The J. Paul Getty Museum

Kicking Horse

Object Details


Kicking Horse


Caspar Gras (German, 1585 - 1674)




Germany (Place Created)


about 1630



Object Number:



34.3 cm (13 1/2 in.)

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Object Description

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.

- 1985

Elisabeth Lederer, Austrian, 1908 - 1995 (Geneva, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1985.
Note: The art collection of the parents of Erich Lederer (1896-1985), husband of Elisabeth Lederer, was looted by the Nazis between November 1938 and May 1939. After the war, it was restituted to him as heir. The provenance of this object, however, is unknown.


"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." Small Bronzes in the Renaissance, Studies in the History of Art, Symposium Papers 39 Debra Pincus, ed. (Washington DC: National Gallery of Art, with Yale University Press, 2001), p. 175.

Avery, Charles. Studies in Italian Sculpture (London: The Pindar Press, 2001), p. 439, figs. 38-44, p. 439, figs. 38-44.