DOG VALET ON HORSEBACK LEADING HIS PACK
This bronze statue represents a rider holding five dogs on a rein. This “dog valet” or “whip” monitors the pack during the hunt. A slope enables the group, composed of dogs, the horse and the rider, to be spread out on several levels. This dramatisation highlights the subtle tension exerted on the animals, ready to pull on their leads at the slightest alert, causing the whip to lean back slightly. Pierre-Jules Mène, animal sculptor, was just as interested in domestic animals as wild ones. Hunting held a privileged position in his work. For the purposes of realism, he regularly visited the zoo in the Jardin des Plantes. He opened his own foundry in 1837 and produced works enjoyed in France and in England. Pierre-Jules Mène received numerous medals at the Salon, an exhibition organised periodically in Paris, presenting the work of living artists. The sculpted group is however the only public order made by the artist. At the Salon of 1869, Napoleon III bought the mould in wax and the bronze castings.
Dog valet on horseback leading his pack - Pierre-Jules MÈNE (1810-1879) - France, model dated 1869, print 1875 - Burnished bronze, 67 x 76 x 42cm - Inv. 000 242 1