Amalienborg royal courtyard with the statue
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My kingdom for a horse

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The equestrian statue of King Frederik V has pride of place in the centre of Amalienborg Slotsplads. It was created in 1753-74 by French sculptor Jacques François Joseph Saly (1717-1776). The project was initiated by King Frederik V but the Danish Asiatic Company…

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World-class art at what cost?

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Time / Periode 1753 1774
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When Saly was invited to Denmark, no one could have imagined that a statue of a horse and rider could be so expensive or time consuming. The project ended up costing such an extortionate amount because the artist refused to compromise on his work. His attention to detail included everything down to the shape of the horseshoes according to Danish tradition, and he chose only the best bronze caster in Europe. The cost covered not only the artist's own fee but materials, tools, travel and wages for the army of craftsmen. Over the years, vicious rumours began to circulate about Saly and his lavish consumption, but Saly's sponsor, the Danish Asiatic Company, defended the artist's honour and praised his work to the end.

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