Christian Schussele (1824–1879)
The Rocking Horse, c. 1850
Oil on canvas, 16 x 12 in.
Signed lower left: C. Schussele
Provenance: private collection, Irvington, New York
The Rocking Horse presents a light-hearted scene of children’s play. As a young girl in pink tries to rock back and forth on her horse, her brother mischievously holds up the bridle, arresting the motion of the horse, and brandishes a riding crop, as if to whip the rocking horse. Their concerned mother looks up from her sewing to see this naughty behavior, and seems on the point of reprimanding her son. The scene takes place in an 1850s interior, with a Rococo Revival armchair, a landscape framed in the style of that period, and patterned wallpaper. Sunlight shines in from the open window, warming a climbing vine outside.