The equestrian statue of King José I of Portugal, in the Praça do Comércio, was designed by Joaquim Machado de Castro after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and is a pinnacle of Absolutist age statues in Europe.
A horse statue with legs raised in the air is said to signify that the rider was killed in battle. Although this is a common belief among some equestrians and artisans alike, this designation is not universally applied. At some historic sites across the United States and in other countries, horses ...
Folk wisdom has it that equestrian statues contain a code whereby the rider’s fate can be determined by noting how many hooves the horse has raised. The most common theory has it that if one ...
The hoof code mostly holds true in terms of Gettysburg equestrian statues, but there is at least one exception. James Longstreet wasn't wounded in this battle yet his horse has one foot raised. (illustration from Longstreet page )
There are statues all over the place, all over the world, but a set of myths have developed regarding some in Europe, in particular, statues of people on horseback and statues of medieval knights and monarchs. On a statue of a horse and rider, the number of legs in the air reveals information about ...
Winchester’s raised leg symbolizes his rider was wounded in battle (the legs of [General Ulysses S.] Grant’s horse [as seen in another Chicago statue] are on the ground, meaning he was not wounded).”
If one leg is raised, the general died after receiving an injury in battle. If the general died on the battlefield, the statue will have the horse with both front off the ground or perhaps one front leg and one hind leg raised.
The idea is that equestrian statues follow a code which signifies how the rider fared in battle by how many of their mount’s feet are raised from the ground. One Hoof – If one hoof is raised they were wounded in battle, but may not have died as a result of those wounds.
For example, in Gettysburg, the statue of James Longstreet features his horse with one foot raised, even though Longstreet was not wounded in battle. Even the most cursory look at the statues around Washington, D.C. quickly disproves that the hoof code at all holds sway in that locale.
The equestrian statue, with a horse-mounted rider, dates back to ancient Rome, when military leaders and emperors commissioned bronze statues to emphasize their leadership roles. Eventually, they were melted down and the bronze was reused for other statues.