A powerful bronze group executed in a gilt and burnished surface, this model of Roman Charioteer is one variation modeled by Arthur Strasser with the man driving a group of two horses; he also made a larger version with the charioteer driving four horses (for an example of this larger model, see Fontaines Auction, 12 May 2012, lot 59, achieved $ 8,555 with premium).
A complex model, it was designed from over a dozen individually sand-cast components that were then joined by the foundry. The resulting surface is of notable quality, the fine hand-chased elements and chiseled details then finished in a lively and unusually fine patina with a translucent gilt over bright burnished bronze that positively glows beneath the wax. The base is signed in lowercase script beneath the chariot "A Strasser".
Born in Adelsberg, Germany (now Postojna, Slovenia) in 1854, Arthur Strasser studied first at the Akademie der Bildenden Künst in Vienna from 1871 through 1875 under Viktor Tilgner before continuing his studies while working in Paris from 1881 through 1883. He returned to Vienna thereafter and exhibited extensively, primarily as a part of the Naturalist movement, though also as a member of the Austrian Successionist movement. In 1892 he left on a career altering trip to Egypt, inspiring a change in his work from an emphasis on labor and the working class to instead execute studies of life in the East; his work includes busts, complex groups and genre scenes of common figures throughout Egypt, North Africa and the Middle East. Despite the perceived hostility towards the Successionists in Austria, Strasser was successful in securing a professorship of sculpture at the Vienna Academy in 1899 along with fellow successionist and architect Josef Hoffman (see Fin-de-Siècle Vienna, Schorske, 1981, p. 239), a position he served in until 1919. He died in Vienna in November of 1927.
Artist Listings & Bibliography:
E. Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Vol. XIII, Gründ, 2006, p. 428
Art Bronzes, Michael Forest, 1988, p. 484
The Dictionary of Western Sculptors in Bronze, James Mackay, 1977, p. 361
Measurements: 24 1/2" W (at widest point) x 14 1/4" H x 9 1/8" D
Bronze Sculpture "The Roman Charioteer" by Arthur Strasser (Austrian, 1854-1927)