ANIMAL ART OF THE DAY for International Vulture Awareness Day #1: Antoine-Louis Barye’s vulture watercolors

Antoine-Louis Barye
Vultures on a Tree, c. 1810–75
watercolor on wove paper
27.1 x 38.4cm (10 11/16 x 15 1/8 in)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC 29.100.596
Antoine-Louis Barye
Vulture, c. 1810–75
watercolor on wove paper
7.4 x 11.1cm (2 15/16 x 4 3/8 in)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC 29.100.574

International Vulture Awareness Day is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of September. There are 23 extant species of “vultures” split between two distinct taxonomies: the “New World” Vultures, a monophyletic group comprised of 7 species from the Americas in the Cathartidae family, and the “Old World” Vultures, a polyphyletic group of 16 species from Europe, Africa, and Asia spread across the Gypaetinae and Aegypiinae subfamilies. Barye’s vultures are from the latter group, though I am not sure of the exact species (ID suggestions welcome!).

Antoine-Louis Barye (1795-1875) was a French animalier sculptor and painter. In addition to these two works, the Met has over 100 more of Barye’s works in its permanent collection, which you can browse here.

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