EMMANUEL FREMIET (FRENCH, 1824-1910) "SOLDIER ON HORSEBACK"
Signed E. Fremiet in naturalistic base, patinated bronze
Item # 808MBP25P
A rare and very fine model of Soldier on Horseback by Emmanuel Fremiet, the work exhibits the innate strength Fremiet had to capture an animal with total anatomical accuracy without even a hint of the former Romanticism that dominated animal subjects formerly. This highly complex sculpture depicts one of Napoleon III’s troops provisioned, mounted and at the ready. The horse is calm and quiet, the muscular body beautifully finished and detailed with fine chiseling around the hair and face, expert handling of the reins and complex strapping and intricate work around the small elements of the soldier’s gear.
Fremiet benefited greatly from the patronage of Comte de Nieuwerkerke who held high cultural office as Surintendant des Beaux Arts under the reign of Napoleon III of the Second Empire. Nieuwerkerke engaged Fremiet to redecorate the Louvre with stand-alone sculptural commissions as well as architectural sculpture for the building; he further commissioned Fremiet to complete the monumental original of “Pan et Oursons” in marble. Fremiet worked hard to define himself not purely as an Animalier, working in an incredibly broad range of subjects and genres. But his animal sculptures remain some of his most memorable and enjoyable, particularly the smaller bronzes of individual animals.
Literature and Further Reading:
- The Animaliers, James Mackay, p. 39-45
- “Bronze Sculpture of Les Animaliers”, Jane Horswell, p. 181-200
- Art Bronzes, Michael Forest
- Animals in Bronze, Christopher Payne [present example not represented]
- Bronzes of the Nineteenth Century: Dictionary of Bronze Sculptors, Pierre Kjellberg, p. 327-337
Marks/Inscriptions: Signed E. Fremiet on naturalistic base, stamped 8 on soldier’s helmet, stamped 211 on straps
Measurements: 11 1/2” W x 4 3/8” D x 13 5/8” H
Some small breaks/losses to reins. Tip of sword abraded; patina wear to upraised edges of pant legs, rim of hat etc. as expected. Fine original patina.