Thursday, 29 May 2008

Royal Mews, Buckingham Palace

I've cycled past this heroic struggle in stone for decades without noticing it, although that might be something to do with the aggression of van drivers in Victoria requiring an iron concentration on the road. It was only when I looked up William Theed the Younger for previous posts I noticed a reference to this sculpture on the Riding House of the Royal Mews.
The Riding House was built by Sir William Chambers in 1765 but the sculpture is part of a revamp by Sir James Pennethorne in 1858. It shows a rather dynamic Hercules (you can recognise him by the lion skin over his head and the club lying at his feet) taming the Horses of Diomedes by the simple technique of grabbing them by the manes and banging their heads together.
I don't think the Queen, a noted equestrian, would approve even though they were notorious man-eaters. Neither would she look kindly on Hercules' action in feeding Diomedes to his own horses.

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