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Paul Wayland Bartlett
Bohemian Bear Tamer
modeled 1887
17 5/8 x 8 1/2 x 10 3/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mary O. Bowditch

A gypsy animal trainer in Paris served as model for this sculpture, which came to symbolize the power of human intelligence and skill over brute forces in nature. Bravura technique, a dynamic pose, and an exotic subject made this sculpture exceptionally popular. Capitalizing on its fame, Bartlett made many copies of it in various sizes.