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Rearing Horse
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Adriaen de Vries
Dutch, about 1605 - 1610
Bronze
19 1/2 x 21 1/2 x 7 in.
86.SB.488

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This rearing horse's two rear legs, upon which he balances his powerful bulk, serve as the sole support for the body of this large animal. Pawing the air and tilting his head to the left, the horse electrifies the space around him. The sculptor Adriaen de Vries further suggested the animal's vitality through the open mouth, flaring nostrils, and protruding veins on its belly. The horse's lack of shoes suggests that this is a stallion kept for stud.

De Vries executed more than a dozen bronze statuettes of horses and horses with riders, only four of which survive or are securely identified. This is one of the rare signed ones. The horse's daring pose makes it a tour de force of bronze casting, and the beauty of its patina, or surface treatment, testifies to the artist's reputation as an exceptional bronzemaker.