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Animal Sculpture

Animal sculpture is a sculptural style in its own right. This specific genre deserves the same recognition as nude, marble, bronze and resin sculptures.

The representation of animals and anthropomorphism has long been a source of inspiration for sculptural creations and yet it was once considered a minor genre in Western European decorative arts. Ironically, animal sculpture was of the utmost importance to Ancient civilizations. Countless ancient Egyptian buildings for example were adorned with grandiose representations of felines and Sphinxes. More generally within the visual arts, animals were rarely represented in their own right, and were often depicted accompanying or symbolizing mythological figures or even character traits.

Aside from its mythical representations, animal sculptures were also popular with suzerain states who used monumental bronze sculptures of lions or eagles to symbolise the immensity of their power.

However, it wasn't until 1831 that the sculptor Antoine-Louis Barye finally established animal sculpture as a noble art, thanks to his work "Tiger devouring a Gavial Crocodile" at the Salon de Paris. It was no longer fashionable to depict animals as unreal, mythological creatures in the decorative arts and instead naturalism and realistic representations of animals characterized the sculpture of the period. Ideas about nature's wealth and abundance meant that all creatures deserved to be carefully and meticulously recreated in the closest likeness possible. Mythical animal interpretations were left behind and artists concentrated on capturing the finer details of an animal's fur, muscles or mouth.

A new wave of renowned sculptors emerged. Pierre-Jules Mêne, Antoine Aigon and Jean Germain Demay are just a few examples of some of these pioneering artists. Particularly interested in 'exotic' species (snakes, gazelles, elephants, giraffes, hippopotamuses…), they all explored representing the natural world in a variety of different ways.

In the 20th century, realist tendencies gradually faded away and a new group of creative minds began to experiment with animal sculpture as part of the shift towards modern sculpture.

Numerous artists tried their hand at animal sculpture whilst applying new aesthetic criteria which was largely influenced by modern and contemporary art movements: Abstract art, Impressionism, Cubism, Expressionism. Guided by key surrealist influences, which could not have been further removed from the traditional styles of the past century, a new bestiary was created. Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti were among the key figures who helped to reinvent the way artists endeavored to sculpt animals.

In contemporary animal sculpture, radically redefining artistic techniques and the way we represent living beings has taken precedence over realistic proportion sizes and lifelike features. Artists no longer refrain from accentuating a particular body part, removing a limb for example or creating an entirely new hybrid beast. However, many artists are also skilled at creating hyper-realistic animals that seem so real they almost appear to be alive.

To help you get an idea of the latest animal sculptures, take a look at Artsper's collection of sculpted animals, selected from some of the best contemporary art galleries and made by artists including Jaques Dufrane, Raymundo Fabian Melchor and Roxana y Jesus Hernandez.

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Xavier Wttrwulghe, Hippo Stone Style, Sculpture

Xavier Wttrwulghe

Hippo Stone Style, 2022 31 x 13 x 13 cm Sculpture

$1,361

Sumit Mehndiratta, Butterfly Park 8, Sculpture

Sumit Mehndiratta

Butterfly Park 8, 2022 65 x 65 x 5 cm Sculpture

$1,832

Richard Orlinski, Lion noir, Sculpture

Richard Orlinski

Lion noir, 2022 15 x 25 x 7 cm Sculpture

$3,351

Lucie Linder, Poulpe, Sculpture

Lucie Linder

Poulpe, 2016 30 x 50 x 13 cm Sculpture

$1,257

Thierry Corpet, Mad dog, Sculpture

Thierry Corpet

Mad dog, 2022 30 x 27 x 8 cm Sculpture

$838 $628

Jean-François Gambino, Tête de jeune Orang-Outan, Sculpture

Jean-François Gambino

Tête de jeune Orang-Outan, 2022 21 x 14 x 15 cm Sculpture

$3,665

Philippe Geluck, Le mini Chat au journal, Sculpture

Philippe Geluck

Le mini Chat au journal, 2022 21 x 15 x 15 cm Sculpture

$1,204

Ti'Ou, Baleine S-pérance 2, Sculpture

Ti'Ou

Baleine S-pérance 2, 2022 30 x 69 x 40 cm Sculpture

$1,675

Ventsislav Markov, Forward, Sculpture

Ventsislav Markov

Forward, 2022 16 x 14 x 8 cm Sculpture

$733

Thierry Benenati, Elephant-roses, Sculpture

Thierry Benenati

Elephant-roses, 2015 52 x 77 x 40 cm Sculpture

$35,603

Jean-Claude Gaillard, Cochon Punk (Série Copains comme cochons), Sculpture

Jean-Claude Gaillard

Cochon Punk (Série Copains comme cochons), 2019 5 x 8 x 5 cm Sculpture

$471

Ghost Art, The abstract eagle, Sculpture

Ghost Art

The abstract eagle, 2022 190 x 85 x 77 cm Sculpture

$20,419

Helle Rask Crawford, Newborn Fowl, Sculpture

Helle Rask Crawford

Newborn Fowl, 2022 9 x 16 x 10 cm Sculpture

$1,026

Gaël Rouxeville, L'air marin, Sculpture

Gaël Rouxeville

L'air marin, 2019 45 x 22 x 18 cm Sculpture

$1,309

Sandrine Piani, Bison red, Sculpture

Sandrine Piani

Bison red, 2022 10 x 9.5 cm Sculpture

$492

Pierre Mouzat, La reine des sables, Sculpture

Pierre Mouzat

La reine des sables, 2022 25 x 42 x 9 cm Sculpture

$7,854

Cyril Maccioni, Solar horse, Sculpture

Cyril Maccioni

Solar horse, 2021 29 x 8.5 x 20 cm Sculpture

$3,038

Si Yun Wang, Call of the ocean, Sculpture

Si Yun Wang

Call of the ocean, 2021 4.5 x 6 x 7.5 cm Sculpture

$1,260

Mr Live, Croco Porsche, Sculpture

Mr Live

Croco Porsche, 2022 24 x 133 x 78 cm Sculpture

$2,618

Hassan Laamirat, Cerf en métal recyclé, Sculpture

Hassan Laamirat

Cerf en métal recyclé, 2022 245 x 140 x 215 cm Sculpture

$4,346

Alain Quercia, Cheval sur un banc, Sculpture

Alain Quercia

Cheval sur un banc, 2019 22 x 18 x 9 cm Sculpture

$6,283

UTN, The last raven (on wood), Sculpture

UTN

The last raven (on wood), 2020 18 x 13 x 33 cm Sculpture

Sold

Maïté Martinez, Il était une fois, Sculpture

Maïté Martinez

Il était une fois, 2019 13 x 17 x 14 cm Sculpture

$5,026

Our recommendations Xing Hua Ge, About us, Sculpture

Xing Hua Ge

About us, 2022 11 x 15.7 x 18.7 cm Sculpture

$4,912

Pascal Chesneau, La girafe, Sculpture

Pascal Chesneau

La girafe, 2022 86 x 110 x 20 cm Sculpture

$7,225

Sylvie Debray Artiste Bxl, La course aux escargots, Sculpture

Sylvie Debray Artiste Bxl

La course aux escargots, 2022 21 x 13 x 32 cm Sculpture

$3,131

Dananjaya Edirisinghe, Bella, Sculpture

Dananjaya Edirisinghe

Bella, 2022 33 x 34 x 5 cm Sculpture

$209

Elisabeth Dupin-Sjöstedt, Cavalier 3, Sculpture

Elisabeth Dupin-Sjöstedt

Cavalier 3, 2022 68 x 22.5 x 9 cm Sculpture

$2,094

Isabelle Carabantes, Eléphant (V), Sculpture

Isabelle Carabantes

Eléphant (V), 2021 26 x 18.5 x 42 cm Sculpture

$4,398

Didier Becquart, Papillon, Sculpture

Didier Becquart

Papillon, 2016 63 x 106 x 82 cm Sculpture

$14,136

Art By Son, Tattoo dog, Sculpture

Art By Son

Tattoo dog, 2022 80 x 115 x 40 cm Sculpture

$3,613

Noël Granger, Meuh Graffitis !, Sculpture

Noël Granger

Meuh Graffitis !, 2022 18.5 x 27 x 10 cm Sculpture

$304

Chanoir, Cha Basketteur, Sculpture

Chanoir

Cha Basketteur, 2021 80 x 80 x 3 cm Sculpture

$4,869

Steve Chaudanson, Dog XXL, Sculpture

Steve Chaudanson

Dog XXL, 1989 119 x 110 x 69 cm Sculpture

$5,759

Hannes D'Haese, Bull, Sculpture

Hannes D'Haese

Bull, 2020 22 x 33 x 15 cm Sculpture

$157

Priscilla Vettese, Sculpture My Koalas #2, Sculpture

Priscilla Vettese

Sculpture My Koalas #2, 2022 21 x 20 x 17 cm Sculpture

$304

Helena Troyanskaya, White Horse, Sculpture

Helena Troyanskaya

White Horse, 2022 33 x 22 x 12.5 cm Sculpture

$750

Clemyart, Bruits sous l'océan, Sculpture

Clemyart

Bruits sous l'océan, 2022 17 x 18 x 18 cm Sculpture

$209

MrHope, Toy pink, Sculpture

MrHope

Toy pink, 2022 18 x 13 x 10 cm Sculpture

$136

Elvire Ménétrier, Drooling, Sculpture

Elvire Ménétrier

Drooling, 2021 18 x 10 x 5 cm Sculpture

$628

Benjamin Pietri, Playboy Lips, Sculpture

Benjamin Pietri

Playboy Lips, 2022 26 x 19.5 x 5.5 cm Sculpture

$335

Petra Dorst, Sky Love is in the air, Sculpture

Petra Dorst

Sky Love is in the air, 2021 75 x 17 x 14 cm Sculpture

$4,136

Valerie Marty, Piaf Picasso L, Sculpture

Valerie Marty

Piaf Picasso L, 2022 32 x 20 x 15 cm Sculpture

$1,571

Christophe Comerro, Vegas Bulldog Chanel Fashion, Sculpture

Christophe Comerro

Vegas Bulldog Chanel Fashion, 2021 40 x 32 x 50 cm Sculpture

$1,236

Fratz & Gio, Pitchou cute puple rain, Sculpture

Fratz & Gio

Pitchou cute puple rain, 2022 47 x 25 x 50 cm Sculpture

$6,492

Yves Klein, L'Ours Pompon - Edition Yves Klein, Sculpture

Yves Klein

L'Ours Pompon - Edition Yves Klein, 2022 27 x 49 x 19 cm Sculpture

$6,806

Nouna, Pop birds peace & love orange, Sculpture

Nouna

Pop birds peace & love orange, 2022 27 x 21 x 7 cm Sculpture

$2,827

Jim Budish, Stargazer, Sculpture

Jim Budish

Stargazer, 2020 99.06 x 5.08 x 5.08 cm Sculpture

Price upon request

Jean Amiel, Lévrier, Sculpture

Jean Amiel

Lévrier, 2016 15 x 12 x 12 cm Sculpture

$995

William Sweetlove, Cloned Bulldog with pet bottle, Sculpture

William Sweetlove

Cloned Bulldog with pet bottle, 2011 47 x 50 x 20 cm Sculpture

$6,806

Our recommendations Javier de la Rosa, Dardo I green, Sculpture

Javier de la Rosa

Dardo I green, 2018 150 x 20 x 20 cm Sculpture

$1,625

Adeline Weber Guibal, Licorne, Sculpture

Adeline Weber Guibal

Licorne, 2022 21 x 25 x 7.5 cm Sculpture

$1,571

Valerian Sioridzé, Éléphant de Namibie, Sculpture

Valerian Sioridzé

Éléphant de Namibie, 2020 29 x 39 x 15 cm Sculpture

$1,466

Yves Celaire, Ours étoilé, Sculpture

Yves Celaire

Ours étoilé, 2020 31 x 20 x 5 cm Sculpture

$1,885

Our recommendations Philippe Berry, Equilibre d'Eléphants, Sculpture

Philippe Berry

Equilibre d'Eléphants, 2011 62 x 16 x 16 cm Sculpture

$3,979

Art Kristin, Chanel Brick Doggy Black and White, Sculpture

Art Kristin

Chanel Brick Doggy Black and White, 2022 18 x 28 x 14 cm Sculpture

$628

Brandon Vickerd, Wildlife Passenger –Standing, Sculpture

Brandon Vickerd

Wildlife Passenger –Standing, 2015 33 x 11.5 x 11.5 cm Sculpture

$2,000

Our recommendations Yoann Merienne, Corbeau II, Sculpture

Yoann Merienne

Corbeau II, 2020 49.5 x 62 x 31 cm Sculpture

$10,471

Patrick Villas, Panthère sur le rocher, Sculpture

Patrick Villas

Panthère sur le rocher, 2016 33 x 63 x 20 cm Sculpture

$12,566

Cévé, Oscaril 2/8, Sculpture

Cévé

Oscaril 2/8, 2019 7 x 16 x 8 cm Sculpture

$1,361

Vassil, Ruade, Sculpture

Vassil

Ruade, 2011 22 x 33 x 15 cm Sculpture

$4,084

Edward Vandaele, Teckel, Sculpture

Edward Vandaele

Teckel, 2016 35 x 53 x 25 cm Sculpture

$4,607

Thierry Dehais, Grand chien, Sculpture

Thierry Dehais

Grand chien, 2007 31 x 51 x 11 cm Sculpture

$1,675

Pierre Ilhat, Petit chat, Sculpture

Pierre Ilhat

Petit chat, 2019 10 x 14 x 10 cm Sculpture

$942

Laurent Deguitre, Tribute to some surrealists, Sculpture

Laurent Deguitre

Tribute to some surrealists, 2021 8 x 6 x 6 cm Sculpture

$942

Art'Mony, Bouledogue qui lève la patte, Sculpture

Art'Mony

Bouledogue qui lève la patte, 2022 58 x 40 x 30 cm Sculpture

$1,386

Saône De Stalh, Thal, Sculpture

Saône De Stalh

Thal, 2017 36 x 38 x 20 cm Sculpture

$1,675

Our recommendations Christine Guillemin, Arabian Panther, Sculpture

Christine Guillemin

Arabian Panther, 2018 25 x 49 x 10 cm Sculpture

$7,121

Tegan Pick, Pomme d'Eve, Sculpture

Tegan Pick

Pomme d'Eve, 2021 9.5 x 11 x 10 cm Sculpture

$1,152

Danielle Le Bricquir, Le petit prince et le renard, Sculpture

Danielle Le Bricquir

Le petit prince et le renard, 2021 36 x 40 x 5 cm Sculpture

$1,885

Our recommendations Jenny Jacottet, Impulsion, Sculpture

Jenny Jacottet

Impulsion, 2018 35 x 22 x 12 cm Sculpture

$2,094

Florence Jacquesson, Bouledogue Anglais, Sculpture

Florence Jacquesson

Bouledogue Anglais, 2020 17 x 16 x 14 cm Sculpture

$4,712

Nona Gabrielyan, Centaur, Sculpture

Nona Gabrielyan

Centaur, 2005 16 x 16 x 8 cm Sculpture

$1,780

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