A fine lifetime cast, this bronze sculpture depicts a Spanish peasant playing a classical guitar while riding on the back of a mule. It is a rich model, complete with a handsomely detailed woven blanket saddle, twisted wire reins, finely cast fittings and hardware for the mule as it trudges uphill over a naturalistic mottled base.
Bonheur's natural handling of the rider is impressive, his posture totally relaxed and carefree as he balances his body on the beast so that he can sing and play guitar without paying attention to the reins. It was executed in the foundry of his brother-in-law, Hippolyte Peyrol, stamped in the typical tiny foundry marking PEYROL to the reverse of the base; note the underside joinery, free of any hand cut nuts, all elements peened into the base from beneath.
The sculpture is finished in a superior patination, the translucent brown with hints of black in the recesses with complex variations of reddish and golden hues sealed under wax. It is signed along the edge of the naturalistic base "I. BONHEUR".
Measurements: 14 1/2" H x 13 3/4" W; base is 4 3/4" D x 10 1/8" W
Condition Report: Original patina with only very minor handling wear. Cleaned, waxed and polished - in presentation-ready condition.
“Spanish Rider” Antique French Bronze Sculpture by Isidore Bonheur, cast by Peyrol foundry