Bronze Horse


Horse with Head Lowered, Modeled between 1881 and 1890, cast after 1919
Edgar Degas, French, 1834-1917
Bronze, 18.1 x 27.3 cm (7 1/8 x 10 3/4 in.)
Foundry mark (stamped): Cire Perdue A. A. Hébrard 22/L (incised)
Bequest of Margarett Sargent McKean 1979, Boston Museum of Fine Arts #1979.506

"Degas observed a horse in complex action, as if arresting its forward movement by lowering and turning its head and extending the left leg. Reacting to something not represented in the sculpture, the horse opens his mouth as if to whinny or neigh. The modeling of the wax is evident in the bronze, creating a lively surface and giving a sense of how Degas constantly worked and reworked his figures. He never meant to cast his sculptures, so they were always works in progress. The artist also used small wooden models to record the movements of horses at the racecourse. He said, 'You can't turn live horses around to get the proper effects of light."(From the info card)