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Writing in 1913 to his friend the American art historian Walter Pach, Raymond Duchamp-Villon declared, “The power of the machine imposes itself upon us and we can scarcely conceive living bodies without it.” That year the French sculptor began his preliminary sketches and clay studies for “Horse,” progressively abstracting these initial naturalistic renderings of the animal’s anatomy into a coiled configuration of geometric forms suggestive of pistons, gears, and shafts. Optimistically embracing the clean aesthetic and dynamic potential of the machine, Duchamp-Villon reinterpreted the traditional subject of equestrian sculpture for the modern era. The artist completed only a small plaster of the final version of Horse; he died before he could realize his plans to enlarge and cast it in bronze. This was done by his brothers, Jacques Villon and Marcel Duchamp, in 1930–31.

Details

  • Title: Horse
  • Creator: Raymond Duchamp-Villon (French, 1876–1918)
  • Date Created: 1914
  • Physical Dimensions: 99 × 61 × 91.4 cm (39 3/8 × 24 × 36 in.)
  • Type: Sculpture
  • External Link: The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Media: Bronze
  • Credit Line: The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Margaret Fisher in memory of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Walter L. Fisher, 1957.165
  • Artist: Raymond Duchamp-Villon (French, 1876–1918)

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