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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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Ghost Art, Mini Teddy Rolex, Sculpture

Ghost Art

Mini Teddy Rolex, 2021
13.8 x 11.8 x 10.2 inch
Sculpture

$1,030

Patrick Villas, Le cygne, Sculpture

Patrick Villas

Le cygne, 2021
43.3 x 39.4 x 39.4 inch
Sculpture

$43,439

Pierre Gimenez, Le taureau qui danse, Sculpture

Pierre Gimenez

Le taureau qui danse, 2021
17.7 x 6.3 x 7.1 inch
Sculpture

$1,179

Béatrice Fernando, Tête de taureau, Sculpture

Béatrice Fernando

Tête de taureau, 2021
12.6 x 6.7 x 5.1 inch
Sculpture

$720

Philippe Berry, Les petits éléphants assis, Sculpture

Philippe Berry

Les petits éléphants assis, 2015
20.9 x 6.3 x 6.3 inch
Sculpture

5,000 - $ 10,000

Stoz, Stozland© the rat with 3d glasses, Sculpture

Stoz

Stozland© the rat with 3d glasses, 2021
5.5 x 4.7 x 3.1 inch
Sculpture

$434

Chantal de Sutter, Jules, Sculpture

Chantal de Sutter

Jules, 2021
11.8 x 5.1 x 4.3 inch
Sculpture

2,500 - $ 5,000

Âme Sauvage, Petit chien bleu, Sculpture

Âme Sauvage

Petit chien bleu, 2021
7.5 x 3.9 x 5.5 inch
Sculpture

$360

Irena Tone, Stainless bear, Sculpture

Irena Tone

Stainless bear, 2021
12.6 x 8.3 x 9.4 inch
Sculpture

$592 $658

Shakeart83, Panthère LV, Sculpture

Shakeart83

Panthère LV, 2021
9.8 x 3.3 x 3.7 inch
Sculpture

$360

Valerian Sioridzé, Berani, Sculpture

Valerian Sioridzé

Berani, 2020
12.6 x 13.4 x 9.8 inch
Sculpture

$1,303

Art Vladi, Puma pink, Sculpture

Art Vladi

Puma pink, 2021
14.2 x 7.1 x 9.1 inch
Sculpture

$2,234

Petar Iliev, Bull, Sculpture

Petar Iliev

Bull, 2021
8.7 x 11 x 6.7 inch
Sculpture

$1,676

Quentin Garel, Cochon ailé, Sculpture

Quentin Garel

Cochon ailé, 2010
20.9 x 17.3 x 14.2 inch
Sculpture

$11,170

Derek Sullivan, Peg Rail #8 (Parrots, Photocopiers &), Sculpture

Derek Sullivan

Peg Rail #8 (Parrots, Photocopiers &), 2014
35.4 x 35.4 x 4.9 inch
Sculpture

$6,206

Bennie, Coquillage enfumé, Sculpture

Bennie

Coquillage enfumé, 2021
6.7 x 14.2 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$1,390

Zacharie Kologo, Baaga (Chien en langue Mooré), Sculpture

Zacharie Kologo

Baaga (Chien en langue Mooré), 2021
10.2 x 22 x 2 inch
Sculpture

$434

Shota Voskanyan, Play with Me, Sculpture

Shota Voskanyan

Play with Me, 2016
15.7 x 8.7 x 5.9 inch
Sculpture

$6,206

Christine Guillemin, Grande grue du soleil levant, Sculpture

Christine Guillemin

Grande grue du soleil levant, 2019
63 x 39.4 x 11.8 inch
Sculpture

$29,787

Carolina Sánchez de Bustamante, Wide Mouth Frog with a Green Tuque, Sculpture

Carolina Sánchez de Bustamante

Wide Mouth Frog with a Green Tuque, 2014
13.4 x 5.9 x 5.9 inch
Sculpture

$680

Joe Suzuki, Gold French Bulldog (Gold and pink), Sculpture

Joe Suzuki

Gold French Bulldog (Gold and pink), 2020
3.9 x 9.8 x 7.5 inch
Sculpture

$2,234

Vlad Olariu, Luxuria II, Sculpture

Vlad Olariu

Luxuria II, 2018
59.1 x 47.2 x 23.6 inch
Sculpture

$12,411

Laurent Deguitre, Tribute to some surrealists, Sculpture

Laurent Deguitre

Tribute to some surrealists, 2021
3.1 x 2.4 x 2.4 inch
Sculpture

$1,117

Philippe Pasqua, Vanité, Sculpture

Philippe Pasqua

Vanité, 2015
14.6 x 7.9 x 11.8 inch
Sculpture

$22,464

Christophe Comerro, Pand'ours Ferrari, Sculpture

Christophe Comerro

Pand'ours Ferrari, 2021
15.7 x 13.8 x 13.8 inch
Sculpture

$1,092

Valerie Marty, Piaf Chanel Blanc et noir, Sculpture

Valerie Marty

Piaf Chanel Blanc et noir, 2020
6.3 x 4.7 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$496

Jacqueline Schäfer, Strange Bird 4O, Sculpture

Jacqueline Schäfer

Strange Bird 4O, 2018
8.7 x 6.7 x 2 inch
Sculpture

$149

Louis Magre, Le chat Avengers, Sculpture

Louis Magre

Le chat Avengers, 2020
17.7 x 10.6 x 7.1 inch
Sculpture

$2,234

Robert Combas, Jason le cheval écologiste et les deux équilibristes de l’Ave Maria, Sculpture

Robert Combas

Jason le cheval écologiste et les deux équilibristes de l’Ave Maria, 2004
94.5 x 70.9 x 20.5 inch
Sculpture

100,000 - $ 250,000

Pablo Picasso, Picador et taureau, Sculpture

Pablo Picasso

Picador et taureau, 1959
16.5 x 16.5 x 16.5 inch
Sculpture

$18,617

Diederik Van Apple, Enjoy your life, Sculpture

Diederik Van Apple

Enjoy your life, 2018
9.4 x 5.1 x 2 inch
Sculpture

$230

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

Niki de Saint Phalle

Nana assise sur un serpent, 1984
6.3 x 5.1 x 4.3 inch
Sculpture

$68,261

Nicolas Krauss, Teddy Love Chrome, Sculpture

Nicolas Krauss

Teddy Love Chrome, 2020
9.1 x 5.9 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$3,599

Alexandre de Poplavsky, Art Toy Unicorn, Sculpture

Alexandre de Poplavsky

Art Toy Unicorn, 2019
21.7 x 11.8 x 11.8 inch
Sculpture

$7,447

Maxime Davoust, Cheval Bleu Klein, Sculpture

Maxime Davoust

Cheval Bleu Klein, 2020
7.9 x 5.5 x 2.4 inch
Sculpture

$949 $1,055

Stathis Alexopoulos, French Bulldog, Sculpture

Stathis Alexopoulos

French Bulldog, 2019
8.7 x 7.9 x 4.7 inch
Sculpture

$683

Charlotte Champion, Big Culbuton, Sculpture

Charlotte Champion

Big Culbuton, 2014
9.8 x 5.9 x 22.4 inch
Sculpture

$6,206

VanBinh, Bird I, Sculpture

VanBinh

Bird I, 2021
9.4 x 9.1 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$844

William Sweetlove, Cloned Bulldog with pet bottle, Sculpture

William Sweetlove

Cloned Bulldog with pet bottle, 2011
18.5 x 19.7 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$8,067

Hiro Ando, Panda San Blue, Sculpture

Hiro Ando

Panda San Blue, 2011
19.7 x 13.8 x 13.8 inch
Sculpture

$18,617

Etienne, L'Oiseau dans la main, Sculpture

Etienne

L'Oiseau dans la main, 2016
7.9 x 8.3 x 4.5 inch
Sculpture

$31,028

Julien Marinetti, Teddy Popi, Sculpture

Julien Marinetti

Teddy Popi, 2015
15.7 x 10.6 x 13 inch
Sculpture

$15,886

Jean-Michel Pradel-Fraysse, Baby Bull terrier, Sculpture

Jean-Michel Pradel-Fraysse

Baby Bull terrier, 2020
15.7 x 7.9 x 9.8 inch
Sculpture

$5,585

Yves Pires, Panthère, Sculpture

Yves Pires

Panthère, 2019
15.7 x 47.2 x 11.8 inch
Sculpture

$9,308

Bernard Rives, Big Misty !, Sculpture

Bernard Rives

Big Misty !, 2017
22 x 14.6 x 11 inch
Sculpture

$4,034

Nathalie Faintuch, Zebra, Sculpture

Nathalie Faintuch

Zebra, 2020
8.7 x 5.5 x 3.9 inch
Sculpture

$1,738

Stefano Bombardieri, Struzzo Rubik, Sculpture

Stefano Bombardieri

Struzzo Rubik, 2016
22.8 x 15.7 x 8.3 inch
Sculpture

$29,787

Takahiro Kudo, Untitled (Horshoe Coin Purse), Sculpture

Takahiro Kudo

Untitled (Horshoe Coin Purse), 2016
3.7 x 3.3 x 0.8 inch
Sculpture

$5,213

Gelitin, Horse, Sculpture

Gelitin

Horse, 2011
47.2 x 19.7 x 39.4 inch
Sculpture

$6,081

Paco Raphael, Balloon Bambi (Red), Sculpture

Paco Raphael

Balloon Bambi (Red), 2020
9.8 x 7.9 x 7.9 inch
Sculpture

$1,986

Emilie Muzy, LE CHEVAL, Sculpture

Emilie Muzy

LE CHEVAL, 2020
17.3 x 13.8 x 4.7 inch
Sculpture

$1,551

Marie Ackers, Chat bleu, Sculpture

Marie Ackers

Chat bleu, 2020
5.9 x 8.7 x 9.8 inch
Sculpture

$2,855

Pierre-Jean Chabert, Tête de gorille, Sculpture

Pierre-Jean Chabert

Tête de gorille, 2019
13.4 x 9.1 x 9.1 inch
Sculpture

$6,454

Catherine de Kerhor, Papa ours, Sculpture

Catherine de Kerhor

Papa ours, 2019
9.8 x 7.9 x 9.4 inch
Sculpture

$6,019

Our recommendations Saône De Stalh, Az, Sculpture

Saône De Stalh

Az, 2016
14.2 x 13.4 x 4.7 inch
Sculpture

$1,986

Kami, Petite renarde, Sculpture

Kami

Petite renarde, 2019
7.9 x 4.3 x 4.3 inch
Sculpture

$757

Gilles Nicolas, Le Chimpanzé hurlant 2/8, Sculpture

Gilles Nicolas

Le Chimpanzé hurlant 2/8, 2017
15.4 x 9.8 x 8.7 inch
Sculpture

$14,893

Val Carr-Ortolan, Le Minotaure, Sculpture

Val Carr-Ortolan

Le Minotaure, 2021
23.6 x 11.8 x 10.6 inch
Sculpture

$2,110

Ciane Xavier, When Everything Stops, Sculpture

Ciane Xavier

When Everything Stops, 2020
20 x 50 x 15 inch
Sculpture

$4,220

Alain Derda, Cochon Blanc, Sculpture

Alain Derda

Cochon Blanc, 2020
9.8 x 23.6 x 9.8 inch
Sculpture

$2,110

Kiko & Jayet, Ours Jayet Hermès, Sculpture

Kiko & Jayet

Ours Jayet Hermès, 2020
23.6 x 18.9 x 13 inch
Sculpture

$7,198

Babette Degraeve, King of the sofa, Sculpture

Babette Degraeve

King of the sofa, 2020
15.7 x 15.7 x 11 inch
Sculpture

$4,344

Juliette Clovis, Izanami, Sculpture

Juliette Clovis

Izanami, 2017
13.4 x 13.4 x 10.6 inch
Sculpture

$8,502

Sylvie Mangaud, Chevreuil, Sculpture

Sylvie Mangaud

Chevreuil, 2020
11.4 x 7.5 x 2 inch
Sculpture

$4,592

60 Artworks on 2326

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