The Horse and Rider in Marino Marini's Oeuvre
The majority of Marino Marini's work is dominated by the two themes of the Mother Goddess and the horse and rider. Marini was inspired to paint and sculpt equestrian figures after seeing the famous large-scale 13th Century sculpture of a horseman at the Bamberg Cathedral, and this subject first appears in his work in 1936. According to Herbert Read, "The taming of the wild horse marked a definite stage in the evolution of human civilization. But such symbolism apart, the horse, by its animal form...is in itself a thing of beauty that naturally appeals to the artist...Marini, in selecting this animal as a subject, is showing a predilection as old as art itself. It is all the more amazing, therefore, that he should have given a new treatment to the subject" (The Complete Works of Marino Marini, New York, 1970, p. 12).
Marini was not only interested in the mythic association of the horse as symbol of creation and speed, but also in its Jungian terms of man riding and harnessing his sexual instincts. Over the years Marini's treatment of the subject evolved, beginning as a graceful union of man and beast then becoming increasingly more apprehensive and phallic, and finally concluding with images of destructive frenzy. Marini also experimented with different media to exploit the power of his equestrian imagery, combining oil paints, gouache, tempera, watercolor, casein, and India ink. See lots 143-148 and 352.
Property of a Private New York Collector