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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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Salfo Dermé (Yabré), Buffle, Sculpture

Salfo Dermé (Yabré)

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

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Isabelle Carabantes, Eléphant (V), Sculpture

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Petra Dorst, Reading Together Sky & Misty SIII, Sculpture

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Reading Together Sky & Misty SIII, 2021 38 x 24 x 20 cm Sculpture


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Black wolf-fire impact, 2022 30 x 14.5 x 19 cm Sculpture


Ventsislav Markov, Forward, Sculpture

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Bastien Bonhomme, Nérée, Sculpture

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Nérée, 2022 32 x 11 x 9 cm Sculpture


Lucie Linder, Poulpe, Sculpture

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1560 Lupo Grigio, 2022 68 x 45 x 26 cm Sculpture


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


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We are known by the company we keep -Blue, 2014 45.7 x 41.9 x 35.6 cm Sculpture


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


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Pascal Chesneau, La girafe, Sculpture

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La girafe, 2022 86 x 110 x 20 cm Sculpture


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$135 $108

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Nouna, Pop birds peace & love orange, Sculpture


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Christophe Comerro, Vegas Bulldog Chanel CC, Sculpture

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Vegas Bulldog Chanel CC, 2020 40 x 32 x 50 cm Sculpture


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Adeline Weber Guibal, Licorne, Sculpture

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Price upon request

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Cévé, Oscaril 2/8, Sculpture


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


Vassil, Ruade, Sculpture


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Grand chien, 2007 31 x 51 x 11 cm Sculpture


Pierre Ilhat, Petit chat, Sculpture

Pierre Ilhat

Petit chat, 2019 10 x 14 x 10 cm Sculpture


Art'Mony, Bouledogue qui lève la patte, Sculpture


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Tegan Pick, Pomme d'Eve, Sculpture

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


Saône De Stalh, Thal, Sculpture

Saône De Stalh

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Sophie Larroche

Tête noire, 2019 42 x 16 x 16 cm Sculpture


Julio Alonso Yañez, El tigre y las cabras con instrumento y espejo / le tigre et les chevres avec instrument et miroir, Sculpture

Julio Alonso Yañez

El tigre y las cabras con instrumento y espejo / le tigre et les chevres avec instrument et miroir, 2020 60 x 23 x 3.5 cm Sculpture


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


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Christine Guillemin

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Impulsion, 2018 35 x 22 x 12 cm Sculpture


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Nona Gabrielyan, Centaur, Sculpture

Nona Gabrielyan

Centaur, 2005 16 x 16 x 8 cm Sculpture


Thierry Lefevre-Grave, Matadore, Sculpture

Thierry Lefevre-Grave

Matadore, 1994 19 x 10 x 14 cm Sculpture


Jonty Hurwitz, Oblique Horse, Sculpture

Jonty Hurwitz

Oblique Horse, 2020 44.95 x 151.11 x 15.24 cm Sculpture

Price upon request

Our recommendations Richard Texier, Angel Bear - 24K Gold Plated, Sculpture

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