Alexander the Great tames the horse Bucephalus


(Milan 1764 – Florence 1849)

Alexander the Great tames the horse Bucephalus
traces of graphite and sanguine, brown ink, brown watercolours, white lead on laid paper with ochre-brown watercolors, pasted on a nailed canvas and mounted on wood, 33.5 × 23.5 in


This grisaille is the second of a series of five monochrome dedicated to the deeds of Alexander the Great taken from the Parallele Lives by Plutarch.
Among the drawings of the series the one examined here is the most epic and glorious: the hands-on scene of Alexander taming his future horse, fearless and brave and almost a living attribute of the great leader. Episode attesting to the Hellenistic hero the gem of values described by Plutarch and received by the tutor Aristotle: magnanimity in the hard decision of facing Bucephalus, intelligence and the moderation in understanding its scared nature and in the end the great iconic quality of Alexander which is courage.

Excerpt of the expertise by Doc. Egle Radogna in the catalogue of the exhibition “Fascination and elegance in Neoclassical Art”, 2022.


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