ANTOINE-LOUIS BARYE | CHEVAL TURC NO 2 (ANTÉRIEUR GAUCHE LEVÉE, TERRASSE CARRÉE) (TURKISH HORSE NO. 2, LEFT LEG RAISED, SQUARE BASE)
Estimate: 12,000 - 18,000 GBP
CHEVAL TURC NO 2 (ANTÉRIEUR GAUCHE LEVÉE, TERRASSE CARRÉE) (TURKISH HORSE NO. 2, LEFT LEG RAISED, SQUARE BASE)
signed: BARYE, incribed: F BARBEDIENNE Fondeur, and inscribed to the underside: 405, and incised: 44 and No 703 and FB
bronze, dark green patina
29.5 by 32cm., 11⅝ by 12⅝in.
Overall the condition of the bronze is good, with some dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. The base is cast separately and joints are visible around the horse's feet. There is a square patch to the horse's belly. There are some scratches to the surface in areas, in particular to the horse's proper right side. There is minor wear to the patina in areas, and there is some rubbing to the high points, including the high points of the mane, the tail and the legs and feet. There is particular dirt to the crevices of the mane and tail. There is some residue to the proper left side of the base.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Barye, considered the undisputed master of animalier sculpture, used animal subjects to represent the extremes of power and emotion which were central to the Romantic movement. The Cheval turc is generally regarded as the model which most powerfully epitomises his unique sculptural vision.
Barye learnt his sculptural technique in the studio of François-Joseph Bosio, a favourite sculptor of the Napoleonic court. He continued his studies under the painter Antoine-Jean Gros, the successor of neo-classicist Jacques-Louis David. But perhaps the most formative studies Barye undertook were his own visits to the Paris zoo, the Jardin des Plantes, where he sketched the animals directly from nature. As a talented draughtsman Barye produced thousands of drawings and the strong silhouettes of his compositions, particularly evident in the present model, derive from his draughtsman's sense of shape and profile which he expertly transposed into three dimensions. The Cheval Turc triumphantly presents Barye's supreme grasp of anatomy and drama and, as the author of the 1844 Besse catalogue wrote, 'the only feeling that one can experience upon seeing it is a deep admiration both for one of nature's most noble creatures and the talent of its delineator'.
The success of the Cheval Turc persuaded Barye to issue four different versions of the model, two with rectangular bases (as in the present example) and with either front right or left leg raised, and two with oval bases, again with front right or left leg raised. Cheval turc No. 2 was, in fact, the first model edited, with Cheval turc No. 1, a slightly less stylised model, being offered as a new model in 1874. Created circa 1840, the present design is described as Cheval marchant in the 1844 Besse catalogue, and the variants with front right and left leg raised respectively are presented as pendants in Barye's 1860 catalogue.
M. Poletti and A. Richarme, Barye, Catalogue raisonné des sculptures, Paris, 2000, no. A 128, p. 265; W.R. Johnston and S. Kelly, Untamed: The Art of Antoine-Louis Barye, Munich, London and New York, 2006, no. 57, pp. 158-159