The equestrian portrait of the 26 years-old Stanisław Kostka Potocki is one of the most valuable paintings in Polish museum collections. It possesses special relevance for the Wilanów gallery not only as a magnificent work by Jacques-Louis David, but also because it shows the owner of the palace (1799-1821), a known collector of art and the founder in 1805 of one of the oldest museums in Poland. In professional literature the painting is recognised as one of the best works by the most outstanding representative of French Classicism. David made use of the creative attainments of his predecessors and emulated the depictions of horses by Rubens and Van Dyck. Two drawings of horses by David can be regarded as analogies to the Wilanów portrait. The one in which the steed is shown in an identical pose was executed upon the basis of a fabric from the 'Decius Mus Cycle' after cartoons by Rubens. The other is a pencil sketch from Van Dyck’s 'Portrait of Prince Thomas of Savoy on horseback'. Benefitting from the artistic achievements of the great painters of the past epoch, David created a new quality due to his creative approach to the theme. The Wilanów portrait is connected with an interesting legend claiming that the painter admiringly observed the young Polish aristocrat who at a race held in Naples tamed a very wild and dangerous horse. Supposedly, thus was the inspiration for the first sketch to the portrait.