Skip to main content

Eléphant écrasant un tigre: M.1-2015

An image of Animal figure

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Alternative views

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Eléphant écrasant un tigre
Translated as: Elephant crushing a tiger
(Elephant crushing a tiger)


Sculptor: Barye, Antoine Louis




An elephant tramples to death a tiger lying prostrate on a foliage-strewen forest floor.


History note: Leonard Spero, Walton Street, London, from whom purchased in March 1961.

Legal notes

Sir Ivor and Lady Batchelor Bequest

Measurements and weight

Weight: 14.37 kg

Place(s) associated

  • Paris ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (2015-04-27) by Batchelor, Ivor, Sir and Lady


19th Century
Production date: circa AD 1847 : Original model c. 1847. This version cast at unknown date after 1847.


Dubbed the ‘Michelangelo of the Menagerie’ by art critic Théophile Gautier (1811–72), Barye was a Romantic realist artist based in Paris who popularised the genre of animal sculpture from the 1830s onwards. Animals were very low down in the traditional Academic hierarchy of accepted subject-matter for artists, and the term animalier (an artist specialising in animals) was coined by critics specifically for Barye as a pejorative appellation. Barye was a successful monumental sculptor, but also created hundreds of small-scale models of animals for reproduction in bronze editions for middle-class homes. His last sales catalogue of 1865 listed over 230 compositions available to order as edition bronze statuettes. Keen for accuracy, Barye studied ancient animal sculptures as well as live beasts in the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle’s menagerie, copied zoological specimens in the Musée d’Anatomie Comparée and made anatomical drawings of dead lions. Bayre’s animal portraits include single animal figures (e.g. M.19-2015) and groups of predators with prey, or in combat with each other (e.g. M.4-2015), and some with human figures (e.g. M.5-2015). During Barye's lifetime, this model was cast in a small edition of only 15 examples. After his death, it was one of 78 foundry models purchased at Barye's 1876 studio sale by the Paris-based art dealer Hector-Henri-Clément Brame (1831-99) with the right to reproduce them. Brame produced a second small edition, also of 15 examples. While it is unclear whether the present version was cast during Barye's lifetime, it is possible as it does not have Brame's 'H' foundry stamp.

School or Style


Components of the work

Base Height 2.6 cm Length 18.6 cm Width 34.8 cm
Figure Height 20.8 cm Length 33.2 cm Width 17.8 cm

Materials used in production

Copper alloy

Techniques used in production

Casting (process) : Cast, bronze, patinated

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 'BARYE' in intaglio
  • Location: Top rear of base
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.1-2015
Primary reference Number: 201335
Old object number: 2
Former loan number: AAL.235-2006
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Thursday 14 May 2015 Updated: Monday 24 February 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Eléphant écrasant un tigre" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-05-22 20:09:04

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Eléphant écrasant un tigre |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-05-22 20:09:04|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        alt="Eléphant écrasant un tigre"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Eléphant écrasant un tigre</figcaption>

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...