzle, fierce eyes, and open roaring mouth


Realistic details-- Left: the wide-open jaws of the serpent, ready to strike; center and right: paws and claws--naturalistic textures

See other examples of Barye's works in artists' index on this site.

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© 2008 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.