'... La forma degli animali ha costantemente interessato l'Artista, siano essi animali ambientati in scene di vita e di fatica quotidiana, ma anche colti solitari, nel paesaggio a scandirne i ritmi, nella stalla o per scorci abbreviati, particolarmente la raffigurazione del cavallo...' .
(A. Baboni, 'Giovanni Fattori: Il segno e il colore', in Giovanni Fattori, Milano, 1999, p. 39)
The powerful execution of this pastel, capturing the extraordinary dynamism of the animals, is the unmistakable trademark of Fattori, one of the leading Italian macchiaioli. Equally, the trees' trunks, cast against the sky with their stylised shapes, are typical of his landscapes of the beginning of the century, when the artist created his most intense lyrical interpretations of the Tuscan Maremma. This evocative countryside is set for the horses' wild run - one of Fattori's favourite subjects. The untamed animals, free in nature, epitomise the artist's pantheistic credo, which found its most intense expressions in his writings.
The provenance of Cavalli in fuga is very interesting. Having been acquired from the Artist by Llewelyn Lloyd, the British landscape artist who lived in Florence and befriended the macchiaioli, it was bought from him by the father of the present owner in 1912. Since then it has remained in the same Florentine family collection and has not been seen in public.