Kicking Horse

Caspar Grasabout 1630

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

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.

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  • Title: Kicking Horse
  • Creator: Caspar Gras
  • Date: about 1630
  • Location Created: Germany
  • Physical Dimensions: 34.3 cm (13 1/2 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Bronze
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Sculpture
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 85.SB.72
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Center, Museum East Pavilion, Gallery E101
  • Department: Sculpture & Decorative Arts
  • Culture: German
  • Classification: Sculpture