In this diminutive statue of a horse made during the Geometric period, we see how the artist has captured the essence of the animal in all of its majestic beauty. The solid masses of the horse's main attributes, such as its head, mane, and powerful legs, are complemented by the slender and elegant curve of its tail and the narrow line of its torso. In effect, the shape of the animal has been simplified to its essential elements. So what at first glance appears to be a seemingly primitive form of abstraction is actually revealed to be a highly developed and sophisticated technique of depiction.
Bronze statuettes such as this one were popular in ancient Greece, especially during the Geometric period. They were made in many Greek-speaking territories, and it is thought that this Horse may have originated in Corinth. Some scholars have suggested that these bronze figurines were a type of votive offering, which were dedicated at sanctuaries and shrines as gifts to thank (or appease) divine powers. However, whatever its original purpose, viewers today can enjoy the simple beauty of this timeless image of a horse.
John Boardman, the author of this book, is one of the most respected experts of ancient Greek art. And his work is an excellent introduction to the study of this subject, with images and text that brings Greek sculpture, vase painting, and architecture vividly to life.