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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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Mauro Corda, Les suricates - Blue, Sculpture

Mauro Corda

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


Miguel Guía, Cubiste Cheval Guernica Rouge, Sculpture

Miguel Guía

Cubiste Cheval Guernica Rouge, 2021
28 x 12 x 9 cm


Patrick Villas, Petit Léopard sur le rocher, Sculpture

Patrick Villas

Petit Léopard sur le rocher, 2017
29 x 23 x 16 cm


Fred Meurice, Flacon Tiger Love Blanc, Sculpture

Fred Meurice

Flacon Tiger Love Blanc, 2021
21.5 x 14 x 7 cm


Stoz, Stozland© graffiti panda gun, Sculpture


Stozland© graffiti panda gun, 2021
25 x 24 x 14.3 cm


Âme Sauvage, Panthère sauvage, Sculpture

Âme Sauvage

Panthère sauvage, 2021
14 x 43 x 7 cm


Nathalie Molla, Urban Bear, Sculpture

Nathalie Molla

Urban Bear, 2021
29 x 15 x 8 cm


Emilie Muzy, Tête de Lion, Sculpture

Emilie Muzy

Tête de Lion, 2018
60 x 60 x 26 cm


Pablo Picasso, Madoura Ceramic Plate - Tête de chèvre de profil, Ramié 106, Sculpture

Pablo Picasso

Madoura Ceramic Plate - Tête de chèvre de profil, Ramié 106, 1950
25.1 x 25.1 x 5.1 cm


Yves Pires, Eva, Sculpture

Yves Pires

Eva, 2016
55 x 47 x 8 cm


Christophe Comerro, Pand'ours pop art Moncler, Sculpture

Christophe Comerro

Pand'ours pop art Moncler, 2020
40 x 35 x 35 cm


Viktor Zuk, Hello, Sculpture

Viktor Zuk

Hello, 2020
34 x 28 x 22 cm


Anne-Valérie Dupond, Alsatia, Sculpture

Anne-Valérie Dupond

Alsatia, 2019
55 x 25 x 30 cm


Denis Lepage, Setter Pop2, Sculpture

Denis Lepage

Setter Pop2, 2021
36 x 64 x 28 cm


Richard Orlinski, Wild Kong oil tag, Sculpture

Richard Orlinski

Wild Kong oil tag, 2021
70 x 37 x 18 cm


Laszlo Komaromi, Eagle with Snake, Sculpture

Laszlo Komaromi

Eagle with Snake, 2017
100 x 220 x 100 cm


Pavlina Rymerova, Woman with Cat, Sculpture

Pavlina Rymerova

Woman with Cat, 2020
31 x 8 x 8 cm


Jean-Paul Jacquet, Cheval 3, Sculpture

Jean-Paul Jacquet

Cheval 3, 2020
40 x 43 x 60 cm


M.Chat, Baby Cat Original, Sculpture


Baby Cat Original, 2021
50 x 36 x 33 cm


Véronique Chomienne, Véronique Chomienne, Sculpture

Véronique Chomienne

Véronique Chomienne, 2021
100 x 90 x 20 cm


Ismael Lagares  Díaz, Diego, Sculpture

Ismael Lagares Díaz

Diego, 2021
45.7 x 45.7 x 22.9 cm


Philippe Pasqua, Vanité, Sculpture

Philippe Pasqua

Vanité, 2015
37 x 20 x 30 cm


Star York, Mare of the Renaissance, AP1/35, Sculpture

Star York

Mare of the Renaissance, AP1/35, 2012
61 x 54.6 x 30.5 cm


William Sweetlove, Cloned Bulldog with pet bottle, Sculpture

William Sweetlove

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


Diederik Van Apple, Enjoy your life, Sculpture

Diederik Van Apple

Enjoy your life, 2018
24 x 13 x 5 cm


Béatrice Fernando, Tête de taureau, Sculpture

Béatrice Fernando

Tête de taureau, 2021
49 x 43 x 22 cm


Corneille, Chants d’oiseaux, Sculpture


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


VanBinh, Bird I, Sculpture


Bird I, 2021
24 x 23 x 20 cm


Alexandre de Poplavsky, Art Toy Mario, Sculpture

Alexandre de Poplavsky

Art Toy Mario, 2019
45 x 20 x 20 cm


Charlotte Champion, Perruchette, Sculpture

Charlotte Champion

Perruchette, 2019
26.5 x 13 x 16 cm


Hiro Ando, Panda San Blue, Sculpture

Hiro Ando

Panda San Blue, 2011
50 x 35 x 35 cm


Julien Marinetti, Teddy Popi, Sculpture

Julien Marinetti

Teddy Popi, 2015
40 x 27 x 33 cm


Stathis Alexopoulos, French Bulldog, Sculpture

Stathis Alexopoulos

French Bulldog, 2019
22 x 20 x 12 cm


Niki de Saint Phalle, Nana assise sur un serpent, Sculpture

Niki de Saint Phalle

Nana assise sur un serpent, 1984
16 x 13 x 11 cm


Jean-Michel Pradel-Fraysse, Amour, Sculpture

Jean-Michel Pradel-Fraysse

Amour, 2020
44 x 72 x 26 cm


Bernard Rives, Big Misty !, Sculpture

Bernard Rives

Big Misty !, 2017
56 x 37 x 28 cm


Gelitin, Horse, Sculpture


Horse, 2011
120 x 50 x 100 cm


Eléonore de Moffarts, Huntress, Sculpture

Eléonore de Moffarts

Huntress, 2018
48 x 65 x 30 cm


Mireia Serra, Merry love, Sculpture

Mireia Serra

Merry love, 2020
7 x 17 x 10 cm


Stefano Bombardieri, Struzzo Rubik, Sculpture

Stefano Bombardieri

Struzzo Rubik, 2016
58 x 40 x 21 cm


Pierre-Jean Chabert, Tête de gorille, Sculpture

Pierre-Jean Chabert

Tête de gorille, 2019
34 x 23 x 23 cm


Dirk De Keyzer, Hariette, Sculpture

Dirk De Keyzer

Hariette, 2016
84 x 20 x 30 cm

10,000 - $ 15,000

Jean Paul Kala, Parda, Sculpture

Jean Paul Kala

Parda, 2020
70 x 160 x 35 cm


Sandra Courlivant, Cavalier du Naadam, Sculpture

Sandra Courlivant

Cavalier du Naadam, 2020
29 x 42 x 14 cm


Gilles Nicolas, Le Rhinocéros courant, Sculpture

Gilles Nicolas

Le Rhinocéros courant, 2017
16 x 43 x 23 cm


Val Carr-Ortolan, Furyo, Sculpture

Val Carr-Ortolan

Furyo, 2019
97 x 52 x 51 cm


Kokimoto, Safety First!, Sculpture


Safety First!, 2019
37 x 39 x 46 cm


Kami, Petite renarde, Sculpture


Petite renarde, 2019
20 x 11 x 11 cm


Takahiro Kudo, Untitled (Horshoe Coin Purse), Sculpture

Takahiro Kudo

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


Saône De Stalh, Nuhara, Sculpture

Saône De Stalh

Nuhara, 2016
44 x 40 x 15 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


Kiko & Jayet, Ours Jayet Hermès, Sculpture

Kiko & Jayet

Ours Jayet Hermès, 2020
60 x 48 x 33 cm


Marie Ackers, Chat bleu, Sculpture

Marie Ackers

Chat bleu, 2020
15 x 22 x 25 cm


Valeriano Trubbiani, Perché non voli?, Sculpture

Valeriano Trubbiani

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


Catherine de Kerhor, Papa ours, Sculpture

Catherine de Kerhor

Papa ours, 2019
25 x 20 x 24 cm


Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray, Joke Dog 2, Sculpture

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray

Joke Dog 2, 2019
70 x 40 x 66 cm


BayGui, Panbou, Sculpture


Panbou, 2020
54 x 30 x 30 cm


Costanzo Mongini, Running Horse, Sculpture

Costanzo Mongini

Running Horse, 1970
16 x 30 x 10 cm


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


Christine Jamet, Taureau marron, Sculpture

Christine Jamet

Taureau marron, 2018
46 x 23 x 42 cm


Gite, Mini Taureau (Alvéoles), Sculpture


Mini Taureau (Alvéoles), 2019
11 x 13 x 25 cm


Juliette Clovis, Izanami, Sculpture

Juliette Clovis

Izanami, 2017
34 x 34 x 27 cm


Evert den Hartog, Ijsbeer No. 3, Sculpture

Evert den Hartog

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


Crixo Aponte, Taurus, Sculpture

Crixo Aponte

Taurus, 2020
130 x 105 x 180 cm


60 Artworks on 2455

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