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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 sculpture.

The representation of animals and the animal body 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 civilisations. 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 symbolising 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 characterised 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 endeavoured 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 Jacques Dufrane, Raymundo Fabian Melchor and Roxana y Jesus Hernandez.

Collector’s Guide: Collecting Sculptures

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Christophe Comerro, Vegas pop art Harley Davidson, Sculpture

Christophe Comerro

Vegas pop art Harley Davidson, 2021
41 x 30 x 45 cm
Sculpture

$1,421

Arman, Panthère, Sculpture

Arman

Panthère, 2002
28 x 48 x 8 cm
Sculpture

$11,438

Stoz, W Worm, Sculpture

Stoz

W Worm, 2021
18 x 12 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$482

Âme Sauvage, Blue lion, Sculpture

Âme Sauvage

Blue lion, 2021
31 x 25 x 13 cm
Sculpture

$722

Manat, Gianni diFranco, Sculpture

Manat

Gianni diFranco, 2021
35 x 33 x 14 cm
Sculpture

$1,806

Valerie Marty, Piaf Picots L, Sculpture

Valerie Marty

Piaf Picots L, 2021
35 x 23 x 14 cm
Sculpture

$1,072

Marcelo Martin Burgos, Hibou, Sculpture

Marcelo Martin Burgos

Hibou, 2021
165 x 24.5 x 24.5 cm
Sculpture

$3,371

Ghost Art, Monkey business, Sculpture

Ghost Art

Monkey business, 2020
57 x 37 x 47 cm
Sculpture

$2,348

Angelo Lembo, Big mouse, Sculpture

Angelo Lembo

Big mouse, 2021
29 x 21 x 57 cm
Sculpture

$6,742

Milko Dobrev, Phoenix, Sculpture

Milko Dobrev

Phoenix, 2019
27 x 8 x 6 cm
Sculpture

$1,108

Valerian Sioridzé, Panda, Sculpture

Valerian Sioridzé

Panda, 2021
22 x 14 x 17 cm
Sculpture

$542

Hiro Ando, Warriorcat diamondsstrass, Sculpture

Hiro Ando

Warriorcat diamondsstrass, 2011
100 x 150 x 70 cm
Sculpture

$43,342

Jean-François Gambino, Gibraltard  8/8, Sculpture

Jean-François Gambino

Gibraltard 8/8, 2021
47 x 15 x 15 cm
Sculpture

$12,040

Viktor Zuk, Sweet Rabbit, Sculpture

Viktor Zuk

Sweet Rabbit, 2021
13 x 5.5 x 7.5 cm
Sculpture

$114

Harouna Andre Guillabert Gacko, Ours Blanc à Marinière Co. N°4, Sculpture

Harouna Andre Guillabert Gacko

Ours Blanc à Marinière Co. N°4, 2020
45 x 35 x 23 cm
Sculpture

$1,072

Oboro, Masque Renard Blanc et rouge, Sculpture

Oboro

Masque Renard Blanc et rouge, 2021
19 x 24 x 2 cm
Sculpture

$783

Art By Son, Versace skully, Sculpture

Art By Son

Versace skully, 2021
40 x 35 x 60 cm
Sculpture

$2,950

Mister Sicily, Panther gold, Sculpture

Mister Sicily

Panther gold, 2021
11 x 16.5 x 11 cm
Sculpture

$337

Nora Blazeviciute, Rooster II, Sculpture

Nora Blazeviciute

Rooster II, 2021
24 x 29 x 15 cm
Sculpture

$289

Sadegh Adham, Vache D'Amslash, Sculpture

Sadegh Adham

Vache D'Amslash, 2014
9.5 x 12 x 5.5 cm
Sculpture

$843

Angela Gomes, Shiny Turtle, Sculpture

Angela Gomes

Shiny Turtle, 2020
50 x 40 x 40 cm
Sculpture

$4,154

Isabelle Carabantes, Lionne assise, Sculpture

Isabelle Carabantes

Lionne assise, 2020
32 x 25 x 22 cm
Sculpture

$7,224

William Sweetlove, Cloned Schnauzer with water bottle, Sculpture

William Sweetlove

Cloned Schnauzer with water bottle, 2019
40 x 55 x 23 cm
Sculpture

$903

M.Chat, Baby Cat Original, Sculpture

M.Chat

Baby Cat Original, 2021
50 x 36 x 33 cm
Sculpture

$6,501

Corneille, Chants d’oiseaux, Sculpture

Corneille

Chants d’oiseaux, 1992
54 x 68 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$10,234

Pablo Picasso, Picador et taureau, Sculpture

Pablo Picasso

Picador et taureau, 1959
42 x 42 x 42 cm
Sculpture

$18,059

Charlotte Champion, Perruchette, Sculpture

Charlotte Champion

Perruchette, 2019
26.5 x 13 x 16 cm
Sculpture

$3,491

Kokimoto, Safety First!, Sculpture

Kokimoto

Safety First!, 2019
37 x 39 x 46 cm
Sculpture

$3,612

Stathis Alexopoulos, French Bulldog, Sculpture

Stathis Alexopoulos

French Bulldog, 2019
22 x 20 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$662

Alexandre de Poplavsky, Art Toy Mario, Sculpture

Alexandre de Poplavsky

Art Toy Mario, 2019
45 x 20 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$6,020

VanBinh, Bird I, Sculpture

VanBinh

Bird I, 2021
24 x 23 x 20 cm
Sculpture

$819

Sandra Courlivant, Cavalier du Naadam, Sculpture

Sandra Courlivant

Cavalier du Naadam, 2020
29 x 42 x 14 cm
Sculpture

$2,047

Mireia Serra, Merry love, Sculpture

Mireia Serra

Merry love, 2020
7 x 17 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$1,180

Hellen Halftermeyer, Red bird, Sculpture

Hellen Halftermeyer

Red bird, 2021
30 x 80 x 55 cm
Sculpture

$2,408

Mauro Corda, Les suricates - Blue, Sculpture

Mauro Corda

Les suricates - Blue, 2020
16 x 6.5 x 6 cm
Sculpture

$337

Marie Ackers, Chat bleu, Sculpture

Marie Ackers

Chat bleu, 2020
15 x 22 x 25 cm
Sculpture

$2,288

Valeriano Trubbiani, Perché non voli?, Sculpture

Valeriano Trubbiani

Perché non voli?, 1973
35 x 83 x 24 cm
Sculpture

$3,431

Gelitin, Horse, Sculpture

Gelitin

Horse, 2011
120 x 50 x 100 cm
Sculpture

$5,899

Saône De Stalh, Nuhara, Sculpture

Saône De Stalh

Nuhara, 2016
44 x 40 x 15 cm
Sculpture

$1,926

Kami, Petite renarde, Sculpture

Kami

Petite renarde, 2019
20 x 11 x 11 cm
Sculpture

$734

Fat, Buffalo Street, Sculpture

Fat

Buffalo Street, 2020
64 x 61 x 55 cm
Sculpture

$2,889

EB Studios, Yellow Balloon Dog, Sculpture

EB Studios

Yellow Balloon Dog, 2020
21.6 x 12.7 x 8.9 cm
Sculpture

$129

Nathalie Molla, Urban Bear, Sculpture

Nathalie Molla

Urban Bear, 2021
29 x 15 x 8 cm
Sculpture

$704 $783

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray, Joke Dog 2, Sculpture

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray

Joke Dog 2, 2019
70 x 40 x 66 cm
Sculpture

$1,565

Stefano Bombardieri, Struzzo Rubik, Sculpture

Stefano Bombardieri

Struzzo Rubik, 2016
58 x 40 x 21 cm
Sculpture

$28,895

Irena Tone, Big Stainless Bear, Sculpture

Irena Tone

Big Stainless Bear, 2021
41 x 28 x 28 cm
Sculpture

$907

Chantal de Sutter, Jules, Sculpture

Chantal de Sutter

Jules, 2021
30 x 13 x 11 cm
Sculpture

2,500 - $ 5,000

Babette Degraeve, Kleine pup met bot (Small puppy with bone), Sculpture

Babette Degraeve

Kleine pup met bot (Small puppy with bone), 2019
9 x 10 x 14 cm
Sculpture

$783

Quentin Garel, Autruche, Sculpture

Quentin Garel

Autruche, 2017
47 x 25 x 43 cm
Sculpture

$14,447

Christine Jamet, Taureau marron, Sculpture

Christine Jamet

Taureau marron, 2018
46 x 23 x 42 cm
Sculpture

$1,144

Takahiro Kudo, Untitled (Horshoe Coin Purse), Sculpture

Takahiro Kudo

Untitled (Horshoe Coin Purse), 2016
9.5 x 8.5 x 2 cm
Sculpture

$5,057

Gilles Nicolas, Le Rhinocéros courant, Sculpture

Gilles Nicolas

Le Rhinocéros courant, 2017
16 x 43 x 23 cm
Sculpture

$12,040

Wabé, La grotte aux ours, Sculpture

Wabé

La grotte aux ours, 2015
50 x 35 x 30 cm
Sculpture

$3,010

Michel Flamme, Phalaropus Ruber, Sculpture

Michel Flamme

Phalaropus Ruber, 2019
42 x 53 x 25 cm
Sculpture

$3,130

Philippe Messager, L'enlèvement d'Europe tricycladique, Sculpture

Philippe Messager

L'enlèvement d'Europe tricycladique, 2016
36 x 35 x 15 cm
Sculpture

$951

Alain Derda, Cormoran, Sculpture

Alain Derda

Cormoran, 2019
85 x 30 x 50 cm
Sculpture

$2,408

Stefan Ivanov, Situation III from the Project Placebo, Sculpture

Stefan Ivanov

Situation III from the Project Placebo, 2016
105 x 38 x 34 cm
Sculpture

$6,381

Thierry Corpet, Tiny - Hommage Basquiat I, Sculpture

Thierry Corpet

Tiny - Hommage Basquiat I, 2021
35.5 x 30 x 7 cm
Sculpture

$542 $722

Alain Gilier, Le Minotaure, Sculpture

Alain Gilier

Le Minotaure, 2015
18 x 48 x 12 cm
Sculpture

$1,806

Agnès Soustiel, L'Oursin, Sculpture

Agnès Soustiel

L'Oursin, 2018
19 x 42 x 42 cm
Sculpture

$2,950

Kiko & Jayet, Ours Jayet Hermès, Sculpture

Kiko & Jayet

Ours Jayet Hermès, 2020
60 x 48 x 33 cm
Sculpture

$5,899

Jean-Michel Pradel-Fraysse, Amour, Sculpture

Jean-Michel Pradel-Fraysse

Amour, 2020
44 x 72 x 26 cm
Sculpture

$14,447

Costanzo Mongini, Running Horse, Sculpture

Costanzo Mongini

Running Horse, 1970
16 x 30 x 10 cm
Sculpture

$3,853

Vladas Kanciauskas, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Sculpture

Vladas Kanciauskas

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 2010
39 x 42 x 18 cm
Sculpture

$3,612

60 Artworks on 2524

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