Leonardo da Vinci’s Horse
In 1996 the board of directors of the world famous Tallix Art Foundry in Beacon, New York approached James Cox and invited him to join them in an effort to develop new projects and open different avenues for the skills and resources at Tallix. The previous year, a friend, collector and former Grand Central Art Galleries client of Cox’s had designated Tallix as his foundry of choice for an important project he had worked on for over fifteen years.
Charles Dent, airline pilot, collector and amateur sculptor, left instructions before his death the same year for Tallix to enlarge and cast in bronze, a colossal twenty-four foot stallion based on the notebooks and drawings of Leonardo da Vinci.
James Cox selected the project as an ideal focus for his art marketing acumen and the unmatched resources of the Tallix Art Foundry. A three- year effort ensued with Cox director of sales, marketing and worldwide promotion.
Since 1977, Leonardo’s dream to create a massive bronze horse, Il Cavallo, had been resuscitated by Charles Dent as a symbol of the power of creativity and the importance of the Italian Renaissance. From the time Dent first realized that this audacious dream was indeed possible to complete, he envisioned that The Horse would be a gift from American friends to the citizens of Italy…a gesture of good will between nations.
Sculptor Nina Akamu and a team of assistants brought the proud beast to artistic fruition, and the final casting was installed in San Siro (the Cultural Park), Milan, Italy in 1999. In fact, the unveiling celebration occurred on September 10, 1999…five hundred years (to the day) from the date that invading French armies destroyed Leonardo’s famous original clay and stucco model.
Cox’s marketing and public relations effort resulted in worldwide publicity including “The Horse” being featured on the front page of the New York Times, three times! Limited editions of the stallion in small sizes helped finance the project, as did Cox’s sale of a second twenty-four foot casting (The American Horse) to the Fredrick Meijer Sculpture Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where it stands today.