Pacing Horse Bronze after Giambologna

  • This bronze sculpture was modeled after the monumental statue of Duke Cosimo I by Giambologna
  • The horse exhibits remarkable detail in the treatment of its anatomy with sense of dynamic movement
  • Few pre-19th century bronze versions of this Renaissance masterpiece are known
  • Overall, it pays homage to the grand tradition of classical equestrian sculpture
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-3789

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This impressive statue pays homage to the grand tradition of classical equestrian sculpture. Exhibiting a remarkable level of detail, the bronze masterfully captures the animal’s anatomy and grace of motion with a sense of strength and dynamic movement. Bridging the worlds of Roman antiquity and Renaissance Florence, the figure is a rare treasure of 17th-century Italian artistry.

This work is modeled after the monumental equestrian statue of Duke Cosimo I dé Medici completed in 1594 by the great Renaissance sculptor Giambologna installed at the Piazza della Signoria in Florence. For his portrait of Cosimo I, the artist was inspired by the ancient equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius currently held in the Capitoline Museum in Rome — the only intact bronze statue of a pre-Christian Roman emperor to have survived the ages. Giambologna made a series of smaller bronze preparatory models of a lone pacing horse for this large-scale work, and the present piece derives from these statuettes. Here, the horse itself is a magnificent example of equine anatomy and dynamic expression. Captured mid-trot, the animal is compelling and alive with motion from every angle.

As court sculptor to the Medici grand dukes, Giambologna’s reputation as a sculptor in 16th-century Florence was second only to Michelangelo. Born in Flanders, he spent his youth traveling through Italy and studying in Rome before establishing his own workshop in Florence. Renowned both for his monumental marble groups and his small-scale bronzes, today, his works rank among the most influential sculptures in the whole of art history. 

Few pre-19th century bronze versions of this Renaissance masterpiece are known. Examples are currently held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the Royal Collection (London), the Victoria and Albert Museum (London) and the Frick Collection (New York). 

17th century

14 1/8" wide x 9 1/8" deep x 13" high
Pacing Horse Bronze after Giambologna
Period: Pre-18th Century
Origin: Italy
Type: Sculpture
Depth: 9.13 Inches
Width: 14.13 Inches
Height: 13.0 Inches
Style: Neoclassicism

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