Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Warrior on Horseback

Artist:
Attributed to Desiderio da Firenze (Italian, born Florence, active Padua, 1532–45)
Date:
ca. 1540
Medium:
Ternary alloy of copper, zinc and tin, with small traces of lead, iron, nickel, silver, and antimony (both horse and rider); Black lacquer patina under a chocolate brown patina (on both horse and rider); the eyes of the horse are inlaid with silver.
Dimensions:
H. 25.8 cm (excluding the modern, green marble base).
Classification:
Metalwork-Bronze
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.1391
Not on view
During the Renaissance, monumental bronze equestrian statues from Roman antiquity were highly admired for their technical virtuosity and as celebrations of triumphant ancient heroes. Several equestrian statues were created in emulation of Roman prototypes to honor contemporary rulers and military leaders. The small-scale warrior on horseback was a popular variation on the colossal equestrian statue.
Although the rider is now bolted to the horse, this horse and rider may not have been designed with this pairing in mind, as the rider appears rather small in comparison to the horse. A hole through the right hand of the rider suggests that he may once have held a whip.
Isaac Falcke, London; Falcke sale, Christie’s, London, 19 April 1910, lot 60 (for £3,700 to [Duveen]); [Duveen Brothers, New York]. Acquired by Philip Lehman through Duveen for $20,000 in March 1912.
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