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ID number:  BIRBI-46.2
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Barye, Antoine-Louis (1796-1875)
Title / Object name:  Theseus and the Centaur Biénor
Object type:  Sculpture
Place made:  Paris
Culture:  French
Date made:  Model: about 1846-48; Cast: late 19th century
Materials:  Bronze
Measurements:  34.3 x 37.7 x 9 cm
Provenance:  Mentioned in correspondence in 1946 as coming from Obach firm. Work may have been acquired by Mayer while he was working for Colnaghi USA; purchased from G. Mayer, January 1946, for £50

The mythical hero Theseus clubs to death Biénor, one of the centaurs who had tried to carry off the brides at the wedding of the King of the Lapiths. The subject is from the classical Roman poet Ovid’s Metamorphoses (XII: 344-9), and gave Barye the opportunity to demonstrate his ability to sculpt animals. This is one of his finest compositions in a more traditional classical vein. It was cast from the model for a larger version, commissioned by the French Ministry of the Interior in 1849.

Inscriptions / Translations:  Inscribed on base: Barye

Notes:  Model: Paris. Cast: unknown foundry, probably Paris, late 19th century

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