Style Other / Ref.12333
Thomas François CARTIER (from), two statues of fighting dogs, composite stone, cira 1900
Width: 51'' ⅛ 130cm
Height: 47'' ¼ 120cm
Depth: 35'' 89cm
France, late 19th century
Patina of time. Restorations.
These two important garden statues depicting two identical threatening dogs were made around 1900 in composite stone from the French sculptor Thomas François Cartier. Student of Georges Gardet (1863 - 1939) and Victor Peter (1940 - 1918), Thomas Cartier specializes himself in the animal sculpture at the beginning of his career before becoming an illustrator during the First World War. He exhibited in the Salon des Artistes Français from 1904 with a group of dogs untitled “La Sieste” (The Nap) and won an honorable mention in 1908 and a gold medal in 1927. Our two statues depict in a very realistic way two threatening dogs, wearing a large necklace. Both are up on a rock and show their teeth. In such an attack position, their muscles appear prominent and the lines of their face show anger. Made of composite stone, this material is created from crushed natural gravels mixed with white or grey cement and sand, and can sometimes be colored with mineral pigments. Often used in architecture or for statue, its first use in France goes back to the Middle Ages and is an important development during the 19th century. With time, the composite stone brings to the object a distinctive patina, as we can see it on our two dogs. The two dogs look like pitbulls of which characteristics appear clearly in our statues. Indeed, we recognize the head with a long nose, the small straight ears, the short tail compared to the rest of the muscled body. The reputation of this race is famous and takes its origin in its appearance from a crossing between the bulldog race and the terrier race at the end of the 18th century. During this time, and especially in the United Kingdom, pitbulls were placed in arenas to fight bulls or other dogs until the interdiction of these fights in 1835.
During the 19th century, the representation of dog is a very appreciated subject for the animal sculptors, especially hunting dogs, depicted resting or biting their prey. The animal representation fascinates the artists all along this century because it allows them to approach subjects through which they can express nature in its savage and sometimes violent way. Our sculptures are different from the rest of the production because they show the dogs threatening, ready to fight but not yet biting.
However, a pair of stone threatening dogs is ordered to the sculptor François Cartier at the beginning of the 20th century by the owners of a property in the Loire Valley to decorate their garden. The lines of these two dogs look very much alike with the ones of ours.
Thus, theses statues were very likely created to decorate the garden of a castle, as it is the case for many monumental stone sculptures depicting animals.
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