La statuaire équestre parisienne. Interprétation des représentations d'un bestiaire (XVIIe-XXe siècles)

Valentin PELOSSE

fr Anthropozoologica 21 - Pages 277-282

Published on 01 November 1995

This article is a part of the thematic issue Animal in man's space, man in the animal space. Proceedings of the 5th international meeting of HASRI, Genova, 23-25 November 1994

The Parisian equestrian statuary. An essay of comparative interpretation

In Paris, there are numerous statuary representations of the horse associated with Man. At the time of their erection, they signifed political power (in the case of royal equestrian statues, among others), and subsequently were only valued as works of art. Certain statues retain a strong politico-ideological dimension (Joan of Arc, place des Pyramides). From the point of view of conventions of representation, historical equestrian groups can be juxtaposed with allegorical ones. In the first case, the accent is put on the mastery of the animal by Man; in the second case, the animal bolts away and escapes from its master. A comparison is established with léonine allegorical figures, often associated with the Republic as an image of the people, as well as with the heraldic eagle, in principle linked with the impérial regime of the First and Second Empire. The perception of this urban statuary by a passer-by seems, in general, subliminal. And yet, its perception has to do with the constitution of aframeworkfor identity référence.


Horse, Lion, Eagle, Animal symbology, Urban statuary.

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