In 1928, and again in 1937, parts of a large-scale bronze horse and nearly complete jockey were recovered from the sea off Cape Artemision in Greece, where they had gone down in a shipwreck. These original Hellenistic sculptures, known together as the "Horse and Jockey Group from Artemision," are among the very few surviving bronze sculptures from antiquity. Seán Hemingway has been allowed by the National Museum in Athens to investigate the horse and jockey statuary group as no one ever has before, and in this book, combining archaeological and art historical methods of investigation, he provides the first in-depth study of this rare and beautiful monument. New technical analyses of the statues by Helen Andreopoulou-Mangou form an appendix to the volume.
Hemingway begins with an introduction to Hellenistic bronze statuary and what we know about this extraordinary class of ancient sculpture. He then recounts with riveting detail the discovery and painstaking restoration of the statue group, describing the technique of its creation and carefully reviewing scholarly knowledge and speculation about it. He also provides a valuable compendium of what is known about ancient Greek horse racing, the most prestigious and splendid of all Greek sports. After a full consideration of all the available evidence, he speculates further about the work’s original meaning and function. His study provides a glimpse of the excellence achieved by Hellenistic bronze sculptors, and it will become the definitive resource on this unique sculpture from ancient Greece.