We thank Béatrice Tupinier Barrillon for providing additional catalogue information for this work which will be included in her forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the paintings and watercolors of Antoine-Louis Barye.
Although known primarily as a sculptor and the most accomplished of the ‘animaliers', Barye is an unusual and extraordinary watercolorist. His imaginative and emotive works on paper were very sought after in his own time, by collectors in France and abroad, and especially in the United States. He was also rather prolific in this medium; the artist Jean Gigoux noted in 1894 ’…to occupy his time as he waited for his models or sculpture assistants, he would have some watercolour under way, a lion or some sort of gazelle.' (see J. Baillio, The Wild Kingdom of Antoine-Louis Barye (1795-1875), exhibition catalogue, 1994, pp. 11 and 24).
A Note on the Provenance:
Quincy Adams Shaw was a substantial businessman, having invested in copper mining, and an important figure in Boston society. He was born in in Boston in 1825 and named for his father's friend John Quincy Adams. Educated at Harvard, he lived in Paris in the 1850s, where he became part of the artistic world and began collecting. He bought Old Master paintings and Renaissance sculpture, but concentrated on the then contemporary French school, particularly the works of Jean-François Millet. In the course of his life he acquired 26 paintings, 27 pastels and three etchings by Millet. He later became a major benefactor of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 1894, he gave the MFA, Boston a substantial gift of Old Master drawings. After his death and that of his wife in 1917, Shaw’s Millet collection also was transferred to the museum. His children continued in his footsteps so that there are now more than 100 items in the Museum of Fine Arts collection with the Quincy Adams Shaw provenance. For a biographical notice see the exhibition catalogue Quincy Adams Shaw Collection. Italian Renaissance Sculpture. Paintings and Pastels by Jean Francois Millet, Boston, 1908, pages 1-4.