Metz, Moselle 1801 - Le Raincy, Seine-Saint-Denis 1864
Lion marchant avec une antilope dans la gueule
Pacing Lion with Antelope in Mouth
Dimensions (HxWxD): 15 x 6 x 22 1⁄2 in.
Acc. No.: Metz no. 680
Credit Line: The Arthur R. Metz Collection at the Indiana University Memorial Union Metz Suite
Photo credit: Indiana University Campus Art Collection
- Chicago, Dr. Arthur R. Metz (1887-1963) Collection
- 1963, bequeathed to Indiana University, Bloomington
- Collection's website, September 29, 2015
- Collection's website, September 29, 2015:
Fratin was one of the first of the French sculptors, along with Antoine-Louis Barye, to successfully portray animals in bronze. As a boy in Metz, France, Fratin helped his father with his taxidermy business. This early experience greatly enhanced his understanding of animal anatomy. Fratin first studied sculpture under Pioche in Metz, then moved to Paris, where he worked in the studio of painter and sculptor Theodore Gericault. Fratin became a regular exhibitor at the Paris Salon from 1831 to 1842 and from 1850 to 1862, and he won a medal at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851.
Fratin’s dramatic compositions have been called “highly romantic.” Although he understood anatomy, he endeavored to show an animal in its natural environment without the dramatic and sometimes violent treatment found in Barye’s work. He excelled at portraying his subjects in normal activities such as eating, and his ability to depict an animal in full flight or at the exact moment of its capture by a predator was unmatched by any artist before or since his time.