Saturday, 17 March 2012

Parisian Horses

A week in the mountains in Switzerland staying on a horse farm, has left me contemplating horses. I know very little about them, but appreciate and am seduced by their beauty. For the first year of our daughter's schooling in Paris she went to a school on the Isle Saint Louis. This school was in the catchment area for the Garde Républicaine. Half the pupils were children of Republican Guards. Our daughter was always berating her dad because he 'didn't even have a horse'. Well. No.

Once you start to look, Paris has its' fair share of horses. There are stone ones. Here is winged horse (one of a pair) by the main entrance into the Jardin des Tuileries on the Place de Concorde. It represents Mercury and was sculpted by Antoine Coysevox  in 1719. Unusually, the rider has a seagull on his head rather than a pigeon.

And then there are bronze horses. This one is also on the Place de Concorde. I love its' wild mane blowing in the wind.

On the Champs-Élysées side of the grand Palais are two bronze horses pulling a chariot depicting immortality over time. I'm a big fan of patinated green and am impressed with the motion captured by sculpter Georges Récipon.

Here is a bronze statue we saw at the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen. Its' grimace is rather scary and I think it's a little large for our balcony. So...we won't be buying it.

Then there are wooden horses to be found on the traditional old manèges (merry go rounds) around the city.

This ceramic horse is in the Horse museum at Chantilly (more real-live-horse photos in Chantilly can be found here), 40kms north of Paris. I loves its' muzzle. It's not soft and silky to touch...but to look at, yes.

Then of course there are the beautifully gilded horses. On a sunny day they look absolutely stunning. This winged horse is on the Pont Alexandre III.


And this horse, which I spotted on a side road in the 18th's not a horse.

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