About This Artwork

Raymond Duchamp-Villon
French, 1876–1918

Horse, 1914

39 3/8 x 24 x 36 in. (99 x 61 x 91.4 cm)
Numbered, inscribed and dated, proper right of rear base: “6/6 R DUCHAMP-VILLON/1914”; inscribed, center of rear base: “Susse Fondeur Paris”

Gift of Margaret Fisher in memory of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Walter L. Fisher, 1957.165

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.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, Signposts of Twentieth Century Art, October 27-December 7, 1959, no cat. no., pp. 20 (ill.), 21.

Publication History

Kuh, Katharine, “Modern Sculpture—Additions and Plans,” The Art Institute of Chicago Quarterly, 52, 2 (April 1, 1958), cover (ill.), p. 23.

Kuh, Katharine, Signposts of Twentieth Century Art, exh. cat. (Dallas: Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, 1959), no cat. no., pp. 20 (ill.), 21.

Sculptures de Duchamp-Villon (Paris: Galerie Louis Carré, 1963), p. 38, cat. 14.

Alley, Ronald, Catalogue of The Tate Gallery’s Collection of Modern Art: other than works by British Artists (London: Tate Gallery in association with Sotheby Parke Bernet, 1981), p. 193.

Nash, Steven A., ed., A Century of Modern Sculpture: The Patsy and Raymond Nasher Collection, exh. cat. (New York : Rizzoli, 1987), p. 148.

Ownership History

Purchased from Galerie Louis Carré, Paris, June 26, 1957, with funds provided by Margaret Fisher [copy of letter from Daniel Catton Rich to Louis Carré, June 26, 1957 in curatorial file].

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