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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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Valerie Marty, Piaf Pop Art Alu brossé 6, Sculpture

Valerie Marty

Piaf Pop Art Alu brossé 6, 2021
16 x 12 x 10 cm


S2Bart, Ourson Hermès, Sculpture


Ourson Hermès, 2021
35 x 28 x 26 cm


Marc Boffin, Teddy petrol coeur (medium), Sculpture

Marc Boffin

Teddy petrol coeur (medium), 2020
21 x 20 x 17 cm


Âme Sauvage, Savage, Sculpture

Âme Sauvage

Savage, 2021
14 x 7 x 43 cm


Patrick Villas, Léopard II, Sculpture

Patrick Villas

Léopard II, 2021
60 x 151 x 47 cm


Angelo Lembo, Big mouse, Sculpture

Angelo Lembo

Big mouse, 2021
29 x 21 x 57 cm

€5,040 €5,600

Philippe Pasqua, Vanité, Sculpture

Philippe Pasqua

Vanité, 2010
60 x 40 x 50 cm


Nora Blazeviciute, White Chicken, Sculpture

Nora Blazeviciute

White Chicken, 2021
22 x 22 x 24 cm


Eyal Finkelstein, Transparent Bulldog, Sculpture

Eyal Finkelstein

Transparent Bulldog, 2020
56 x 27 x 26 cm


Viktor Zuk, Dragon, Sculpture

Viktor Zuk

Dragon, 2020
16 x 19 x 12 cm


Thierry Benenati, Baby Bling-bling, Sculpture

Thierry Benenati

Baby Bling-bling, 2011
37 x 40 x 27 cm

15,000 - € 25,000

Adéle du Plessis, Painted Ammonite in resin, Sculpture

Adéle du Plessis

Painted Ammonite in resin, 2021
10 x 10 x 2 cm


Jean-No, Grand gorille, Sculpture


Grand gorille, 2021
58 x 40 x 66 cm


Hakob Vardanyan, Nature, Sculpture

Hakob Vardanyan

Nature, 2021
17 x 18 x 8 cm


LiLight Paris, Ekyiazhir, Sculpture

LiLight Paris

Ekyiazhir, 2021
50 x 32 x 22 cm


Dominique Mückli, La révérence d'un Dieu (3/8), Sculpture

Dominique Mückli

La révérence d'un Dieu (3/8), 2020
146 x 100 x 45 cm


Trois Kong, Kong de papel - Lambo, Sculpture

Trois Kong

Kong de papel - Lambo, 2020
65 x 60 x 30 cm


Oboro, Masque Renard Blanc et rouge, Sculpture


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


Isabelle Carabantes, Tête de caracal, Sculpture

Isabelle Carabantes

Tête de caracal, 2020
31 x 12 x 15 cm


Jean Octobon, Colt cutaway Tropical, Sculpture

Jean Octobon

Colt cutaway Tropical, 2021
39 x 60 x 8 cm


Christophe Comerro, Pand'ours Lamborghini, Sculpture

Christophe Comerro

Pand'ours Lamborghini, 2021
40 x 35 x 35 cm

€792 €880

William Sweetlove, Cloned Bouly with shoes, Sculpture

William Sweetlove

Cloned Bouly with shoes, 2009
29 x 35 x 15 cm


M.Chat, Baby Cat Original, Sculpture


Baby Cat Original, 2021
50 x 36 x 33 cm


Diederik Van Apple, Enjoy your life, Sculpture

Diederik Van Apple

Enjoy your life, 2018
24 x 13 x 5 cm


Corneille, Chants d’oiseaux, Sculpture


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


Pablo Picasso, Picador et taureau, Sculpture

Pablo Picasso

Picador et taureau, 1959
42 x 42 x 42 cm


Our recommendations Jenny Jacottet, Impulsion, Sculpture

Jenny Jacottet

Impulsion, 2018
35 x 22 x 12 cm


Kokimoto, Seagull, Sculpture


Seagull, 2019
30 x 30 x 12 cm


Charlotte Champion, Mini Lapinou, Sculpture

Charlotte Champion

Mini Lapinou, 2020
21 x 11 x 11 cm


Alexandre de Poplavsky, Art Toy Mario, Sculpture

Alexandre de Poplavsky

Art Toy Mario, 2019
45 x 20 x 20 cm


Stathis Alexopoulos, French Bulldog, Sculpture

Stathis Alexopoulos

French Bulldog, 2019
22 x 20 x 12 cm


Manat, Gianni diFranco, Sculpture


Gianni diFranco, 2021
35 x 33 x 14 cm


VanBinh, Bird I, Sculpture


Bird I, 2021
24 x 23 x 20 cm


Hellen Halftermeyer, Red bird, Sculpture

Hellen Halftermeyer

Red bird, 2021
30 x 80 x 55 cm


Sandra Courlivant, Cavalier du Naadam, Sculpture

Sandra Courlivant

Cavalier du Naadam, 2020
29 x 42 x 14 cm


Mauro Corda, Les suricates - Blue, Sculpture

Mauro Corda

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


Gelitin, Horse, Sculpture


Horse, 2011
120 x 50 x 100 cm


Marie Ackers, Chat bleu, Sculpture

Marie Ackers

Chat bleu, 2020
15 x 22 x 25 cm

€1,710 €1,900

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


Saône De Stalh, Nuhara, Sculpture

Saône De Stalh

Nuhara, 2016
44 x 40 x 15 cm


Nathalie Molla, Urban Bear, Sculpture

Nathalie Molla

Urban Bear, 2021
29 x 15 x 8 cm


Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray, Joke Dog 2, Sculpture

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray

Joke Dog 2, 2019
70 x 40 x 66 cm


Valeriano Trubbiani, Perché non voli?, Sculpture

Valeriano Trubbiani

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


Marcelo Martin Burgos, Hibou, Sculpture

Marcelo Martin Burgos

Hibou, 2021
165 x 24.5 x 24.5 cm


Quentin Garel, Autruche, Sculpture

Quentin Garel

Autruche, 2017
47 x 25 x 43 cm


Takahiro Kudo, Untitled (Horshoe Coin Purse), Sculpture

Takahiro Kudo

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


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

Philippe Messager

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


Alain Derda, Cormoran, Sculpture

Alain Derda

Cormoran, 2019
85 x 30 x 50 cm


Stefan Ivanov, Situation III from the Project Placebo, Sculpture

Stefan Ivanov

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


Alain Gilier, Le Minotaure, Sculpture

Alain Gilier

Le Minotaure, 2015
18 x 48 x 12 cm


Kiko & Jayet, Ours Jayet Hermès, Sculpture

Kiko & Jayet

Ours Jayet Hermès, 2020
60 x 48 x 33 cm


Juliette Clovis, Izanami, Sculpture

Juliette Clovis

Izanami, 2017
34 x 34 x 27 cm


Catherine de Kerhor, Papa ours, Sculpture

Catherine de Kerhor

Papa ours, 2019
25 x 20 x 24 cm


Jean-Michel Pradel-Fraysse, Amour, Sculpture

Jean-Michel Pradel-Fraysse

Amour, 2020
44 x 72 x 26 cm


BayGui, Panbou, Sculpture


Panbou, 2020
54 x 30 x 30 cm


Aurèle, Lost dog, Sculpture


Lost dog, 2009
50 x 30 x 60 cm


Jean Paul Kala, Parda, Sculpture

Jean Paul Kala

Parda, 2020
70 x 160 x 35 cm


Madame, Cache-cache, Sculpture


Cache-cache, 2021
17 x 17 x 0.5 cm


Julien Garçia, Ours polaire, Sculpture

Julien Garçia

Ours polaire, 2015
85 x 50 x 140 cm


Costanzo Mongini, Running Horse, Sculpture

Costanzo Mongini

Running Horse, 1970
16 x 30 x 10 cm


Christine Jamet, Taureau marron, Sculpture

Christine Jamet

Taureau marron, 2018
58 x 37 x 60 cm


Evert den Hartog, Ijsbeer No. 3, Sculpture

Evert den Hartog

Ijsbeer No. 3, 2015
38 x 57 x 18 cm


Michel Flamme, Phalaropus Ruber, Sculpture

Michel Flamme

Phalaropus Ruber, 2019
42 x 53 x 25 cm


Domenico Mazzone, Bust of a Horse, Sculpture

Domenico Mazzone

Bust of a Horse, 1990
20 x 37 x 12 cm


60 Artworks on 2525

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