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Statuette - King Philip III of Spain on Horseback
  • King Philip III of Spain on Horseback
    Le Sueur, Hubert
  • Enlarge image

King Philip III of Spain on Horseback

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1620 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Le Sueur, Hubert (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Dr W. L. Hildburgh FSA

  • Museum number:

    A.108:1 to 3-1956

  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery, case 4 []

Bronzes often exist in a number of versions, made over many decades or even centuries. This is achieved through a variety of means, such as changes in the wax, new moulds taken from an existing bronze or the reuse of the existing model. The horse and the armoured body of the rider are identical but the heads are cast separately, so that the sculptor could reuse the basic models for different patrons. Hubert Le Sueur was the son of a master armourer. He became 'Sculptor in Ordinary' to Louis XIII of France in 1614 and later came to England to work for Charles I.

Physical description

Bronze statuette of King Philip III in armour, on horseback.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


ca. 1620 (made)


Le Sueur, Hubert (maker)

Materials and Techniques



Height: 21 cm

Object history note

Given by Dr. W. L. Hildburgh, F. S. A., 1956.

Historical significance: The horse and the armoured body are identical to those of the statuette of King Louis XIII of France signed by Le Sueur which appeared on the London art market in 1976. The head, portraying King Philip III of Spain, corresponds approximately to that on the equestrian monument commissioned from Giambologna in 1606 which was cast by Pietro Tacca in Florence and finally sent to Madrid in 1616. The head and ruff are cast separately, a method of facture which probably originated in Tacca's workshop to enable basic models to be reused for different patrons.

Descriptive line

Statuette, bronze, Philip III of Spain, by Hubert Le Sueur, French, first quarter of the 17th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Avery, Charles, Studies in European Sculpture II, Christies, London, 1988, "Hubert Le Sueur, the 'Unworthy Praxiteles' of King Charles I", the Walpole Society, XLVIII, 1982, pp. 135-209 (pp. 145-235)
Avery, Charles, Studies in European Sculpture II, Christies, London, 1988. "An Equestrian statuette of Louis XIII attributed to Simon Guillain (1581-1685)". The Burlington Magazine, CXXVI, Sept. 1984, pp. 553-556 (pp. 236-240
Avery, Charles, Studies in European Sculpture , Christies, London, 1981. "Hubert Le Sueur's portraits of King Charles I in bronze at Stourhead, Ickworth and elsewhere". National Trust Studies, 1979, pp. 128-47 (pp. 189-204)
Evelyn, Peta. 'Hubert le Sueur's equestrian bronzes at the Victoria & Albert Museum. In: The Burlington Magazine, (Feb. 1995), Vol. CXXXVII, No. 1103, p. 85-92
Trusted, Marjorie, ed. The Making of Sculpture. The Materials and Techniques of European Sculpture. London: 2007, p. 57, pl. 92
Alcouffe, Daniel et al., Un temps d'exubérance : les arts décoratifs sous Louis XIII et Anne d'Autriche, Paris : Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 2002



Subjects depicted



Royalty; Sculpture; Bronze


Sculpture Collection

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