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Animal Sculpture for Sale

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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Transformers (série), Wong Wa

Transformers (série)

Wong Wa

Sculpture - 66 x 45 x 14 cm

€1,200

Oméga, VanBinh

Oméga

VanBinh

Sculpture - 42 x 33 x 10 cm

€1,200

Kangourou, Capocci

Kangourou

Capocci

Sculpture - 30 x 15 x 30 cm

€1,200

L’Être ailé, noir, Remed

L’Être ailé, noir

Remed

Sculpture - 21.5 x 40 x 6 cm

€1,190

Larry Schultz, Manat

Larry Schultz

Manat

Sculpture - 35 x 33 x 14 cm

€1,500

Female Kingfisher in a Threat Display, Ama Menec

Female Kingfisher in a Threat Display

Ama Menec

Sculpture - 9 x 19 x 6 cm

€3,040

Chas Muisca, Chanoir

Chas Muisca

Chanoir

Sculpture - 20 x 10 x 9 cm

€3,500

Dog Haring Basquiat, PyB

Dog Haring Basquiat

PyB

Sculpture - 17 x 25 x 6 cm

€250

Croco Ferrari, Mr Live

Croco Ferrari

Mr Live

Sculpture - 24 x 133 x 78 cm

€2,500 €1,975

Bouledogue qui lève la patte, Art'Mony

Bouledogue qui lève la patte

Art'Mony

Sculpture - 58 x 40 x 30 cm

€1,324

Sculpture pietement de table poulpe en métal recyclé, Hassan Laamirat

Sculpture pietement de table poulpe en métal recyclé

Hassan Laamirat

Sculpture - 77 x 83 x 8 cm

€1,150

Aperobot fluo vert, Aperato

Aperobot fluo vert

Aperato

Sculpture - 80 x 60 x 20 cm

€2,100

Coco’rico Vert Céladon, Tony M

Coco’rico Vert Céladon

Tony M

Sculpture - 31 x 28 x 15 cm

€800

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

El tigre y las cabras con instrumento y espejo / le tigre et les chevres avec instrument et miroir

Julio Alonso Yañez

Sculpture - 60 x 23 x 3.5 cm

€1,800

Bohême, K-OD

Bohême

K-OD

Sculpture - 42 x 42 x 42 cm

€1,250

A tire d'aile, Arsen

A tire d'aile

Arsen

Sculpture - 47 x 47 x 3 cm

€990

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What is the most famous animal sculpture?

Some of the most famous animal sculptures in the world are Charging Bull by Arturo di Modica, The Last Three by Gillie and Marc Schattner, and Lions by Edward Kemeys. 

Who is the most famous animal sculptor?

The most famous sculptors who produced animal sculptures include Edward Kemeys, who is credited as being the first animal sculptor (animalier) in America, and Antoine-Louis Barye, a French Romantic sculptor who lived during the late 18th and 19th centuries.

What is Jeff Koons rabbit made of?

Jeff Koons' Rabbit series consists of three stainless steel sculptures.