This is a 19th century Louis Vidal striding lion most probably finished and founded by Antoine Louis Barye.
Born in Nimes, France on December 6, 1831, Louis Vidal-Natavel pursued a successful career in sculpture in Paris despite a childhood eye disease that eventually took his sight; he signed many of his works Vidal aveugle (Vidal the Blind). A student of the sculptor Antoine Louis Barye and a menthe of Rouillard, Vidal exhibited his work at the Paris Exposition of 1855 and then at the Paris Salon from 1859 until 1882. Although he was completely blind, Vidal was a remarkable sculptor. His production was limited, and only a few of his plaster models were cast in bronze editions. In 1888 Vidal became the professor of modeling at the Â»cole Braille in Paris.
“Lion Walking” casts an aggressive lion, prowling with a sense of pride edging on anger. He is lean and muscled, a beautiful flowing mane rolling over his back as his tense form is prepared for action. The fine verdigris green patina is in nearly flawless condition, with wonderful glowing variation bringing depth to every cast detail. The base is signed “VIDAL” by his foot. The bronze was cast after Vidals plaster lion first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1868. Reportedly, Vidals mentor, Barye, introduced him to a lion at the Jardin des Plantes zoo in Paris, and Vidal was allowed to run his hands over the cat in order to visualize his subject.
Patina is Greenish Brown in the style of a Barye bronze. Absolutely beautiful!
Signed “VIDAL” with “FRANCE” on back or base.