Seated Lion sculpture Baltimore
Public Art: Seated Lion
Also Known As: Sitting Lion sculpture
Sculptor: © Antoine-Louis Barye (1795-1875)
Description: Baltimore's Seated Lion is a 1885
copy of the 1846 original Seated Lion by Barye that stood in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris, France.
Date Unveiled: The Seated Lion was given to the city
by wealthy businessman William Thompson Walters and unveiled on the 1st of february 1885.
Location: The Lion sits directly across from William
Walters family home, 5 West Mount Vernon Place , baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Things you May Not Know About the Seated Lion:
On the base of the lion it has Barye’s birth and death dates.
If you look closely inserted on either side of the base are bronze reliefs of a lion walking. There
are several inferred meanings to this. One being that the original Seated Lion sculpture was commissioned by King
Louis-Philippe who came to power in France following the revolution which occurred in late July. Leo is the Zodiac
sign for that time and is represented by a walking lion. Barye also used the lion symbolically for the July Column (marking the overthrow of another government).
Louis-Philippe commissioned Barye in 1846 to produce a statue to be a companion for the
Lion and Serpent statue he had sculpted in 1833 for the Tuileries Gardens. The
lion union would only last for a little over 20 years before, in 1867, the somewhat plascid Seated Lion was
moved to the entrance then known as the Guichet de l'Empereur on the Quai des Tuileries.
At the time Barye's seated lion was considered most unusual, as lions were mostly portayed as
ferocious beasts who were often depicted roaring.The calm majestic stillness of Barye's lion broke with the
tradition and became so popular that it was made in four different sizes in Barye's 1847 catalog.
References: Kelly, Cindy; Outdoor Sculpture in
Baltimore: A Historical Guide to Public Art in the Monumental City, 2011.