Duchamp-Villon was an expert horseman, serving as an auxiliary doctor in a cavalry regiment during the war. This sculpture developed from his studies of a leaping horse and rider to become an abstract evocation of dynamic energy and power. His work has been compared to that of the Futurists in the way it aims to capture a sense of motion. The tension between the mechanistic and the natural world echoes that between solid bronze and the representation of movement.
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