A fine bronze animalier sculpture by Ferdinand Pautrot (1832-74). The figure represents a pair of songbirds, one of which has caught a fly in its mouth. The other bird appears to be contemplating the possibility of wresting the insect from his companion. Both birds are perched on the rocky ground typical of Pautrot's work. An upright flowering plant appears at one end of the composition. Along with Mène and Moigniez, Pautrot was considered the be France's finest sculptor of animal figures. He first successfully participated in the Paris Salon of 1861 (three entries) and continued to exhibit until 1870. The details of the feathers are stunning and absolutely realistic in appearance. The rocky ground is signed "F. Pautrot". The figure retains its original medium brown patina with light gilt touches.
Origin: France, ca. 1865. Condition: excellent, original patina, built-up dust that could be cleaned if desired. Size: 6-1/4" x 3-1/4 x 6-1/2" tall.
Artist References: Benezit, "Dictionnaire des Peintres et Sculpteurs"; Lami, "Dictionnaire de Sculpteurs de l'ecole Francaise"; Kjellberg, "Bronzes of the 19th Century"; Savage, "A Concise History of Bronzes"; Payne, "Animals in Bronze"; Horswell, "Les Animaliers"; and Mackay, "Les Animaliers".