Statues are pieces of sculpture that are often close to life size and often represent a specific horse or person. They are free standing forms of art and can be put into two categories either an Equine or Equestrian Statue.
- An Equestrian statue is when a horse has a rider mounted on them.
- An Equine statue is a statue of a horse without a rider.
- If a piece of horse sculpture is small it is called a statuette.
Making A Bronze Statue
There are three methods that can be used to make a bronze statue, the hammering method, the casting method and the lost wax method, each method requires a great amount of skill from the artist.
- The Casting Method
In order to cast a statue, a mould must first be produced. The bronze is then poured into the mould and allowed to cool and set thus forming the statue. This method allows the mould to be used several times so that duplicates can be made, however due to the statues being made of solid bronze this method was often used for smaller projects.
- The Hammering Method
Using this method the artist first produces a piece of carved wood and then taking a flat piece of bronze the artist hammers it into position adding the detail during this process.
- The Lost Wax Method
The artist would first make a wooden model of the statue which would then be covered in clay, this allowed the artist to put much more detail on to the statue. This was followed by putting a thin layer of wax on top of the clay followed by a second layer of clay on top of that. The clay was then heated up to harden the clay up and melt the wax, which would melt and drain out of the statue towards the bottom of the statue. A gap in between the two layers of clay is left and it is into this gap that the molten bronze is poured and left to harden. Once the bronze has cooled and hardened the outer layer of clay is removed, and any additional details can be carved onto the bronze, leaving a lightweight statue containing a great amount of detail.
History Of Horse Statues
These magnificent forms of art were produced as early as Ancient Greece and as the popularity of horse sculptures grew they were often used as a means of celebrating an important leader or figure of the time.
The Acropolis at Athens is a world Heritage site and it was here that the statue of the Rampin Rider was uncovered. Thought to be from around 550BC the statue is made of marble and shows a Kouros astride a horse, a kouros is the modern term given to a male youth.
Bronze statues produced during this time were melted down after use and used either to make other statues or to be used for coins and so there is unfortunately only one statue that survived from this period. The statue is of Marcus Aurelius and was not melted down because it was mistaken to be that of the Christian emperor Constantine.
Michelangelo designed a special pedestal for the statue to rest on which now stands with the original statue at the Capatoline Museum. A replica of the statue has been positioned in its original position at Capitoline Hill.
During the Renaissance statues were produced of the Condottieri or mercenaries in the Italian Renaissance. The artist Donattelo produced a magnificent statue of Erasmo of Narni also known as Gattamelata. The statue stands in the square of Padua, Italy which he became a dictator of in 1437.
Another well known statue is that of Bartolomeo Colleoni a condottiere, the statue is situated in Venice and was sculpted by Verroccio.
The artist Giambologna produced the fantastic statue of Cosimo I de' Medici who was the first Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1569, the statue is in Florence and was the first statue to show a ruler rather than a condottiere.
The artist Tacca produced the colossal equestrian bronze of Philip IV, it begun in 1634 and was shipped to Madrid in 1640, the sculpture atop a fountain forms the centrepiece of the facade of the Royal Palace, the horse in the statue rears and the entire weight of the sculpture balances on the two rear legs and the tail this was the first time that this feat had been attempted on such a heroic scale.
In the United Kingdom, Bristol at the Queen Square, there is the Equestrian statue of King William III which was by John Michael Rysbrack in 1736.
There is a Equestrian statue of King George IV in Trafalgar Square, London which was done around the 1840's and also a statue of King Charles I.
In the United States there is a an equestrian statue, called the George Washington Monument that is situated in Richmond, Virginia and was created by Thomas Crawford in 1857.
In Chantilly, France the equestrian statue of Constable Anne de Montmorency stands, it was done by Paul Dubois in 1886.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the equestrian statue of Joan of Arc can be found, which was done by Emmanuel Frémiet in 1890.
You will find the equestrian statue of General Faidherbe at Richebé Lille which was by Antonin Mercié and was done in 1896. There is also the equestrian statue of Marshal Foch by Edgar Boutry at Lille also.
In the United Kingdom, Cardiff there is the Equestrian statue of Godfrey Morgan by Sir Goscombe John in 1909 and is at Gorsedd Gardens.
In the United States, Denver, Colarado there is the magnificent equestrian statue called Buckaroo which was by Alexander Phimister Proctor in 1920.
In Caen, France there is the equestrian statue of Bertrand du Guesclin which is by Arthur Le Duc in 1922.
The equestrian statue of King Louis IX is in front of the Basilique du Sacré-Cur, Paris and is by Hippolyte Lef bvre and was done in 1927.
In New York City there is the Roosevelt Memorial which is in front of the American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West and was done by James Earle Fraser in 1940.
Also in Caen, France also is the equestrian statue of Jeanne d'Arc. This statue was erected in Algiers in 1931, and then moved to Caen in 1964.
In Boyle, Ireland in 1999 there is the statue of Gaelic Chieftain by Maurice Harron at the Curlew Pass, the statue is on the site of where the Battle of Curlew Pass took place.
In Dombóvár, Greece there is the Monument to Sebestyén Tinódi Lantos which is by Dávid Raffay and was completed in 2000.
At the Kentucky Horse Park in 2004, positioned in the Secretariat Plaza is the beautiful statue of Secretariat who won racing's Triple Crown, Secretariat is being led by his groom Eddie Sweat and ridden by Ron Turcotte.
The Giant White Horse statue will be positioned in Springhead Park, Kent and has been designed by the former Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger. The horse will be standing on all four hooves at 33 times life-size which will make it around a staggering 164 feet high.
Equestrian Statues From Around The World
There are many magnificent equine and equestrian statues around the world, here are just a few of them:
Equestrian Statues In Italy
- In Rome there is the equestrian statue of Emperor Constantine I, which was designed by Bernini in 1670.
- In 1895 the equestrian statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi was designed by Emilio Gallori and positioned at the Piazza Garibaldi.
- The equestrian statue of Cosimo I de' Medici by Giambologna was created in 1598 and is on the Piazza della Signoria in Florence.
- In Milan there is the Equestrian monument to Victor Emmanuel II which was done by Ercole Rosa in 1896 and is positioned at the Piazza del Duomo.
- There is also the equestrian statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi by Ettore Ximenes in 1895 which is at the Piazzale Carioli, Milan.
- In 1916 Riccardo Ripamonti produced the equestrian statue of General Giuseppe Missori which can be found at the Piazza Missori, Milan.
- In Venice in 1887 the equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II was produced by Ettore Ferra.
Equestrian Statues Around The World Continued:
American Equestrian Statues
- In Newark, New Jersey there is the equestrian statue of Bartolommeo Colleoni by J. Massey Rhind which is a 1916 copy of Andrea del Verrocchio's statue.
- In San Diego, California you will find the equestrian statue of El Cid in the Balboa Park, created by Anna Hyatt Huntington.
- In 1925 Houston, Texas the bronze equestrian statue of Sam Houston stands, the statue was done by Enrico Filiberto Cerracchio and is at the entrance of Hermann Park.
- In Boston, Massachusetts there is the equestrian statue of George Washington, which was created by Thomas Ball in 1869.
- In Chicago, Illinois stands the statue of General Philip Sheridan by Gutzon Borglumin 1923.
United Kingdom Equestrian Statues
- In London there is the Equestrian statue of King Richard I which was produced by Carlo Marochetti and is situated outside the Houses of Parliament.
- In Chester the equestrian statue of Field Marshall Stapleton Cotton by Carlo Marochetti stands at the end of the Grosvenor Bridge, opposite the entrance to Chester Castle.
- In Leeds there is the equestrian statue of Prince Edward which stands in City Square and was sculptured by Sir Thomas Brock.
- In Liverpool there are the equestrian statues of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert which were both sculptured by Thomas Thorneycroft and stand in front of the St. George's Hall.
- In Mells, Canterbury positioned inside the Church of St Andrew is the equestrian statue of Edward Horner (who fell at the Battle of Cambrai in 1917) and which was designed by Sir Alfred Munnings.
Equestrian Statues In France
- The equestrian statue of Jeanne d'Arc and can be found in Paris on the Rue de Rivoli, the statue is by Emmanuel Fremiet.
- There is a equestrian statue of Napoleon Bonaparte at Champs-Elysees in Paris.
- At Lyon there is the equestrian statue of Louis XIV at the Place Bellecour this statue is by Francois-Frederic Lemot.
Equestrian Statues In Argentina
- There is an equestrian statue of José de San Martin at the Plaza San Martin which was done by Louis-Joseph Daumas in 1862.
- There is also an equestrian statue of Carlos María de Alvear which was done by Antoine Bourdelle at the Plaza Francia in Recoleta.
Equestrian Statues In Australia
- In Adelaide there is the South African War Memorial which was designed by Adrian Jones, and was dedicated on June 6, 1904, the monument was the first equestrian commemorative sculpture in the country.
- In Melbourne there is the equestrian statue of King Edward VII which was by Edgar Bertram Mackennal.
- In Sydney the equestrian sculpture of King Edward VII stands, the statue is located near to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Macquarie Street and was done by Sir Thomas Brock and erected in 1921.
Equestrian Statues In Austria
- In Vienna there is the equestrian statue of Prince Eugen which was done by Anton Dominik Fernkorn at the Heldenplatz in 1865.
- Also in Vienna, in front of the Albertina, is the equestrian sculpture of Archduke Albrecht which is by Kaspar von Zumbusch and was done is 1899.
- The equestrian statue of Archduke Karl in 1859 shows the horse rearing and is therefore only connected to the pedestal with the horses back feet, this amazing feat was achieved by Anton Dominik Fernkorn.
Equestrian Statues In Belgium
- In Brussels there is the equestrian monument of Godfrey of Bouillon which is situated in the Royal Square.
- In Liege there is the equestrian statue of Charlemagne which was sculpted by Louis Jéhotte in 1867.
- In Nieuwpoort there is the Monument to Albert I, commemorating the Belgian troops killed in World War I.
Equestrian Statues In Brazil
- In Porto Alegre there is the equestrian statue of General Osório which is by Hildegardo Leo Velloso at the Alfândega park, 1933.
- In Sao Paulo there is the equestrian of Duque de Caxias which is by Victor Brecheret.
- Also in Sao Paulo there is the Stone Monument Bandeiras at the Ibirapuera Park which is by Victor Brecheret and was sculptured in 1954.
- The equestrian monument to architect Ramos de Azevedo is by Galileo Emendabili and was sculptured around 1934.
Equestrian Statues In Canada
- In Ottawa there is the equestrian statue of Queen Elizabeth II which is by Jack Harman and positioned at Parliament Hill in 1992.
- In Calgary there is the Monument to R.L. Boyle, in Central Memorial Park.
- In Regina there is the equestrian statue of Queen Elizabeth II which was done in 2005 and is by Susan Velder the monument is located north of the Legislative Building.
- In Toronto there is the equestrian statue of King Edward VII by Sir Thomas Brock, the statue was created in Delhi, India in 1919 and then moved to Queen's Park in 1969.
Equestrian Statues in Denmark
- In Copenhagen there is the bronze equestrian monument of Bishop Absalon which was by Herman Wilhelm Bissen and erected in 1902.
- The equestrian monument of King Frederik V in bronze is by Jacques-Francois-Joseph Saly and is positioned in front of Amalienborg Palace, it was erected in 1771.
- The equestrian monument of King Frederik VII in bronze is by the sculptor Herman Wilhelm Bissen and was erected in 1873. The monument is situated at Christiansborg Palace Square.
Equestrian Statues In Germany
- In Berlin there is the statue of King Friedrich II by Christian Daniel Rauch and is in the Unter den Linden.
- In Düsseldorf there is the equestrian sculpture of Duke Johann Wilhelm by Gabriel de Grupello.
Also in Dusseldorf is the statue of Emperor Wilhelm I by Karl Janssen in the Alleestraße.
- In Hamberg there is the statue of Emperor Wilhelm I by Gustav Eberlein in 1898, the statue is in front of the Altona Town hall.
- In Koblenz the magnificent monument of Emperor Wilhelm I by Emil Hundrieser. It is the tallest of the Kaiser Wilhelm equestrian monuments and reaches 14 meters in height.
Equestrian Statues In Greece
- In Thessaloniki there is the equestrian statue of Alexander the Great riding his horse Bucephalus who is rearing.
- In Makó is the equestrian statue of King Stephen I by Lajos Győrfi and Jenő Ferenc Kiss.
- In Pécs there is the equestrian statue of Hunyadi János which is by Pál Pátzay and is in the Széchenyi square, 1956.
Equestrian Statues In Luxemburg
- The equestrian statue of King William II of Holland is by Antonin Mercié and is at the Place Guillaume.
- Luxembourg's Place Guillaume is the former emplacement of a Franciscan convent and has been converted into a pedestrian zone. In the center is the equestrian statue of William II (Mercié, 1884), King of Holland and Grand Duke of Luxembourg.
Equestrian Statues In Mexico City
- The Equestrian statue of Charles IV of Spain was produced by Tolsa and can be found on Tacuba avenue. The statue is also known as "El Caballito".