Study of the Horse for the Statue of Major General George Henry Thomas

John Quincy Adams Ward American
Cast by John Williams American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

This statuette was cast after a preliminary model for the horse in Ward's bronze equestrian statue of Major General George Henry Thomas (1816–1870), a Union officer during the Civil War. The monument was commissioned in 1874 by the Society of the Army of the Cumberland and unveiled in 1879; it stands in Thomas Circle at the intersections of Massachusetts and Vermont Avenues and 14th and M Streets in Washington, D.C. In Ward’s preliminary concept, illustrated in the Metropolitan’s bronze, the horse is posed so that the forequarters are elevated on the gentle incline of the base. The tail and mane are more windblown in the monumental bronze, but the two versions share the animated posture of the head. This realistic steed revolutionized American equestrian sculpture, turning it away from antique precedents toward more naturalistic, dynamic representations.

Study of the Horse for the Statue of Major General George Henry Thomas, John Quincy Adams Ward (American, Urbana, Ohio 1830–1910 New York), Bronze, American

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