Fighting Horses

c. 1820
(French, 1791–1824)
Support: Ivory wove paper
Sheet: 21.7 x 29.4 cm (8 9/16 x 11 9/16 in.)
Catalogue raisonné: Bazin 1657
Location: not on view
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.

Download, Print and Share

Did You Know?

Théodore Géricault began this work with sketches from life, which became a graphite underdrawing beneath the watercolors.


Théodore Géricault turned away from traditional subjects such as mythology and the Bible in favor of modernity, emotion, and drama. He was fascinated by the power and physical beauty of horses and depicted them often. Géricault himself was an avid rider and his paintings and drawings on this theme are characterized by vigor and movement. In this watercolor, he focused on a conflict, in which a groom struggles to separate a pair of fighting horses—a scene that appeared only a few times throughout his many interpretations of similar subjects. A sketchbook, now in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, shows that the artist carefully studied the animals, including the kicking white stallion at center, in graphite before beginning this finished work.
Fighting Horses

Fighting Horses

c. 1820

Théodore Géricault

(French, 1791–1824)
France, 19th century

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.