Pair of bronze Marly horses on Boulle style marquetry stands
French, late 19th Century
Total height 73cm
Horses: Height 60cm, width 53cm, depth 23cm
Plinths: Height 13cm, width 63cm, depth 34cm
The bronzes in this pair are after Guillaume Coustou’s 18th Century marbles, now in the Louvre but first commissioned by Louis XV for the Chateau de Marly, hence the name the horses commonly take: ‘Marly Horses’. Each sculpture depicts a wild, rearing horse and a man attempting to restrain his steed. Coustou’s marbles proved to be some of the most influential pieces of art created during the 18th Century, and up to today works have been produced after these originals. Each of the bronze groups in this pair is beautifully patinated, being particularly fine examples of Marly Horses.
Strikingly, the bronzes are raised on rectangular Boulle plinths. The plinths have ebonised wood bodies framed with a gilt bronze frieze above. The sides of the plinths are finished with Boulle marquetry of brass and tortoiseshell.