Kicking Horse

Object Details


Kicking Horse


Caspar Gras (German, about 1584/1585 - 1674)




about 1630




34.3 cm (13 1/2 in.)

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The kicking horse twists his head back as if to be sure he is aiming correctly at the attacking lion or boar, now lost, that originally formed part of the sculpture. His tail swirls in the air while he pricks up his ears and furrows his brow. These expressive details of the horse, caught in action, add to the sense of intense struggle. The artist Caspar Gras's interest in dramatic moments and spontaneous movement is characteristic of the Baroque style.

Possibly one of the earliest known Baroque bronze horses shown kicking both rear feet in the air, this sculpture's creation was made possible by new technical advances. Beginning about 1600, thinner, lighter casts allowed sculptors to balance the metal's weight on only two points. Sculptors also perfected the technique of casting bronze figures in parts, allowing for compositions with many projecting, separately cast elements.


Mrs. Elisabeth Lederer (Geneva, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1985.


"Acquisitions/1985." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 14 (1986), p. 259, no. 235, ill.

Leithe-Jasper, Manfred. Renaissance Master Bronzes from the Collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, exh. cat. (Washington DC: National Gallery of Art, with Scala Books, 1986), p. 250.

Fusco, Peter. Summary Catalogue of European Sculpture in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 27, ill.

Bewer, Francesca. "The Sculpture of Adriaen de Vries: A Technical Study." In Small Bronzes in the Renaissance, Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual [...]. Debra Pincus, ed. (Washington DC: National Gallery of Art, with Yale University Press, 2001), p. 175.

Related Media
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