Mrs. Elisabeth Lederer (Geneva, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1985.
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Getty Center, Museum East Pavilion, Gallery E101
Caspar Gras (German, about 1584/1585 - 1674)
Germany (Place created)
34.3 cm (13 1/2 in.)
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.