Bronze Horses - San Marco - Venice 1967

Gilberte

Edegem, Belgium

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It is certain that the horses, along with the quadriga with which they were depicted were long displayed at the Hippodrome of Constantinople; they may be the “four gilt horses that stand above the Hippodrome” that “came from the island of Chios under Theodosius II” mentioned in the 8th- or early 9th-century Parastaseis syntomoi chronikai.5 They were still there in 1204, when they were looted by Venetian forces as part of the sack of the capital of the Byzantine Empire in the Fourth Crusade. Shortly after the Fourth Crusade, Doge Enrico Dandolo sent the horses to Venice, where they were installed on the terrace of the façade of St. Mark’s Basilica in 1254. Petrarch admired them there.6
In 1797, Napoleon had the horses forcibly removed from the basilica and carried off to Paris, where they were used in the design of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel together with a quadriga,
In 1815 the horses were returned to Venice by Captain Dumaresq (pronounced “Dum-erick”). He had fought at the Battle of Waterloo and was with the allied forces in Paris where he was selected, by the Emperor of Austria, to take the horses down from the Arc de Triomphe and return them to their original place at St Mark’s in Venice. For the skillful manner in which he performed this work the Emperor gave him a gold snuff box with his initials in diamonds on the lid. Reference “A History of The Boissier-Scobell Families” by Henry Boissier, 1933 page 7.
The horses remained in place over St. Marks until the early 1980s, when the ongoing damage from growing air pollution forced their replacement with exact replicas. Since then, the originals have been on display just inside the basilica

Under the horse, my husband and my son

Artwork Comments

  • Rosalie Dale
  • Gilberte
  • Guendalyn
  • Gilberte
  • kenspics
  • Gilberte
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