French artist and sculptor François-Xavier Lalanne was best known for his unique furniture pieces and whimsical animal imagery. Born in 1927, he studied fine arts at the Académie Julian in Paris. In 1952, at his first gallery show, he met Claude Lalanne. The two became one of the most dynamic husband and wife duos of the 20th century creating surreal sculptures and decorative arts. Their large-scale outdoor and public installations featured animals such as sheep, gorillas, and bulls cast in bronze. Lalanne’s work is included in the collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York. In 2010, he was honored by a retrospective at the Arts Décoratifs in Paris. François-Xavier Lalanne died in 2008.