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Horse riding in the Bois de Boulogne, the Longchamp racecourse, the famous horse butchers and, uh, the Crazy Horse cabaret ... it is obvious that there is no shortage of horse-related activities in the French capital for those who are ready and eager to find out. But keep your eyes peeled on the city streets and you'll also find vivid examples of the city's historic obsession with equestrian sculpture, from noble warriors on horseback for a charge to classical figures Join us for a photographic gallop through several centuries of public art on the theme of the horse.

Renommée chevauchant Pégase par Antoine Coysevox, jardins des Tuileries


Fame riding Pegasus by Antoine Coysevox, Tuileries gardens

Pegasus is one of the most famous creatures in Greek mythology. He is a winged divine stallion, usually depicted as pure white. He was fathered by Poseidon, in his role of god-horse, and was given birth by the Gorgon Medusa. He was the brother of Chrysaor, born from a single childbirth when his mother was beheaded by Perseus.

Jeanne d'Arc par Paul Dubois, Place Saint-Augustin


Joan of Arc by Paul Dubois, Place Saint-Augustin

Joan of Arc is a popular heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint. She was born a peasant in eastern France. Claiming divine tutelage, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years War, which paved the way for the coronation of Charles VII of France. She was captured by the Burgundians, transferred to the English in exchange for money, tried by the pro-English bishop of Beauvais, Pierre Cauchon, for "insubordination and heterodoxy", and was burned at the stake for heresy at the age 19.

Mercure chevauchant Pégase par Antoine Coysevox, jardin des Tuileries

Mercury riding Pegasus by Antoine Coysevox, Tuileries garden

After the death of Louis XIV, the young Louis XV, aged five, became the owner of the Tuileries Gardens. The garden, abandoned for nearly forty years, is put back in order. In 1719, La Renommée and Mercure were brought from the king's residence to Marly and placed at the western entrance to the garden.

Albert 1er de Belgique par Armand Martial, Cours la Reine

Albert 1er of Belgium by Armand Martial, Cours la Reine

Albert I (April 8, 1875 - February 17, 1934) reigned as King of the Belgians from 1909 to 1934. It was a crucial period in the history of Belgium since it included the period of the First World War (1914-1918) during which 99% of Belgium was invaded, occupied and ruled by the German Empire. King Albert was killed in a mountaineering accident in eastern Belgium in 1934, at the age of 58, and his son Leopold succeeded him.

La France Renaissante, pont de Bir-Hakeim


La France Renaissante, Bir-Hakeim bridge

La France Renaissante by Holger Wederkinch was erected in 1958 at the northern Point of the Île aux Cygnes.

Joseph Joffre par Maxime Real del Sarte, Place Joffre


Joseph Joffre by Maxime Real del Sarte, Place Joffre

Marshal Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre was a French general during the First World War. He is best known for having regrouped the retreating Allied armies to defeat the Germans in the strategically decisive First Battle of the Marne in 1914. His popularity earned him the nickname Papa Joffre.

Quadrige par François Joseph Bosio, Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel


Quadriga by François Joseph Bosio, Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

The Arc de Triomphe du Carrouse was built between 1806 and 1808 to commemorate Napoleon's military victories the previous year. The quadriga at the top of the arch is a copy of the "Horses of Saint Mark" which adorns the top of the main door of Saint Mark's Basilica in Venice, but under the two French Empires the originals were used for special occasions.

Cheval à la herse by Pierre-Louis Rouillard, Parvis du musée d'Orsay


Harrow horse by Pierre-Louis Rouillard, Parvis of the Musée d'Orsay

Pierre Louis Rouillard (Paris, January 16, 1820 - Paris, June 2, 1881) was known for his sculptures of animals. He was part of a "school of French animal keepers" which also included Pierre-Jules Mêne, Antoine-Louis Barye, Auguste Caïn and François Pompon. He worked mainly in cast iron rather than bronze.



Edward VII by Paul Landowski, Place Edouard VII

Edward VII (November 9, 1841 - May 6, 1910) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from January 22, 1901 until his death in 1910. The Edwardian era coincided with the start of a new century and heralded significant changes in technology and society, including motorized flight and the rise of socialism. Edward fostered good relations between Great Britain and other European countries, particularly France, for which he was popularly called "Peacemaker".

Guerrier romain, Pont d'Iéna

Roman warrior, Pont d'Iéna

Installed in 1853, at both ends of the bridge, four sculptures rest on four corresponding pylons: a Gallic warrior by Antoine-Augustin Préault and a Roman warrior by Louis-Joseph Daumas for the right bank; an Arab warrior by Jean-Jacques Feuchère and a Greek warrior by François Devault for the left bank.

Chevaux de Marly, Place de la Concorde

Horses of Marly, Place de la Concorde

The Chateau de Marly was a relatively small French royal residence located in what has become Marly-le-Roi, the commune that existed on the edge of the royal park. During the Revolution, the marble horses of Guillaume Coustou the Elder, the Horses of Marly, were transported to Paris (1794), to frame the opening of the Champs-Élysées on the future Place de la Concorde.

La Résistance de 1814, Arc de Triomphe

The Resistance of 1814, Arc de Triomphe

The main academic sculptors of France are represented in the sculpture of the Arc de Triomphe: Jean-Pierre Cortot; François Rude; Antoine Étex; James Pradier and Philippe Joseph Henri Lemaire. The main sculptures are not full friezes but are treated as independent trophies applied to the vast masses of freestone masonry, much like the applications of gilded bronze on Empire furniture. The four groups sculpted at the base of the Arc are Le Triomphe de 1810 (Cortot), Resistance et Paix (both by Antoine Étex) and the most famous of them, Départ des Volontaires de 1792.

Lafayette par Paul Bartlett, Cours la Reine, Jacques Bravo

Lafayette by Paul Bartlett, Cours la Reine

Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette (6 September 1757 – 20 May 1834), often known simply as Lafayette, was a French aristocrat and military officer born in Chavaniac, in the province of Auvergne in south central France. Lafayette was a general in the American Revolutionary War and a leader of the Garde nationale during the French Revolution.

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