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Raymond Duchamp-Villon (French, 1876-1918), The Small Horse, cast bronze, plaster version: 1914, this cast: 1950s. 17 1/4 x 13 3/16 x 15 3/16 in. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1996.18. Gallery 3
Duchamp-Villon sculpted this statue during a moment in history when the horse was gradually being displaced as a means of transportation and manual work by an increasingly mechanized society. The creature—dark and smooth like an oiled engine—rears on its hind legs, while locomotive horsepower is evoked in the hint of pistons and wheels near the horse’s hip and front legs. The sculpture translates the energy and power of animal motion into the sleek forms of a machine, capturing the transition to modern industrial life and its possibilities.
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