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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 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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Helle Rask Crawford, Newborn Fowl, Sculpture

Helle Rask Crawford

Newborn Fowl, 2022 3.5 x 6.3 x 3.9 inch Sculpture

$1,020

Richard Orlinski, Crocodile facette  bleu mick, Sculpture

Richard Orlinski

Crocodile facette bleu mick, 2022 4.3 x 11.8 x 4.7 inch Sculpture

$4,370

Philippe Geluck, Le mini Chat au journal, Sculpture

Philippe Geluck

Le mini Chat au journal, 2022 8.3 x 5.9 x 5.9 inch Sculpture

$1,197

Ti'Ou, Barracuda craquelé, Sculpture

Ti'Ou

Barracuda craquelé, 2021 11.8 x 11.8 x 34.3 inch Sculpture

$1,759

Sandrine Piani, Bad Mood, Sculpture

Sandrine Piani

Bad Mood, 2022 7.9 x 7.9 x 7.9 inch Sculpture

$4,682

Ventsislav Markov, Forward, Sculpture

Ventsislav Markov

Forward, 2022 6.3 x 5.5 x 3.1 inch Sculpture

$728

Petra Dorst, Reading Together Sky & Misty SIII, Sculpture

Petra Dorst

Reading Together Sky & Misty SIII, 2021 15 x 9.4 x 7.9 inch Sculpture

$4,110

Bastien Bonhomme, Nérée, Sculpture

Bastien Bonhomme

Nérée, 2022 12.6 x 4.3 x 3.5 inch Sculpture

$2,809

Jean-Claude Gaillard, Cochon Punk (Série Copains comme cochons), Sculpture

Jean-Claude Gaillard

Cochon Punk (Série Copains comme cochons), 2019 2 x 3.1 x 2 inch Sculpture

$468

Elisabeth Dupin-Sjöstedt, Cavalier 3, Sculpture

Elisabeth Dupin-Sjöstedt

Cavalier 3, 2022 26.8 x 8.9 x 3.5 inch Sculpture

$2,081

Tobia Ravà, 1477 Pantera Dark Nera, Sculpture

Tobia Ravà

1477 Pantera Dark Nera, 2017 10.4 x 43.3 x 8.3 inch Sculpture

Sold

Gaël Rouxeville, L'air marin, Sculpture

Gaël Rouxeville

L'air marin, 2019 17.7 x 8.7 x 7.1 inch Sculpture

$1,301

Jean-François Gambino, Tête de jeune Orang-Outan, Sculpture

Jean-François Gambino

Tête de jeune Orang-Outan, 2022 8.3 x 5.5 x 5.9 inch Sculpture

$3,642

Pierre Mouzat, La reine des sables, Sculpture

Pierre Mouzat

La reine des sables, 2022 9.8 x 16.5 x 3.5 inch Sculpture

$7,804

Cyril Maccioni, Black wolf-fire impact, Sculpture

Cyril Maccioni

Black wolf-fire impact, 2022 11.8 x 5.7 x 7.5 inch Sculpture

$2,705

Thierry Benenati, Elephant-roses, Sculpture

Thierry Benenati

Elephant-roses, 2015 20.5 x 30.3 x 15.7 inch Sculpture

$35,378

Lucie Linder, Poulpe, Sculpture

Lucie Linder

Poulpe, 2016 11.8 x 19.7 x 5.1 inch Sculpture

$1,249

Ghost Art, The abstract eagle, Sculpture

Ghost Art

The abstract eagle, 2022 74.8 x 33.5 x 30.3 inch Sculpture

$20,290

Hassan Laamirat, Cerf en métal recyclé, Sculpture

Hassan Laamirat

Cerf en métal recyclé, 2022 96.5 x 55.1 x 84.6 inch Sculpture

$4,318

Alain Quercia, Cheval sur un banc, Sculpture

Alain Quercia

Cheval sur un banc, 2019 8.7 x 7.1 x 3.5 inch Sculpture

$6,243

Pascal Chesneau, La girafe, Sculpture

Pascal Chesneau

La girafe, 2022 33.9 x 43.3 x 7.9 inch Sculpture

$7,180

Maïté Martinez, Il était une fois, Sculpture

Maïté Martinez

Il était une fois, 2019 5.1 x 6.7 x 5.5 inch Sculpture

$4,995

François Rambaud, Ours Polaire Danseur, Sculpture

François Rambaud

Ours Polaire Danseur, 2022 15.7 x 7.1 x 7.1 inch Sculpture

$468

Sylvie Debray Artiste Bxl, La course aux escargots, Sculpture

Sylvie Debray Artiste Bxl

La course aux escargots, 2022 8.3 x 5.1 x 12.6 inch Sculpture

$3,111

Dananjaya Edirisinghe, Bella, Sculpture

Dananjaya Edirisinghe

Bella, 2022 13 x 13.4 x 2 inch Sculpture

$208

Isabelle Carabantes, Eléphant (V), Sculpture

Isabelle Carabantes

Eléphant (V), 2021 10.2 x 7.3 x 16.5 inch Sculpture

$4,370

Didier Becquart, Papillon, Sculpture

Didier Becquart

Papillon, 2016 24.8 x 41.7 x 32.3 inch Sculpture

$14,047

Noël Granger, Meuh Graffitis !, Sculpture

Noël Granger

Meuh Graffitis !, 2022 7.3 x 10.6 x 3.9 inch Sculpture

$302

Chanoir, Cha Basketteur, Sculpture

Chanoir

Cha Basketteur, 2021 31.5 x 31.5 x 1.2 inch Sculpture

$4,839

Valerie Marty, Piafs poprock L, Sculpture

Valerie Marty

Piafs poprock L, 2022 12.6 x 5.9 x 7.9 inch Sculpture

$1,301

Hannes D'Haese, Bull, Sculpture

Hannes D'Haese

Bull, 2020 8.7 x 13 x 5.9 inch Sculpture

$156

Helena Troyanskaya, White Horse, Sculpture

Helena Troyanskaya

White Horse, 2022 13 x 8.7 x 4.9 inch Sculpture

$740

Mr Live, Croco Porsche, Sculpture

Mr Live

Croco Porsche, 2022 9.4 x 52.4 x 30.7 inch Sculpture

$2,601

Clemyart, Bruits sous l'océan, Sculpture

Clemyart

Bruits sous l'océan, 2022 6.7 x 7.1 x 7.1 inch Sculpture

$208

MrHope, Toy pink, Sculpture

MrHope

Toy pink, 2022 7.1 x 5.1 x 3.9 inch Sculpture

$135

Elvire Ménétrier, Drooling, Sculpture

Elvire Ménétrier

Drooling, 2021 7.1 x 3.9 x 2 inch Sculpture

$624

Benjamin Pietri, Playboy Lips, Sculpture

Benjamin Pietri

Playboy Lips, 2022 10.2 x 7.7 x 2.2 inch Sculpture

$333

Art By Son, Tattoo dog, Sculpture

Art By Son

Tattoo dog, 2022 31.5 x 45.3 x 15.7 inch Sculpture

$3,590

Priscilla Vettese, Freedom Elephant, Sculpture

Priscilla Vettese

Freedom Elephant, 2022 5.5 x 7.1 x 2.4 inch Sculpture

$198

Christophe Comerro, Vegas Bulldog Chanel Fashion, Sculpture

Christophe Comerro

Vegas Bulldog Chanel Fashion, 2021 15.7 x 12.6 x 19.7 inch Sculpture

$1,228

Yves Klein, L'Ours Pompon - Edition Yves Klein, Sculpture

Yves Klein

L'Ours Pompon - Edition Yves Klein, 2022 10.6 x 19.3 x 7.5 inch Sculpture

$6,763

Nouna, Pop birds peace & love orange, Sculpture

Nouna

Pop birds peace & love orange, 2022 10.6 x 8.3 x 2.8 inch Sculpture

$2,809

Fratz & Gio, Pitchou cute puple rain, Sculpture

Fratz & Gio

Pitchou cute puple rain, 2022 18.5 x 9.8 x 19.7 inch Sculpture

$6,451

Jean Amiel, Pélican au petit bec, Sculpture

Jean Amiel

Pélican au petit bec, 2016 9.4 x 6.7 x 5.9 inch Sculpture

$1,873

Our recommendations Javier de la Rosa, Dardo I green, Sculpture

Javier de la Rosa

Dardo I green, 2018 59.1 x 7.9 x 7.9 inch Sculpture

$1,603

Adeline Weber Guibal, Licorne, Sculpture

Adeline Weber Guibal

Licorne, 2022 8.3 x 9.8 x 3 inch Sculpture

$1,561

Valerian Sioridzé, Éléphant de Namibie, Sculpture

Valerian Sioridzé

Éléphant de Namibie, 2020 11.4 x 15.4 x 5.9 inch Sculpture

$1,457

Jim Budish, Stargazer, Sculpture

Jim Budish

Stargazer, 2020 39 x 2 x 2 inch Sculpture

Price upon request

Our recommendations Yves Celaire, Ours étoilé, Sculpture

Yves Celaire

Ours étoilé, 2020 12.2 x 7.9 x 2 inch Sculpture

$1,873

Our recommendations Philippe Berry, Equilibre d'Eléphants, Sculpture

Philippe Berry

Equilibre d'Eléphants, 2011 24.4 x 6.3 x 6.3 inch Sculpture

$3,954

Our recommendations Patrick Villas, Tête de lion III, Sculpture

Patrick Villas

Tête de lion III, 2019 24.8 x 16.5 x 17.7 inch Sculpture

$18,730

Art Kristin, Chanel Brick Doggy Black and White, Sculpture

Art Kristin

Chanel Brick Doggy Black and White, 2022 7.1 x 11 x 5.5 inch Sculpture

$624

Brandon Vickerd, Wildlife Passenger –Standing, Sculpture

Brandon Vickerd

Wildlife Passenger –Standing, 2015 13 x 4.5 x 4.5 inch Sculpture

$2,000

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

$6,763

Our recommendations Yoann Merienne, Corbeau II, Sculpture

Yoann Merienne

Corbeau II, 2020 19.5 x 24.4 x 12.2 inch Sculpture

$10,405

Cévé, Oscaril 2/8, Sculpture

Cévé

Oscaril 2/8, 2019 2.8 x 6.3 x 3.1 inch Sculpture

$1,353

Vassil, Ruade, Sculpture

Vassil

Ruade, 2011 8.7 x 13 x 5.9 inch Sculpture

$4,058

Thierry Dehais, Grand chien, Sculpture

Thierry Dehais

Grand chien, 2007 12.2 x 20.1 x 4.3 inch Sculpture

$1,665

Pierre Ilhat, Petit chat, Sculpture

Pierre Ilhat

Petit chat, 2019 3.9 x 5.5 x 3.9 inch Sculpture

$936

Laurent Deguitre, Tribute to some surrealists, Sculpture

Laurent Deguitre

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

$936

Art'Mony, Bouledogue qui lève la patte, Sculpture

Art'Mony

Bouledogue qui lève la patte, 2022 22.8 x 15.7 x 11.8 inch Sculpture

$1,378

Saône De Stalh, Thal, Sculpture

Saône De Stalh

Thal, 2017 14.2 x 15 x 7.9 inch Sculpture

$1,665

Tegan Pick, Pomme d'Eve, Sculpture

Tegan Pick

Pomme d'Eve, 2021 3.7 x 4.3 x 3.9 inch Sculpture

$1,145

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

Julio Alonso Yañez

El tigre y las cabras con instrumento y espejo / le tigre et les chevres avec instrument et miroir, 2020 23.6 x 9.1 x 1.4 inch Sculpture

$1,873

Danielle Le Bricquir, Le petit prince et le renard, Sculpture

Danielle Le Bricquir

Le petit prince et le renard, 2021 14.2 x 15.7 x 2 inch Sculpture

$1,873

Our recommendations Christine Guillemin, Arabian Panther, Sculpture

Christine Guillemin

Arabian Panther, 2018 9.8 x 19.3 x 3.9 inch Sculpture

$7,076

Our recommendations Jenny Jacottet, Impulsion, Sculpture

Jenny Jacottet

Impulsion, 2018 13.8 x 8.7 x 4.7 inch Sculpture

$2,081

Florence Jacquesson, Bouledogue Anglais, Sculpture

Florence Jacquesson

Bouledogue Anglais, 2020 6.7 x 6.3 x 5.5 inch Sculpture

$4,682

Nona Gabrielyan, Centaur, Sculpture

Nona Gabrielyan

Centaur, 2005 6.3 x 6.3 x 3.1 inch Sculpture

$1,769

Thierry Lefevre-Grave, Matadore, Sculpture

Thierry Lefevre-Grave

Matadore, 1994 7.5 x 3.9 x 5.5 inch Sculpture

$1,769

Arnaud Kasper, Cheval des Lumières, Sculpture

Arnaud Kasper

Cheval des Lumières, 2018 33.1 x 11.8 x 22 inch Sculpture

$18,938

Our recommendations Steve Chaudanson, Dog XL noir mat, Sculpture

Steve Chaudanson

Dog XL noir mat, 2022 22.8 x 23.6 x 23.6 inch Sculpture

$1,717

Jean-Luc Garioud, Gare à la bête, Sculpture

Jean-Luc Garioud

Gare à la bête, 2017 7.1 x 6.3 x 5.9 inch Sculpture

$1,873

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