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Horse Statuary
 By Winniefield Park   •   17th Mar 2018   •   866 views   •   0 comments
Horse Statuary

As you travel around, you will no doubt encounter an equestrian or equine statue. In some cities like Rome, Brisbane, London and Washington D.C. there are many such statues and they may commemorate a horse person or event.

Equine or Equestrian Statuary
There is a distinction between equine and equestrian statues. Equine statues are statues of horses only. An example would be the bronze statue of Secretariat at Belmont Park, which shows Secretariat running freely with his mane and tail blowing in the wind. Equestrian statues show both horse and rider, and it is often the rider that the statue is in honor of and not the horse. One of the oldest equestrian statues is an almost 14 ft high bronze depicting the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, famous for his writings on stoicism.

Position of Legs
The equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius shows the Roman emperor astride a horse that holds one forefoot high. Thereís long been a belief that the position of the horseís legs has meaning. For example, if the horse was rearing, with both forefeet, it meant the rider died in battle. But, thatís not true. The position of the horseís legs and hooves has more to do with providing a stable base for the statue and the with the taste of the artist.

Horse Statuary
Statue of Marcus Aurelius

The oldest horse statues are ivory carvings by people who lived before mammoths became extinct. Most ancient statues have disappeared, and even early Greek statuary that still exists is in the form of reliefs, statues partially built into the sides of buildings. This method provides support and protection for the statues that free-standing statues would not have.

Terracotta Army
Today, there are many burial options but none are as elaborate as some from ancient times. The pyramids of Egypt are an example of burial monuments done on a large scale. Another example is the tomb of the first emperor of China. About 2300 years ago, the emperor was buried with statues depicting his attendants in the afterlife. Amongst the incredible collection of statues that includes military personnel, entertainers and many objects such as weapons, and even birds like ducks and swans. In the army of around 8000 soldiers, all carved and once painted with individual faces, are 130 chariots with 520 horses and about 150 mounted cavalry horses. It is one of the oldest and largest collections of equine and equestrian statuary.

Horse Statuary
Terracotta Army

Largest Equestrian Statues
The largest equestrian statue in the world is a silver stylized depiction of the Mongolian emperor Genghis Khan wearing armor astride a horse. The 40-meter (130 ft) statue sits atop the Genghis Khan Statue Complex, a visitor centre, itself 10 meters (33 ft). The Genghis Khan statue could be eclipsed by the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota. This statue is being carved out of the side of a mountain, similar to the Mount Rushmore sculpture. The carving began in 1948 and work continues today. When finished, the statue will be over twice the height of the Mount Rushmore statues.

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