Eagles and Prey

Eagles and Prey is the oldest known sculpture in any New York City park.

On the western edge of the Mall, the bronze statue is particularly notable for its level of exquisite detail. Cast in Paris in 1850, the sculpture was gifted to the City by Gordon Webster Burnham and installed in Central Park in 1863. It was created by Christophe Fratin, who produced a series of small bronze pieces that were thought to be fanciful and romantic in tone. Eagles and Prey illustrates his interest in the elemental forces of nature: a helpless goat is caught in the talons of two birds of prey. The work's rich surface texture and anatomical detail are typical of Fratin's style.