The Horse Tamers

Art Deco "Trojan Horseman" Bookends with Golden Finish (LEO Design)

In the Art Deco period, "heroic" human figures—like this "Trojan Horseman"—would be used as decorative elements in the architecture of the day. Usually, the sculpture was designed to represent some intangible element of a robust society: commerce, labor, agriculture. A walk through central Washington, DC will present many such examples—on Thirties buildings which manage and guide the various important agencies for the nation.

The theme of "Horse Tamers" in artwork is one that goes back to Rome with the monumental sculptures of Castor & Pollux (and their horses) standing near the Baths of Constantine on Quirinal Hill. A pair of sculpted Horse Tamers by Baron Peter Clodt von Jurgensburg (plus two more by a different artist) grace the Anichkov Bridge in Saint Petersburg. They were considered so fine that the Russian Tsar sent a pair to the King of Sicily which decorate the Neapolitan Royal Palace today. And there are the "Marly Horses" in the Louvre, originally carved for Louis XIV. 


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