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Antoine-Louis Barye (1795-1875)

General Bonaparte on horseback | Le Général Bonaparte à cheveaux

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Antoine-Louis Barye (1795-1875)

Antoine-Louis Barye (1795-1875)

General Bonaparte on horseback | Le Général Bonaparte à cheveaux

General Bonaparte on horseback | Le Général Bonaparte à cheveaux

Antoine-Louis Barye (1795-1875), model circa 1845

General Bonaparte on horseback


brown patinated bronze

signed BARYE on the terrace

36 x 30 x 11 cm; 14¼ by 11¾ by 4⅓ in.

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Antoine-Louis Barye (1795-1875), modèle vers 1845

Le Général Bonaparte à cheval


bronze à patine brune

signé BARYE sur la terrasse

36 x 30 x 11 cm; 14¼ by 11¾ by 4⅓ in.

Very good condition with very minor surface dirt. Minor wear to the patina and some minor oxidation at some places consistent with age and handling.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Related Literature:

M. Poletti, A. Richarme, Barye. Catalogue raisonné des sculptures, Paris, 2000, p. 62, cat. no. F1.

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Référence bibliographique :

M. Poletti, A. Richarme, Barye. Catalogue raisonné des sculptures, Paris, 2000, p. 62, cat. n° F1.

This equestrian portrayal of General Bonaparte in the attire of the First Consul is without doubt the most romantic image of Napoleon that Barye produced. Considered to be one of his most important works, this is a pendant to the Duc d’Orléans, which has comparable measurements. The artist has rendered the saddle and the costume in great detail, without compromising the emotional power of the piece. Turning slightly towards the right, Napoleon controls his mount with a steady, firm hand, guiding the horse towards the glorious future that lies ahead of him.


Between 1845 and 1875, in Barye’s lifetime, around sixty examples of this model were produced. After the sculptor’s death, the model was adopted by Ferdinand Barbedienne (1810-1892). There is a bronze similar to the present version in the Musée du Louvre (inv. no. OA 5735), while a another, from the former Perronne-Barye collection, is now in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore (inv. no. 27.161).

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Cette représentation équestre du Général Bonaparte arborant l’habit de Premier Consul est certainement la vision la plus romantique de Napoléon développée par Barye. Considérée comme l’une de ses œuvres les plus importantes, elle forme pendant avec Le Duc d’Orléans, aux dimensions comparables. L’artiste parvient à rendre avec un grand réalisme la selle ainsi que les détails du costume, sans pour autant départir le groupe de sa puissance émotionnelle. Tourné légèrement vers la droite, Napoléon contrôle sa monture d’une main calme et ferme, et la guide vers la promesse de sa gloire future.


Entre 1845 et 1875, une soixantaine d’exemplaires sont réalisés du vivant de Barye tel que le nôtre. Après la mort du sculpteur, le modèle est ensuite repris par Ferdinand Barbedienne (1810-1892). Un bronze similaire au nôtre est conservé au musée du Louvre (inv. no. OA 5735), tandis qu'un second provenant de l’ancienne collection Perronne-Barye, est aujourd’hui à la Walters Art Gallery de Baltimore (inv. no. 27.161).