Sunday, 18 January 2015

#601: Paris: Barye, Fremiet and the Natural History Museum of Paris

While in Paris last month, Trish and I spent most of the three-week stay in museums and tracking down the 
notable sculpture and monuments that the beautiful city is famous for.   While all art viewed was meaningful, 
we concentrated on Greek sculpture and art from antiquity and importantly,
 the work of the French Animaliers of the 19th and early 20th centuries. 

The focus of this blog is the Natural History Museum of Paris and two important Parisian born Animaliers:
 Antoine-Louis Barye (1796 - 1875}, and Emmanuel Fremiet ( 1824 - 1910).  Historians regard the Romantic sculptor Barye, as having the premier position as the finest and most original in the field of animal bronzes and I'll return 
to his sculpture in upcoming posts.   Additional info can be obtained by going to Post #593, Dec. 21, 2014.  
Many books have been written about his work and much can be learned about him by going online.    

Below, are sculptures by Barye.

The Jardin des Plantes or great botanical gardens of Paris
was founded in 1626 and is located on the left bank in a
complex that includes the Natural History Museum of Paris,
the zoo or menagerie of wild animals,  the Museum of Comparative Anatomy, Museums of Evolution,
of Palenontology, of Entomology, Museum of Zoology,  
and other libraries, laboratories, exhibits, and lecture rooms.
The Jardin was high on our list of places to visit and we spent several days there.  Had we spent the entire three weeks,
we would have only seen a small part of it. 

More about the zoo in next Wednesday's post.

Both Barye and Fremiet were frequent visitors to the Jardin des Plantes and the Natural History Museum of Paris 
and spent many hours, studying and modeling their sculpture from zoo animals, skeletons, and taxidermy.   
During the last years of his life, Barye was professor of animal drawing at the Natural History Museum of Paris 
and was succeeded by Fremiet in 1892, several years after Barye's death.  

Fremiet's most famous sculpture is the gilded "Joan of Arc", erected in the Place des Pyramides in Paris. 
 My personal favorite is his sculpture of an elephant in front of the Musee d'Orsay. 

Below, are images.


As in previous posts about last month's trip to Paris,
I'm concluding the blog with a glimpse
of life in the elegant and inspiring city.

Travel in the winter and off-season definitely has advantages.
We took a boat ride on the Seine on a rainy day
 and were the only passengers on the boat . . .
just us and the bartender, captain, and mate! 

Below, are images taken from the railing.

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information. 

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish


  1. I am relishing your Paris trip and introductions to sculptors - it is encouraging me to research their work further, which I'm enjoying immensely - thanks

    1. Thank you for your comment, Jennifer. Inspiring to revisit all of the great ones! Many, many great websites are available for you to continue research.