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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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Miguel Guía, Cubiste Cheval Guernica Rouge, Sculpture

Miguel Guía

Cubiste Cheval Guernica Rouge, 2021
11 x 4.7 x 3.5 inch


M.Chat, Baby Cat Original, Sculpture


Baby Cat Original, 2021
19.7 x 14.2 x 13 inch


Patrick Villas, Petit Léopard sur le rocher, Sculpture

Patrick Villas

Petit Léopard sur le rocher, 2017
11.4 x 9.1 x 6.3 inch


Âme Sauvage, Panthère sauvage, Sculpture

Âme Sauvage

Panthère sauvage, 2021
5.5 x 16.9 x 2.8 inch


Nathalie Molla, Urban Bear, Sculpture

Nathalie Molla

Urban Bear, 2021
11.4 x 5.9 x 3.1 inch


Anne-Valérie Dupond, Alsatia, Sculpture

Anne-Valérie Dupond

Alsatia, 2019
21.7 x 9.8 x 11.8 inch


Yves Pires, Eva, Sculpture

Yves Pires

Eva, 2016
21.7 x 18.5 x 3.1 inch


Cade, Eléphant rose, Sculpture


Eléphant rose, 2021
3.9 x 4.7 x 2 inch


Christophe Comerro, Pand'ours pop art Moncler, Sculpture

Christophe Comerro

Pand'ours pop art Moncler, 2020
15.7 x 13.8 x 13.8 inch


Daniel Byrne, 88, Sculpture

Daniel Byrne

88, 2021
21.3 x 21.3 x 5.9 inch


Ismael Lagares  Díaz, Diego, Sculpture

Ismael Lagares Díaz

Diego, 2021
18 x 18 x 9 inch


Viktor Zuk, Hello, Sculpture

Viktor Zuk

Hello, 2020
13.4 x 11 x 8.7 inch


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

Star York

Mare of the Renaissance, AP1/35, 2012
24 x 21.5 x 12 inch


Denis Lepage, Setter Pop2, Sculpture

Denis Lepage

Setter Pop2, 2021
14.2 x 25.2 x 11 inch


Stefan Yordanov, Pegasus 2.0, Sculpture

Stefan Yordanov

Pegasus 2.0, 2020
110.2 x 120.1 x 63 inch


Jean-Paul Jacquet, Cheval 3, Sculpture

Jean-Paul Jacquet

Cheval 3, 2020
15.7 x 16.9 x 23.6 inch


Véronique Chomienne, Véronique Chomienne, Sculpture

Véronique Chomienne

Véronique Chomienne, 2021
39.4 x 35.4 x 7.9 inch


Laurent Perbos, Le Duc, Sculpture

Laurent Perbos

Le Duc, 2017
16.9 x 9.4 x 9.4 inch


Laszlo Komaromi, Centaur Warrior, Sculpture

Laszlo Komaromi

Centaur Warrior, 2021
145.7 x 78.7 x 51.2 inch


Teo Todoroff, Scottish Terrier, Sculpture

Teo Todoroff

Scottish Terrier, 2020
13.4 x 16.1 x 7.5 inch


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


Pavlina Rymerova, Woman with Cat, Sculpture

Pavlina Rymerova

Woman with Cat, 2020
12.2 x 3.1 x 3.1 inch


Philippe Pasqua, Vanité, Sculpture

Philippe Pasqua

Vanité, 2015
14.6 x 7.9 x 11.8 inch


Diederik Van Apple, Enjoy your life, Sculpture

Diederik Van Apple

Enjoy your life, 2018
9.4 x 5.1 x 2 inch


Béatrice Fernando, Tête de taureau, Sculpture

Béatrice Fernando

Tête de taureau, 2021
19.3 x 16.9 x 8.7 inch


Corneille, Chants d’oiseaux, Sculpture


Chants d’oiseaux, 1992
21.3 x 26.8 x 4.7 inch


Alexandre de Poplavsky, Art Toy Mario, Sculpture

Alexandre de Poplavsky

Art Toy Mario, 2019
17.7 x 7.9 x 7.9 inch


Hiro Ando, Panda San Blue, Sculpture

Hiro Ando

Panda San Blue, 2011
19.7 x 13.8 x 13.8 inch


Charlotte Champion, Perruchette, Sculpture

Charlotte Champion

Perruchette, 2019
10.4 x 5.1 x 6.3 inch


VanBinh, Bird I, Sculpture


Bird I, 2021
9.4 x 9.1 x 7.9 inch


Julien Marinetti, Teddy Popi, Sculpture

Julien Marinetti

Teddy Popi, 2015
15.7 x 10.6 x 13 inch


Stathis Alexopoulos, French Bulldog, Sculpture

Stathis Alexopoulos

French Bulldog, 2019
8.7 x 7.9 x 4.7 inch


Etienne, Esprit, Sculpture


Esprit, 2015
8.7 x 5.1 x 2.8 inch


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


Bernard Rives, Big Misty !, Sculpture

Bernard Rives

Big Misty !, 2017
22 x 14.6 x 11 inch


Jean-Michel Pradel-Fraysse, Amour, Sculpture

Jean-Michel Pradel-Fraysse

Amour, 2020
17.3 x 28.3 x 10.2 inch


Gelitin, Horse, Sculpture


Horse, 2011
47.2 x 19.7 x 39.4 inch


Stefano Bombardieri, Struzzo Rubik, Sculpture

Stefano Bombardieri

Struzzo Rubik, 2016
22.8 x 15.7 x 8.3 inch


Pierre-Jean Chabert, Tête de gorille, Sculpture

Pierre-Jean Chabert

Tête de gorille, 2019
13.4 x 9.1 x 9.1 inch


Dirk De Keyzer, Hariette, Sculpture

Dirk De Keyzer

Hariette, 2016
33.1 x 7.9 x 11.8 inch

10,000 - $ 15,000

Jean Paul Kala, Parda, Sculpture

Jean Paul Kala

Parda, 2020
27.6 x 63 x 13.8 inch


Sandra Courlivant, Cavalier du Naadam, Sculpture

Sandra Courlivant

Cavalier du Naadam, 2020
11.4 x 16.5 x 5.5 inch


Gilles Nicolas, Le Rhinocéros courant, Sculpture

Gilles Nicolas

Le Rhinocéros courant, 2017
6.3 x 16.9 x 9.1 inch


Kami, Petite renarde, Sculpture


Petite renarde, 2019
7.9 x 4.3 x 4.3 inch


Takahiro Kudo, Untitled (Horshoe Coin Purse), Sculpture

Takahiro Kudo

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


Val Carr-Ortolan, Furyo, Sculpture

Val Carr-Ortolan

Furyo, 2019
38.2 x 20.5 x 20.1 inch


Saône De Stalh, Nuhara, Sculpture

Saône De Stalh

Nuhara, 2016
17.3 x 15.7 x 5.9 inch


Emilie Muzy, LE CHEVAL, Sculpture

Emilie Muzy

17.3 x 13.8 x 4.7 inch


Kiko & Jayet, Ours Jayet Hermès, Sculpture

Kiko & Jayet

Ours Jayet Hermès, 2020
23.6 x 18.9 x 13 inch


Marie Ackers, Chat bleu, Sculpture

Marie Ackers

Chat bleu, 2020
5.9 x 8.7 x 9.8 inch


Catherine de Kerhor, Papa ours, Sculpture

Catherine de Kerhor

Papa ours, 2019
9.8 x 7.9 x 9.4 inch


Babette Degraeve, Kleine pup met bot (Small puppy with bone), Sculpture

Babette Degraeve

Kleine pup met bot (Small puppy with bone), 2019
3.5 x 3.9 x 5.5 inch


BayGui, Panbou, Sculpture


Panbou, 2020
21.3 x 11.8 x 11.8 inch


Kokimoto, Safety First!, Sculpture


Safety First!, 2019
14.6 x 15.4 x 18.1 inch


Christine Jamet, Taureau marron, Sculpture

Christine Jamet

Taureau marron, 2018
18.1 x 9.1 x 16.5 inch


Crixo Aponte, Taurus, Sculpture

Crixo Aponte

Taurus, 2020
51.2 x 41.3 x 70.9 inch


Valeriano Trubbiani, Perché non voli?, Sculpture

Valeriano Trubbiani

Perché non voli?, 1973
13.8 x 32.7 x 9.4 inch


Gite, Risco, Sculpture


Risco, 2020
11 x 23.2 x 14.6 inch


Evert den Hartog, Ijsbeer No. 3, Sculpture

Evert den Hartog

Ijsbeer No. 3, 2015
15 x 22.4 x 7.1 inch


Michel Flamme, Phalaropus Ruber, Sculpture

Michel Flamme

Phalaropus Ruber, 2019
16.5 x 20.9 x 9.8 inch


Carlos Mata, Chien, Sculpture

Carlos Mata

Chien, 2004
7.9 x 11.8 x 5.9 inch


Aurèle, Lost dog, Sculpture


Lost dog, 2009
19.7 x 11.8 x 23.6 inch


Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray, Joke Dog 2, Sculpture

Béatrice Alice Lafitte-Irigaray

Joke Dog 2, 2019
27.6 x 15.7 x 26 inch


Costanzo Mongini, Running Horse, Sculpture

Costanzo Mongini

Running Horse, 1970
6.3 x 11.8 x 3.9 inch


60 Artworks on 2453

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