Charles Louis Eugene Virion1865 - 1946
Born: December 1, 1865, Ajaccio, Island of Corsica (France)
Born in 1865 on the French-controlled Mediterranean Island of Corsica, Charles Louis Eugene Virion's early history and personal life are shrouded in mystery. He was known to have studied sculpture in Paris under Charles Gauthier and Jean-Paul Aube, though there is no record of his ever attending the ecole des Beaux Arts. At about age twenty-one, in 1886, Virion exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Francais for the first time, where he continued to have a relatively successful record until he stopped showing in the 1930s; he took honors and awards at the Salons of 1893 and 1895. In 1900, Virion entered work in Paris's Exposition Universelle, and won a bronze medal for his efforts.
An animalier sculptor, Virion was following in a tradition spearheaded by such artists as Antoine-Louis Barye and Emmanuel Fremiet. Virion's work was often unique from that of his contemporaries in its subject matter, however, as he created many models of house cats. Today, examples of Virion's work are difficult to procure, with most of his sculptures residing in the permanent collections of French institutions. In America, the National Museum of Wildlife Art is among a very few museums to hold work by Virion.