About this artwork
This extraordinary sculptural group, which consists of a male nude astride a rearing horse, is a rare example of the work of Hans Ludwig Kienle, a German silversmith who specialized in depicting animals. Conceived as a drinking cup, this work was destined for display on a buffet or sideboard. Kienle’s work belongs to a larger body of German Renaissance and Baroque sideboard silver that includes cups in the form of three-dimensional horses, lions, stags, and other animals. Horse-and-rider figural groups have their roots in earlier Greek and Roman sculpture. Renaissance princes often had themselves depicted in monumental form, wearing Classical dress or contemporary armor and sitting atop prancing or rearing steeds. That Kienle based this silver cup on an earlier sculptural model is suggested by the existence of a bronze group of virtually identical subject, composition, and scale, made in northern Italy during the second half of the sixteenth century. Kienle masterfully rendered the differentiation of human and equine musculature through the contrast of silver and silver-gilt surfaces, thus animating the already dynamic subject.
- Hans Ludwig Kienle
- Horse and Rider
- Silver and silver gilt
- Marks: signed and dated 'Hanns Ludovickh.Kienle.f.Vlmae, 1630'; hallmarked on edge of the base and on the bezel beneath the horse's head for Ulm and maker's mark; also marked on base with French post-1893 import mark
- H. 31.5 cm (12 3/8 in.)
- Eloise W. Martin fund; through prior acquisiton of the George F. Harding Collection; Henry Horner Strauss, Pauline S. Armstrong, Harry and Maribel G. Blum, Tillie C. Cohn, Richard T. Crane, Jr. Memorial, Stanford Marks, Michael A. Bradshaw and Kenneth S. Harris, Mrs. Edgar J. Uihlein Art Purchase, European Decorative Arts Capital Campaign funds; through prior acquisition from Albert D. Lasker; European Decorative Arts General, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Varley funds; through prior acquisition of the Kate S. Buckingham Gothic fund; Mary Swissler Oldberg fund; through prior acquisitions of the Howard V. Shaw Memorial and Kate S. Buckingham funds