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Horse riding in the Bois de Boulogne, the Longchamp racecourse, the famous horse butchers and the Crazy Horse cabaret... there is no shortage of horse-related activities in the French capital for those willing to seek them out. But keep your eyes open on the city streets and you'll also find vivid examples of the city's historic obsession with equestrian sculpture, from noble warriors riding their chariots to classical figures mounted on floating steeds. Join us for a photographic walk through several centuries of horse-themed public art.


Renommée chevauchant Pégase par Antoine Coysevox, jardin des Tuileries. 


Fame riding Pegasus by Antoine Coysevox, Tuileries Garden. 

Pegasus is one of the best-known mythological creatures in Greek mythology. It is a winged divine stallion, usually depicted in pure white. He was fathered by Poseidon, in his role as god of horses, and brought into the world by the gorgon Medusa. He was Chrysaor's brother, born of a single birth when his mother was beheaded by Perseus.


Mercure chevauchant Pégase by 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 garden. The garden, abandoned for almost forty years, is put back in order. In 1719, La Renommée and the Mercure were brought from the king's residence in Marly and placed at the western entrance to the garden.


Statue équestre d'Henri IV au Pont-Neuf.


Equestrian statue of Henri IV at the Pont-Neuf.

The equestrian statue of Henri IV (1553-1610)  has seen many adventures.

Practical misadventures, the sovereign will never see the monument unveiled by his heir Louis XIII (1601-1643) in 1614. And vicissitudes of History, the original bronze will disappear under the club blows of the revolutionary rioters in 1792, like many Parisian royal representations.

At the instigation of Louis XVIII, a new version of this bronze pranced proudly in front of Place Dauphine in 1818. Very quickly, urban legends surrounded its creation. The monument is cast from old statues of Napoleon I. The metal is precious, so recycling is essential. But the craftsmen in charge of this enterprise, nostalgic Bonapartists, would have imagined a stratagem to avenge the insult done to the Emperor by slipping Napoleonic relics inside the horse and its rider. A restoration campaign carried out in 2004 partially lifted the veil on the mysteries of the equestrian statue of Henri IV.


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


Albert 1st 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. This is a crucial period in the history of Belgium, as it includes 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, aged 58, and was succeeded by his son Leopold.


Statue de Jeanne d'Arc


Equestrian statue of Joan of Arc, Place des Pyramides.

The monument was commissioned by the French government following the country's defeat in the  Franco-German War of 1870 .

Among the 150 statues erected in Paris during the period  1870 - 1914 , described as the "golden age of the  statuomania _cc781905-5cde-3bbb-3194- -136bad5cf58d_”, that of Joan of Arc is the only public commission placed by the State (the others being due to private initiatives) . The symbolism of the statue is "the reconquest"

It was executed by  Emmanuel Frémiet , who took as his model Aimée Girod (1856-1937), a peasant from Lorraine then living in  Domrémy , the village of Joan of Arc, died burned alive in the fire of her building in May  1937 , just like Joan of Arc in 1431. He perched her on a powerful plow horse.

Le monument du Corps Révolutionnaire Russe


The monument of the Russian Revolutionary Corps

Work of the Russian sculptor Vladimir Sourotsev, it was made in 2011, to honor the Russian soldiers fighting in France during the 1st World War between 1916 and 1918

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Lafayette by Paul Bartlett, Course the Queen

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




Equestrian statue of Louis XIV on the Place des Victoires.

The current statue was inaugurated on August 15, 1822, during the Catholic feast of the Assumption . It is the work of  François-Joseph Bosio , melted by  Auguste-Jean-Marie Carbonneaux 

For the attitude of the rider and the horse, the sculptor was inspired by the famous  Bronze Horseman  de Falconet representing Tsar  Peter the Great  at Petersburg .

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Joan of Arc by Paul Dubois, Place Saint-Augustin

Joan of Arc is a popular French heroine and a Roman Catholic saint. She was born a peasant in what is now eastern France. Claiming divine guidance, 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. Captured by the Burgundians, she passed into English hands in exchange for money, was 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 of 19 years old.


Quadrige by 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 St. Mark that adorn the top of the main doorway of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, but during the two French empires the originals were ridden for special occasions.




Renaissance France, île aux Cygnes

Renaissance France is a bronze equestrian statue installed on the Île aux Cygnes and the Pont de Bir-Hakeim in Paris. Made by Holger Wederkinch in 1930, it was donated to the municipality by the Danish community. Originally intended to represent Joan of Arc, its warrior aesthetic delayed its installation, which took place in 1958 at the cost of a name change.


statue de La Résistance de 1814, Arc de Triomphe


The Resistance of 1814, Arc de Triomphe

The principal French academic sculptors are represented in the sculpture of the Arc de Triomphe: Jean-Pierre Cortot; Francois Rude; Antoine Etex; James Pradier and Philippe Joseph Henri Lemaire. The main sculptures are not integral friezes but are treated as independent trophies applied to the vast masses of ashlar masonry, much like the gilt bronze sconces of Empire furniture. The four sculptural groups at the foot of the Arc are the Triumph of 1810 (Cortot), the Resistance and Peace (both by Antoine Étex) and the most famous of these, the Departure of the Volunteers of 1792.


Edward VII par Paul Landowski, Place Edouard VII


Edward VII by Paul Landowski, Place Edouard VII

Edward VII (9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910. The Edwardian era coincides with the start of a new century and heralds significant changes in technology and society, including powered flight and the rise of socialism. Edward fostered good relations between Britain and other European countries, especially France, which earned him the nickname "peacemaker".



Guerrier romain, Pont d'Iéna


Roman warrior, Pont d'Iéna

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




Horse with Harrow by Pierre-Louis Rouillard, Forecourt of the Musée d'Orsay

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


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Marshal Joffre, Military School

Marshal Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre was a French general during the First World War. He is best known for rallying 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.


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Equestrian statue of Louis XIII, Place des Vosges
The construction of this "royal square" began under the reign of the good king Henri IV, who wanted to build a group of bourgeois houses. Henri IV did not see it finished, as he was assassinated on 14 May 1610 by François Ravaillac. It was inaugurated in 1612, on the occasion of the engagement of Louis XIII and Anne of Austria.
For the record, the royal square, so named in 1605, was renamed Place des Vosges in 1800, to reward the first French department, the Vosges, to have paid its taxes! When you think of a royal square, you think of an equestrian statue, and Louis XIII will naturally find his place there. Louis XIII is proudly enthroned in this small garden laid out in 1682, surrounded by lime trees and enclosed by gates. 
The current statue of Louis XIII dates from 1829 and is the work of Dupaty and Cortot. The two artists used marble to make it, instead of the traditional bronze used for equestrian statues.
But it was a bad idea that they had ... because to hold the whole, they were obliged to place a large tree trunk to support the belly of the animal, the whole taking the form of a strange horse ... with five legs!





Equestrian statue of Etienne Marcel. Hôtel de Ville de Paris
Perched on a high pedestal, the equestrian statue of Etienne Marcel. Sword and ordinances in hand, he stands in the proud attitude of the conqueror of municipal liberties.
The origins of the municipality of Paris are very old, they go back to the guild of boatmen, the Nautae Parisiaci, heir of the famous Nautes. From the end of the 13th century, this water corporation represented the people before the king.
In the Middle Ages, they were succeeded by the water merchants. They had a monopoly on transport on the Seine, and became increasingly influential as Paris developed. They formed a hanse from which those who were not born in the capital were excluded, and also traded.


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