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. Particularly impressive is Isidore Bonheur's handling of the rider, 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 roseheaded into the base from beneath. The sculpture is finished in a relatively even overall dark brown patina sealed under wax. It is signed along the edge of the base "I. BONHEUR".
Measurements: 15" H x 13 1/8" W x 4 3/8" D
Condition Report: Old oxidization to the bronze around the edges of the base, perhaps from moisture at one point; this has caused a roughness under the wax; trace verdigris around base. Spot of patina loss to his left knee, trace verdigris to one leg of donkey and his rear haunch. Cleaned, waxed and polished - in presentation-ready condition.