Skip to main content Official Visitor And Travel Site

Lion Crushing a Serpent

1832 by Antoine-Louis Barye

Lion Crushing a Serpent

Lion Crushing a Serpent in Rittenhouse Square. Credit: M. McClellan for GPTMC


French sculptor Antoine-Louis Barye helped establish a 19th-century school known as the animaliers, artists who focused on animal subjects, frequently as stand-ins for human emotions. Barye’s portrayal of a lion subduing a serpent illustrates his fondness for dramatic animal battles.

The lion, however, is not an ordinary beast. It represents the French monarchy, and the serpent is a universal symbol of evil. Hence this sculpture convinced the French king to name Barye to the Legion of Honor.


18th Street and Walnut Street Rittenhouse Square Philadelphia, PA 19103


In the neighborhood

Find us on Facebook

By using this site, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Go To Top