Pierre Jules Mêne was during his life already a very talented animal sculptor. This ‘animalier’ came from a family of craftsmen. His father was a metal worker and taught him the principles of metallurgy and sculpture making. With his bronze sculptures, Mêne quickly gained fame. His early work shows influence of Romanticism, but he soon developed a naturalistic style. Horses and dogs had his preference, but he also made deer, cats and cattle, among others. In the whole of Europe and America his sculptures were sought-after. Mêne became the most important and influential animal sculptors of his time. He casted the bronze in his own foundry. Mêne won four gold medals on the Salon and important exhibitions. He even won the Legion d’Honneur in 1861.