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Jules Pierre Mene (1810-1877)

Born in Paris, Jules Pierre Mene was the most successful and prolific Animalier sculptor of his time, considered an equal to any in terms of ability. His father was a successful metal turner who taught his son how to work with metals and the principles of casting at an early age. Mene invested many hours sketching the animals from which he would make his sculptures and although he did receive minimal instruction in art, he never attended a prestigious art school and was mostly a self taught artist.

By 1837 Mene had established the first of his many foundries where he would cast all of his own bronzes throughout his successful career. His first exhibit was at the Paris Salon of 1838 and he continued to exhibit at the annual Salons every year throughout his life. His favorite subjects were horses, although he also modeled many sculptures of dogs, both at work and at play. It is estimated that he modeled over 150 different subjects during his lifetime. After his death in 1877 his foundry was run by his son-in-law Auguste Cain, who continued to produce Mene's works in Mene's name until 1879. Upon the death of Cain in 1892 Mene's foundry was closed and many of his models were sold to the Susse Freres foundry.

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