Sculptor - Antoine Louis Barye
Title - Thesee Combattant le Centaure
Sand Cast Bronze
Atelier Antoine Louis Barye
13 1/2" height by 14 3/4" length
(34.5 cm by 37.5 cm)
The bronze of Theseus Combating the Centaur Bianor is Barye's most powerful mythological group. It was modeled between 1846 and 1848, and exhibited in plaster at the Salon in 1850 where it was critically acclaimed. The Salon model was a later version having a raised rocky base with vegetation and a different angle of the foreleg of the Centaur.
Barye's Theseus Combating the Centaur shows a moment in the battle between the Lapiths of Thessaly and the Centaurs of Arcadia. Theseus saves Hippodamia, daughter of the king of the Lapiths, by jumping on the Centaur's back and using his own club to fight him. Theseus was the greatest hero from ancient Greece and he helped the Lapiths defeat the Centaurs, driving them out of Thessaly. This episode shows the symbolic victory of civilization over barbarism.
This model was done in several sizes and the bronze we offer is the smallest or sketch model. The larger sizes can be hard to live with but this bronze is a very useful size and would fit in any home.
Most were cast by Barbedienne but our bronze is an early cast done in Barye's own foundry in the 1850s. It has a warm rich brown patina and fine details chassed by hand, having a tactile quality only found in the best of Barye's bronzes. This model is illustrated in Payne's book Animals in Bronze on page 344.