LE LORRAIN, Robert
(b. 1666, Paris, d. 1743, Paris)

The Horses of the Sun

c. 1736
Plaster
Hôtel de Rohan, Paris

In his old age, probably around 1736, he created his masterpiece, the Horses of the Sun relief, as decoration of the stables of the Hôtel de Rohan. The subject of the commission was obvious as decoration of the stables of the hotel. Its exciting surface is achieved by the delicate transitions from very low relief, where clouds and horses' necks and flailing hooves are lightly incised in the plaster, as if drawn, to the projection of the central portion, where a horse's head protrudes, drinking greedily from the beautiful fluted shell, itself gripped by the fully-modelled arm of a kneeling attendant.