National Gallery of Art - EXHIBITIONS
The Budapest Horse: A Leonardo da Vinci Puzzle
July 3–September 7, 2009

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery. Please follow the links below for related online resources or visit our current exhibitions schedule.

Related Resources

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Works by
Leonardo da Vinci
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Biography of
Leonardo da Vinci

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Press Materials

Image: Cast from models attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, Rearing Horse and Mounted Warrior, 16th century or later, copper-tin alloy with lead (bronze), overall: H 24 x W 15 x L 28 cm (H 9 7/16 x W 5 7/8 x L 11 in.), Szépmüvészeti Múzeum (Museum of Fine Arts), BudapestThe Rearing Horse and Mounted Warrior, a bronze statuette from the Museum of Fine Arts (Szépművészeti Múzeum), Budapest, is the focus of recent technical examinations by National Gallery of Art conservators and is also the centerpiece of the exhibition, The Budapest Horse: A Leonardo da Vinci Puzzle. The intriguing work is joined by two additional bronze horses and another warrior associated with Leonardo, along with two Renaissance bronze horses by known masters for comparison. Illustrative panels present evidence related to the works' origins, including reproductions of drawings by Leonardo, x-radiographs, and computer models.

The similarities of the Budapest horse to Leonardo's drawings led to the first attribution to him in 1916. New technical evidence gathered from both the Rearing Horse and its accompanying Mounted Warrior suggests that the cast could date from as early as the 16th century, although possibly some years after Leonardo's death in 1519. No scientific data were discovered that rule out an early casting date, but the origins of the clay or wax models from which the horse and its rider were cast remain a mystery.

Organization and Technical Study: Organized by the National Gallery of Art, in association with the Szépművészeti Múzeum (Museum of Fine Arts), Budapest.

Sponsor: The exhibition has been made possible by the generous support of Robert H. Smith.

The collaboration has also been supported by a grant from the Hungarian Cultural Center and the Hungarian Ministry of Education and Culture.

The exhibition is part of the Extremely Hungary Festival.

Schedule: National Gallery of Art, July 3–September 7, 2009

Passes: Passes are not required for this exhibition.