Ferdinand Pautrot (1832 – 1874)
Born in Poitiers, little is known about this highly proficient and talented sculptor, since his life is relatively undocumented. Many of his bronzes are on the theme of hunting, his best known and most popular model being a Pair of Seated Dogs known as, ‘Pointer and Setter with game’, which was cast in four different sizes. We do know that he exhibited grand masterpieces at the French Salon between 1861 and 1870. Throughout these years of exhibiting, he showed many pieces which were crafted using different materials. These sculptures would then be re-exhibited in the following years, but in another material. This was a common practice then.
Pautrot’s sculptures of birds show him to be just as skilled as Jules Moigniez in this field, the quality of casting, detail and finishing being of a high technical standard and the characteristics of each bird so exact that no one can doubt as to the species.
His other models of stags, deer and horses exhibit clarity and sharpness and remain faithful to the animalier tradition. His models appealed to the buying public in the mid-nineteenth century, and particularly to those involved in country and sporting pursuits.
Whilst Pautrot did not break new ground stylistically, he can stand alongside Pierre-Jules Mène and Jules Moigniez as one of the foremost sculptors of the period. His apparent precision in modelling and obvious passion for his subject make him still a popular animal sculptor today.