A hybrid mythological creature, half-man, half-animal, the centaur embodies wild strength, speed, the spirit of conquest. Built of an assemblage of metallic plates, elegant molds and everyday objects realized in bronze, César's version is both powerful and excessively delicate. The artist took particular care over the details of the hands and feet in a way that is reminiscent of classical equestrian sculpture. The face is also intriguing and resembles the artist in its rifts and angles. A mask representing Picasso's face covers it, heightening the impression that this self-portrait is much more obsequious than it seems.
A major piece in César's career that many consider to be one of the masterpieces of the history of statuary, the Centaure is the perfect synthesis of classicism and modernism. Composed of clear cut contours and broken angles, the work breaks with abstraction and employs the most contemporary of materials and techniques. the Centaure is thus a complex work of many meanings and which embodies the singularity of César's artistic approach. Its eloquence is intensified by its large size that pulls the spectator into an encounter or even a confrontation.
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