This large cast bronze sculpture of three hunting dogs sitting atop a plinth was produced in the late 1800’s. It is considered after Jules Moigniez and has a nice brown patina.
The sculpture depicts three hunting dogs investigating a foxhole built among a tree’s root system. The uppermost dog standing on a rock formation is most likely a barbet, which is a rare breed of French retriever dog. The name comes from the French word for “beard”, which is barbe. The bottom two dogs are sniffing the ground, indicating that the prey may have ducked into the hole for protection. The two lower dogs appear to be a pair of Grand Bleu de Gascogne. These dogs were bred to hunt in packs and are sometimes referred to as “King of Hounds”, due to their size and regal appearance. The French general, Lafayette, once gifted a pack of these dogs to George Washington after the American Revolutionary War.
The chiseled details of the sculpture are very fine, which was a trademark of Moigniez. You can observe the musculature of the two lower dogs, contrasted with the long, flowing coat of the higher dog. The rocky ground and the tree roots also show a high degree of craftsmanship and are very nuanced.
The sculpture was originally created by the French animalier sculptor, Jules Moigniez (1835-1894). Moigniez gained recognition for his cast bronze bird creations, but he was skilled at producing horse and dog sculptures as well. Moigniez would create his sculptures via the complex lost-wax method and his final renderings were expertly patinated. The biggest critique of Moigniez’s works was that his detail was too excessive and that he was too finicky about his chiseling.
This large sculpture depicting a pack of hunting dogs would need to be displayed in an elevated position, such as on top of a pedestal or sitting on a table.
CONDITION: Wear commensurate to age.