Pierre Jules Mene (1810-1879)
Mene studied the animals in Paris Jardin des Plantes for anatomically true drawings of plants and animals that he would later sculpt into physical precision. For all intents and purposes, Mene was a self-taught artist; his primary training coming from his own drawings of the menageries in the Jardin des Plantes. Before his sculpting career took off, Mene made ends meet by sculpting small furniture adornments and clock decorations.
Most Mene sculptures were of horses, followed closely by dogs such as Jiji and Giselle. Mene exhibited sculptures at the Paris Salons annually and won several medals in his lifetime. Mene distinguished himself from contemporary sculptors due to his extraordinary business sense; he established his own foundry and published a catalog by which patrons could directly order from the studio. This system led to the dissemination and reproduction of Mene's sculptures around France and abroad. Mene's many bronze sculptures never lacked in quality, something Mene ensured marked the thousands of bronzes that bore his name.
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