Nude Warriors with Horses, c. 1800-1899
Unknown (Italian - 19th century, after 15th century prototype)
53.5 x 50 cm framed
National Gallery of Canada (no. 15739.2)
These terracotta reliefs are related to a sculptural frieze in the courtyard of the fifteenth-century Palazzo Fodri in Cremona, designed to be viewed from about seven metres below. The frieze has no specific subject but represents a procession, with certain scenes repeated at intervals. Here, on the left, a mother and child stand with two youths, along with a nude man carrying an urn, and, on the right, two nude warriors are depicted with three horses and a pig. Along with the painting by Piero di Cosimo, these are the only secular works in this gallery; the use of the nude and other antique references are expres-sions of the budding Italian humanism of the sixteenth century.