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Enchanted Rider

1961 Bob Thompson Born: Louisville, Kentucky 1937 Died: Rome, Italy 1966 oil on canvas 62 3/4 x 46 7/8 in. (159.5 x 119.0 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David K. Anderson, Martha Jackson Memorial Collection 1975.21 Not currently on view


Exhibition Label

In some of Thompson’s canvases, the artist revisited mythical and allegorical subjects; in others, Christ images, Madonnas, and Christian saints served as vehicles for exploring the battle between good and evil. Enchanted Rider depicts a figure astride a winged steed whose hoofs trample a devil-like monster. The subject may be Pegasus, the flying horse from Greek mythology who defeated the fearsome Chimera, but the faint cross at the center suggests a religious theme. According to legend, St. George held a cross to protect himself when he attacked a dragon that was terrorizing a village. When he slew the dragon and rescued a princess, the town’s citizens adopted Christianity in gratitude.


African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, 2012

Keywords

Equestrian

Fantasy - winged being

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Bob Thompson

Born: Louisville, Kentucky 1937 Died: Rome, Italy 1966

More works in the collection by
Bob Thompson