COUSTOU, Guillaume I
(b. 1677, Lyon, d. 1746, Paris)

Horse Tamer from Marly-le-Roi

Marble,height c. 350 vm
Louvre, Paris

Guillaume Coustou, nephew of Coysevox, worked in Versailles, Paris and Marly. The two horses, which have stood since 1794 in the Place de la Concorde at the entrance to the Champs Elysées, were executed in 1740-45 for the Terrace de l'Abreuvoir in Marly, as a replacement for the Mercury and the Fame by Coysevox, which were transferred to the entrance to the Tuileries gardens in 1719. In each of the marbles by Coustou a rider tries to tame a wild horse; through the overlay of classicizing antique inspiration emerges the naturalism and impetuosity of Baroque forms.

The Marly Horses were transferred to the Place de la Concorde in Paris in 1794, then later moved to the Louvre and replaced by copies.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 3 minutes):
Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Marche en Rondeau