'Michel-Ange de la Ménagerie' was the tribute given to Barye by the celebrated French art critic Théophile Gautier. Considered the inventor and undisputed master of animalier
sculpture, Barye created an exceptional oeuvre
parallel to that of his friend, the painter Eugène Delacroix. Barye used animal subjects to represent the extremes of power and emotion which were central to the Romantic movement, thereby challenging the accepted hierarchy of subject-matter in the French artistic establishment. The Cheval turc
is generally regarded as the model which most powerfully epitomizes his unique sculptural vision.
M. Poletti and A. Richarme, Barye, Catalogue raisonné des sculptures, Paris, 2000, no. A 128;
W.R. Johnston and S. Kelly, Untamed: The Art of Antoine-Louis Barye, Munich, London and New York, 2006, no. 57, pp. 158-159