Albéric Collin, who studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts of Antwerp, was one of the most important Belgian animal sculptors. As Rembrandt Bugatti, he spent a lot of time in the town’s zoological garden, an inexhaustible source of inspiration for him. Both artists frequently worked together and Rembrandt Bugatti literally trained the young Collin. In an interview published in Le Matin, January 27, 1922, the latter revealed: ‘He advised me, helped me, encouraged me to perfect my art. I owe him a great deal. “Collin was moreover referred to as the “Belgian Bugatti” by the journalist critics”.
As did his Master, he mainly sculpted animals, wild and domestic, with a particular attention to bronze work, the high quality of cast iron and patina that he most of the time entrusted to the Claude Valsuani foundry.
As soon as 1920, he took part in numerous exhibitions. He hence participated in the Salon des Artistes Français (bronze medallist in 1922). In 1930, he executed twelve monumental elephants in stone for the Exposition universelle des colonies, de la navigation et des arts flamands, in Antwerp. Five years later, he made a concrete sculpture Elephant mounted by Blacks for the Exposition universelle in Bruxelles,which was installed in front of the Belgian Congo Pavilion. It can currently be seen in front of the Musée de Tervuren.
Among his works, we can also mention the following: Group of Antelopes, Roe deer resting, Stag and deer on the move, Group of four bears, Giraffe and her cub, Panther in motion. Some of them are kept in the Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts of Belgium (Ostrich on the move and Gazelle).
Albéric Collin made a great many models (more than 600 have been inventoried) but limited the cast to a maximum of seven copies for each of them, which makes each sculpture extremely rare.