Why Are There so Many Statues of Men on Horseback?

Since the Time of Marcus Aurelius, It's Been Viewed as the Perfect Combination of Power and Virtue

Statues are created to project meaning. Contemporary public artworks, for example, use purposely veiled messages aimed to generate thoughtful exchange with the viewer and to prompt reflection. By contrast, historic monumental sculptures employ symbolism that is direct and intentionally easy for viewers to understand.

The ancient Roman tradition of publicly displaying monumental equestrian statues of important historical figures is a particularly striking case of how to convey meaning in no uncertain terms.

Traditionally cast in bronze, these huge forms of horse and rider display messages of dominance, power, and virtue through …

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