Lion Devouring a Doe

Barthélemy Prieur (Berzieux, France 1536?–1611 Paris)
Lion Devouring a Doe
Cast probably before 1583
Bronze
6 1/4 x 13 3/8 in. (16 x 34.1 cm)

 

In his youth, Prieur may have traveled to Rome for his artistic studies. Upon his return to Paris, he became one of the foremost sculptors of his generation. His elegant statuettes responded to the desire, then new in France, to collect bronzes in the “Italian manner.” The Lion Devouring a Doe is Prieur’s interpretation of famous statuettes by Giambologna and his followers that depict a lion attacking a stallion. By substituting the fighting horse with a fragile doe, Prieur transforms a violent battle into a tragic scene that elicits the viewer’s empathy for the victim.