Vultures on a Tree

Antoine-Louis Barye French

Not on view

Best known as an animal sculptor, Barye also made numerous finished watercolors. This is one of a series that the Havemeyer family bequeathed to the Metropolitan in 1929 and is notable as the first drawing by the artist to enter their collection.
Signs of death and decay dominate. The vultures perch on a leafless tree with their distinctive shapes outlined against a sky reddened by the setting sun. At lower right a stripped animal skull and bones testify to a recent meal. These details have been freely painted upon textured paper to create an image both expressive and naturalistic.

Vultures on a Tree, Antoine-Louis Barye (French, Paris 1795–1875 Paris), Watercolor on wove paper

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