Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Le Cheval majeur (Large horse), 1914

Who am I ?

My first is the start of “chemin”
My second is a small valley
The sails of a boat are attached to my third
If my fourth is “de mains” then he’s cunning
Put my fifth before “ou” to make it turn
And my whole is a sculpture by the French artist Raymond Duchamp-Villon.

Need any more clues ?

This sculpture was the result of a long period of research undertaken before the war. Fascinated by movement and influenced by futurism, Raymond Duchamp-Villon began his work in 1910. He was inspired by horses, like many other artists before him, but also used them as a starting point to express the mechanical revolutions of the 19th and 20th Centuries: the train, the car, speed! The animal, which wonderfully embodies movement, becomes mechanical and a driving force. He wanted to cast the sculpture in steel but had only completed the plaster original when he died of typhoid fever in 1918. This self-taught sculptor’s iconic work nevertheless pursued its destiny: an initial cast was made in 1921 for the American collector John Quinn. Then Raymond Duchamp-Villon’s brother,  Jacques Villon, took inspiration from the framework left in the studio and had a bronze cast made, a metre high, known as the “Grand Cheval” (Large horse). Later on, his other brother, Marcel Duchamp, produced a final enlargement 1m50 high, which was used as a model for the steel cast made in 1984 by the musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy in accordance with the artist’s wishes.

Did you find the answer to the riddle ?  

1 : che ; 2 : val ; 3 : ma(t) ; 4 : jeu ; 5 : r  = Cheval Majeur (Large horse)

You’ll find the “Cheval Majeur” in the permanent 20th Century collections.