Enchanted Rider

  • Bob Thompson, Enchanted Rider, 1961, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David K. Anderson, Martha Jackson Memorial Collection, 1975.21

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
Enchanted Rider
On View
Not on view.
62 3/4 x 46 7/8 in. (159.5 x 119.0 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David K. Anderson, Martha Jackson Memorial Collection

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Fantasy – winged being
  • Equestrian
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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