A fine, large bronze animalier sculpture by Ferdinand Pautrot (1832-74). The figure represents a pair of pheasants, one perched on a gnarled barren branch while the other appears to strut along the ground. The body position of the lower bird gives the composition a great deal of movement that is often missing in classical animalier bronzes. The ground is covered in long grass that is somewhat less common than Pautrot's more characteristic rocky ground. 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 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: 7-1/2" x 3-1/2 x 9-1/4" 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".