Bellerophon Taming Pegasus: Large Version

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, 4420 Warwick Boulevard, Kansas City, MO

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Jacques Lipchitz

1964, Acquired by Kemper in 2000


From a distance, this sculpture looks like a twisting, abstract piece perched precariously atop a pedestal. However, upon closer inspection, you will find a sculpture inspired by the myth of the Greek hero Bellerophon. In the myth, Bellerophon had been tasked with slaying the Chimaera. One step along the way was to acquire the flying horse Pegasus. Pegasus, being a wild horse, did not take kindly to Bellerophon placing a rope around his neck. The sculpture depicts the struggle between Bellerophon and Pegasus in Bellerophon’s attempt to tame the flying horse. Bellerophon holds tightly to the rope around Pegasus’ neck while trying to avoid being buffeted by the wings and being kicked by the hooves of the horse.

This sculpture is 15 feet tall and sits near the west entrance to the Kemper Museum. There is an even larger version of this sculpture, at nearly 30 feet tall, at Columbia University in New York.