The Anichkovsky Horses

 Posted by on 25 May 2006 at 6:26 am  Uncategorized
May 252006

I recently finished re-reading We the Living (which I hadn’t read in over 10 years), and I was especially struck by this magnificent passage near the beginning of Part 2. Rand is describing the famous statues on the bridge near Anichkovsky palace:

Four black statues stand at the four corners of the bridge. They may be only an accident and an ornament; they may be the very spirit of Petrograd, the city raised by man against the will of nature. Each statue is of a man and a horse. In the first one, the furious hoofs of a rearing beast are swung high in the air, ready to crush the naked, kneeling man, his arm stretched in a first effort toward the bridle of the monster. In the second, the man is up on one knee, his torso leaning back, the muscles of his legs, of his arms, of his body ready to burst through the skin, as he pulls at the bridle, in the supreme moment of the struggle. In the third, they are face to face, the man up on his feet, his head at the nostrils of a beast bewildered by a first recognition of its master. In the fourth, the beast is tamed; it steps obediently, led by the hand of the man who is tall, erect, calm in his victory, stepping forward with serene assurance, his head held straight, his eyes looking steadily into an unfathomable future.

After some Google searching, I was able to find images of each of the four sculptures. (Much to my surprise, there was no single website that had an image of all four).

For those with a taste for art collection, the Hermitage Museum also sells tiny replicas of all four statues for $70-80 apiece.

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha