Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Horsepower


That is one mighty horse! In 2000 we went to the USA to visit friends and family near Michigan. Our friends in Grand Rapids took us to the Frederik Meijer Gardens, where we encountered the gigantic fellow above.


Here’s my husband admiring the statue at close quarters, just to give you an idea of scale. I still have the leaflet which tells the story of ‘Leonardo da Vinci’s Horse; the 24 foot masterpiece’ and this modern realisation (click to enlarge).










There are many monumental sculptures of heroic and chivalrous figures, some real, some legendary, around the world. For instance the statue of El Cid, which you may remember from my blogpost Beguiled by Burgos, where the human subject is the focus; in this wonderful piece of art above, there is no doubting where the power lies.



I was pleased to discover, in my parents’ albums, this photograph of my mother, studying a strikingly similar example at the West Yorkshire Sculpture Park in August 1989, when the statue was on temporary loan from France. Smaller, yes, but still a powerful image. I don’t know anything about the sculptor in this case, but I can still admire the artistry involved.

Finally, here is a link to the artist Amy Goodman’s site, which shows the progress of her War Horse statue, a permanent memorial to the thousands of horses shipped into battle during WW1. About 120, 000 of the 1.3 million horses and mules involved in the conflict, passed through a giant military depot  near Romsey, Hampshire, where they and their handlers were trained; only about ten horses survived the war. Here you can read the story behind the memorial park and statue.

This week’s Sepia Saturday had a poster which hinted at horses and power.


Visit other Sepians to see how they interpreted the prompt above.

17 comments:

  1. I remember my first view of the horse. Our friends had said we were going to see a big horse, but the scale of it astonished me.

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  2. Enormous indeed, and perhaps what makes it seem even more so is that you can walk between its legs. Most horse statues that I've seen have been on pedestals.

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  3. A huge and impressive beast. Your Mum obviously appreciated the beauty of him too. I have yet to visit "the Kelpies" at Grangemouth but you have given me a reminder to go, thank you.

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  4. I might have to take a trip to Michigan now -- he's incredible!

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  5. Wow - it certainly is impressive!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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  6. The huge horse sculptures are very impressive.

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  7. Some wonderful photos of horse statuary & thanks for the links to information about the park, & about the war horses. I never thought about so many horses needed for the war, but of course they would be back then. Poor horses - they've been killed in great numbers in wars down through the ages until mobile machines finally came along. It's a wonder there are any left.

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  8. I knew nothing about these Horse Statues before and have seen nothing like them - they are so impressive.

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  9. I've never heard of these statues either. They are amazing.

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  10. Fascinating! We are going to visit Milan next month, so will look out for the 'twin' to the Michigan horse there.

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  11. In the first photo the girl seems to be holding the horse's hoof up. That reminds me of photos of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in which people pose from a distance appearing to be holding it up.

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  12. That huge horse was in Atlanta for awhile before he moved on. I guess he went up to Michigan. Amazingly large.

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  13. Ever since ancient times, artists have portrayed the nobility and power of horses in grand style, but this one takes the prize! The histories of WW1 usually concentrate on the human casualties but I think the horrendous loss of horses and mules are what make this awful war truly obscene. In my recent story on army mules, I learned that there were possibly as many mules as horses used in the war. War mules deserve a grand statue, and so do donkeys, and camels too.

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  14. Thanks for the link to Amy Goodman's site, where I enjoyed seeing her process of creating the statue in clay first. I am always glad to see a woman sculptor. The giant statues are good reminders of how our civilization was dependent upon these wonderful animals for a long time.

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  15. Wow, the Michigan statue is impressive - but a bit overpowering. Actually I think I prefer the smaller and (dare I say it) better one that your mother found.

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