INDIEN MONTÉ SUR UN ÉLÉPHANT ÉCRASANT UN TIGRE (MAN ON AN ELEPHANT CRUSHING A TIGER)
bronze, dark brown patina
28.5 by 31cm., 11¼ by 12¼in.
Overall the condition of the bronze is good, with minor dirt and some wear to the surface consistent with age. The bronze is cast in sections, and joints are slightly visible to the elephant's tail and neck and around the elephant's feet,
and to the man's torso. The man's whip is also cast separately and warped, the lower part is slightly loose but stable. There is rubbing to the patina in areas, in particular to the high points. There is further rubbing to the elephant's saddle, in particular to the incised flower pattern. There is dark stippling to the surface in areas. There is some greening to the surface, in particular to the crevices.
"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 combined classical technical understanding with the freedom and imagination of Romanticism. He was innovative in the production of his bronzes - he supervised castings and chased them himself until 1875.
Barye was fascinated by animals early in his career and studied them in the Jardin des Plantes, Paris, and drastically revolutionised the animal subject matter, which was rated low in hierarchy.
This lively image of an elephant crushing a tiger with a man sitting on top conveys a dynamic energy, typical for Barye’s animals and much liked by the Parisian bourgeoisie, his chief clientele.
Barye made different variations of this model, one without the man titled Éléphant écrasant un tigre, which was created for the Duke of Montpensier in 1847, and a more elaborate version titled Chasse au tigre made for the Duke of Orleans, which shows three men sitting on the elephant.
Un Indien monte sur un éléphant écrasant un tigre can be found in important collections, such as the Walker Art Gallery in Baltimore and the Louvre in Paris.
Pivar, The Barye Bronzes: A Catalogue Raisonné, Suffolk, 1974, p.80 ; É. Mannoni, Barye, Paris, 1996, pp. 36-37 ; A. Richarme and M. Poletti, Barye: Catalogue raisonné des sculptures, Paris, 2000, p. 90 no. F 20