CHILONE, Vincenzo
(b. 1758, Venezia, d. 1839, Venezia)

The Return of the Horses of San Marco

Oil on canvas
Private collection

The four bronze horses (of Greek workmanship of the fourth-third centuries B.C.) were pillaged from the ancient race course of Constantinople and brought to Venice in 1204 by Doge Enrico Dandolo. Under Napoleon they were looted by the French who took them to Paris. In 1815 the French were required to restore all stolen works of art to the city. Their return, of great political significance, was celebrated by many artists, including Chilone.