Posts Tagged ‘Christophe Fratin’

The animaliers who brought nature to the city

February 1, 2010

This sculpture—a brutal depiction of a goat being carried away in the talons of two strong eagles—is the work of an animalier: a sculptor of animals.

Bronzes like these were popular in the second half of the 19th century, and they’re all over New York parks and zoos.

“The naturalistic and sometimes fierce imagery or this type of sculpture is meant to evoke the strength of nature, expanding on 18th century Romanticism,” the New York City Parks Department website explains.

 “Eagles and Prey,” by Christophe Fratin, has another distinction: it’s the oldest sculpture in any city park, cast in Paris in 1850.

Not all the animalier statues were so harsh though; later works were much gentler—such as Lioness and Cubs, by Victor Peter, cast in 1899 and on display at the Prospect Park Zoo.