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Dark colored abstract sculpture of interlocking rounded and edged shapes.

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  • Dark colored abstract sculpture of interlocking rounded and edged shapes.




Raymond Duchamp-Villon
French, 1876–1918

About this artwork

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.


On View, Gallery 395


Modern Art


Raymond Duchamp-Villon




France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Designed 1914




Numbered, inscribed and dated, proper right of rear base: “6/6 R DUCHAMP-VILLON/1914”; inscribed, center of rear base: “Susse Fondeur Paris”


99 × 61 × 91.4 cm (39 3/8 × 24 × 36 in.)

Credit Line

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

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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