Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Dead Hero On Horseback

 So, we now know why the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square hasn't been permanently occupied yet; it has been earmarked (by whatever unelected clique really rules this island) for an equestrian statue of the present queen- to be erected after her death.

That is to say, for something of no artistic worth whatsoever, which future generations will ignore- just as we ignore the memorial statues on all the other plinths.

Because it's almost inconceivable that a real artist would be handed a commission like this, isn't it?

Or would want to undertake it. 

It's not just that public expectations will restrict the artist to the bland and generic- though it's that too- it's also that the genre "dead hero on horseback" is completely moribund. For all the implicit drama, there's surprisingly little you can do with it. A horse is a horse is a horse- and there's not much variation you can work in the rider's pose either: the legs can only go so, the back must be straight, at least one arm must be holding the reins. 

The problem was solved- back in the 1480s- by Andrea Del Verrocchio.  His Colleoni monument (I'd post a picture, but I can't find a decent one online) is the genre's definitive masterpiece. Everything since restates or copies Verrochio- and suffers by comparison.
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