BARYE, Antoine-Louis

Paris 1795 - Paris 1875

Singe monté sur un gnou, ou Orang-outang monté sur un gnou

Ape Riding a Gnu, or Orangutan Riding a Gnu

modeled ca. 1840

bronze with some light green over warm red-brown patina


Dimensions (HxWxD): 9 12 x 10 34 x 4 18 in.

Acc. No.: 27.121

Credit Line: Acquired by William T. Walters, before 1889

Photo credit: The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore

© Artist:


  • prior to 1889, Baltimore, William T. Walters
  • 1894, Baltimore, Henry Walters, by inheritance
  • 1931, Walters Art Museum, by bequest


  • Museum's information, April 2013:
    In this amusing sculpture, Barye parodies the tradition of the equestrian monument. An ape from Sumatra, Indonesia, named Jack rides on the back of an African antelope with buffalo-like antlers-a gnu or wildebeest. Jack arrived at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris in 1836 and survived for less than eight months. After taxidermy, its body became a popular sight for visitors to the Jardin's natural history museum. The composition is based on an engraving of the same subject by Thomas Landseer (1795-1880).