Alfred Barye and Emile Guillemin were both the sons of well-regarded artists who followed in the family business. Alfred’s father, Antoine-Louis Barye, was known for his realistic animal sculptures, which he based on his study of anatomy and observations of animals at the Paris zoo. Emile Guillemin studied with his father, the painter Alexandre-Marie Guillemin, and with the sculptor Jean-Jules Salmson. The younger Guillemin specialized in Orientalist figures; the younger Barye was known as a sculptor of horses.
The Haggin’s Arabian Huntsman is a cast of a sculpture on which Barye and Guillemin appear to have collaborated. Barye, like his father, carved animals. His work was sometimes mistaken for his father’s works—which were more valuable because of the elder Barye’s fame and renown. The story goes that Antoine-Louis Barye insisted that Alfred sign his work “Barye fils,” or “the son of Barye,” to clarify which work came from which chisel. This Huntsman belongs to a series of sculptures that Barye and Guillemin created together.