"The story is told in Livy’s History of Rome: Horatius Cocles alone defends the Sublician bridge against the Etruscans while it is demolished behind him; above hovers an allegorical figure of Rome and in the foreground is a river god representing the Tiber.

This work was painted early during Le Brun’s stay in Rome, 1642-45, while he was under Poussin’s influence.


  • Title: Horatius Cocles defending the Bridge
  • Date: c.1642/43
  • Physical Dimensions: w1718 x h1219 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Notes: NOT IN GPI MAR 2003
  • Work Nationality: French
  • Support: Canvas
  • Provenance: ?Vaudreuil, bef. c. 1784; London, Noel Desenfans, 1804-1807: 1804 Insurance List, no. 110); London, Sir Francis Bourgeois, 1807-1811; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811.
  • Further Information: Louis IV declared Charles Le Brun to be ‘the greatest French artist of all time.’ He was highly influenced by Poussin, with whom he worked with in Rome, and excelled at history and battle scenes.
  • Artist: Le Brun, Charles
  • Acquisition Method: Bourgeois, Sir Peter Francis (Bequest, 1811)

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