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Bob Thompson
Enchanted Rider
1961
oil
62 3/4 x 46 7/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David K. Anderson, Martha Jackson Memorial Collection



Enchanted Rider draws upon the myth of the Greek hero Bellerophon and his winged horse Pegasus. Together, they defeated the Chimera, a fire-breathing monster with a lion's head, goat's body, and serpent's tail. With the hero's spear doubling as a cross and the trampled figure resembling the devil, this scene also evokes age-old apocalyptic themes.