ARTHUR SPRONKEN BIO
1930 - 2017
Arthur Spronken was born in Stream, Limburg in 1930. He pursued formal artistic training from 1948-1952 at the Art Industries School in Maastricht with the encouragement of Paul Smalbach, a family friend who had helped his mother escape the war.
At the school, he developed his talent through stone sculpture, drawing and studies of anatomy. His love for sculpting flourished and his admiration for Italian art drove him to pursue a year’s training at the Academia delle Bell Arti in Milan in 1954. There he was under the instruction of the world-renowned Italian sculptor Marino Marini. Marini’s passion for the figure of the horse along with childhood stories of his grandfather’s horses played an influential role in directing Spronken towards sculpting the torsos of horses.
Upon his return to the Netherlands, Spronken began sculpting religious figures in wood. By 1961 the wood had evolved into bronze and the religious icons to distorted horses. Despite his classical training, he allows figurative freedom in his work. He sculpts his horses in contorted positions, floating and spinning freely through the air. His artistic break came in 1963 when he was awarded first prize by the Troisième International Biennale des Jeunes Artistes at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris for sculpted art.