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"THE FALCONER"
by Pierre-Jules Mêne
19th Century
Bronze cast
2008.001.141
Arabian Trust Collection

French bronze sculptor, Pierre-Jules Mêne (b. March 25, 1810, Paris, France; d. May 21, 1879, Paris, France) was a member of the Animaliers, a 19th-century French group of artists founded by Antoine-Louis Barye that used animals as the primary subject of their art. Born into a metal working family, Mêne learned casting skills from his father and later studied with sculptor Rene Campaire. Early in his career he created porcelain models and started his own foundry in 1837. He became quite popular both in France and England for his naturalistic, small-scale portrayal of animals, most notably equine subjects and dogs (bronze sculptures of dogs were particularly popular in 19th century France) but his repertoire also included ducks, chickens, sheep, etc. He exhibited at the Paris Salon throughout his career where he won several medals, at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851 and 1862, and won the Legion d’Honneur in 1861. He went into business with his son-in-law Auguste-Nicolas Cain and they developed a catalogue of their work together. After Mêne’s death in 1879, his models were acquired by the Susse Foundry.

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