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Stepping Horse Giovanni da Bologna

Artist

Giovanni da Bologna Douai 1529 – 1608 Florence

Date early 17th century
Object type sculpture
Medium, technique bronze
Dimensions

26 × 14 × 38 cm, 4 kg

Inventory number 51.555
Collection Sculpture
On view This artwork isn't on view.

This figure of a pacing horse set on an oval base is one of the most copied compositions of Giambologna, a mannerist sculptor of Flemish origin. The prototype of the work was the monumental equestrian statue of Cosimo I de’ Medici (1519–1574), which was commissioned from the artist in 1587. The completed work was erected in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence in 1594. Giambologna’s inspiration for this work was not only the ancient equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, but also the famous Renaissance examples: Donatello’s Gattamelata and Verrochio’s Colleoni. Many small-scale bronze copies and variants of this harmonious composition of a pacing horse had already been produced in Giambologna’s workshop. These were later used by Antonio and Francesco Susini, and then again by Adriaen de Vries. The Budapest statuette, which is an exact recreation of the Cosimo statue, closely resembles the Italian examples and could have been made at the beginning of the seventeenth century.

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