For millennia, man has been creating sculpted, carved, and cast representations of people and animals. No matter where in the world you go, you will find statues. These pieces were made for various reasons, but many of them are designed to honor their subjects.
The Maisonneuve Monument to one of the founders of Montreal stands in the Place d’Armes in Montreal’s Old City. The statue is impressive in daylight, but at night it is still imposing – and casts an interesting “reverse shadow” on the buildings behind it, just to the right of the pedestal. (To enlarge any photo, just click on it.)
Also in the Old City, in Place Jacques Cartier, is a pillar topped by a monument to Admiral Horatio Nelson who died waging his successful campaign against the French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar. A larger, similar statue graces Trafalgar Square in London.
There are also military statues dedicated to groups of people. The Commando Memorial in the Great Glen of Scotland commemorates the British Commandos of World War II. And most towns of any size in New England and Upstate New York have monuments honoring those who served in the US Civil War.
Then there are the statues of royalty. King Kamehameha of Hawaii is immortalized in a statue in front of Honolulu’s Aliʻiolani Hale (home of TV’s Hawaii Five-O and the actual State Supreme Court.) Replicas are located in various other places, including Washington DC and Las Vegas. The second statue below is in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii.
The last monarch of Hawaii was Queen Liliuokalani. Her statue stands between the State Capitol building and the Iolani Palace. Her contemporary, Queen Victoria, is represented around the world in a variety of wonderful statues (after all, the sun never set on the British Empire during her reign.) The one included here is in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
Rodin sculpted Les Bourgeois de Calais (The Burghers of Calais), and castings of the figures can be found in various locations, including the two below – in the gardens by the Parliament Buildings in London, and on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. The statues tell the story of the siege of Calais by the English. The town was starving, and the English king agreed to spare the city if six town fathers would surrender to him. They did, and the town was saved. They were to be executed, but the English queen prevailed on the king to spare them so they could return home.
And then some statues have religious or spiritual significance – Like the Great Buddha of Kamakura, or the Native American totem pole we saw in Central California.
It’s fun to look at whimsical modern sculptures and then at older, more traditional pieces. Like this statue of a woman with a pool cue in the Beijing Olympic Park, and the three ancient statues is a display at the Ming Tombs outside the city.
Or this clever sculpture, David Altmejd’s The Eye, in front of the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal’s New City, with its surreal elements overlayed on a more classical framework – juxtaposed against the elegant simplicity of one of my favorite art objects, the ancient Greek Aphrodite of Milos, or Venus de Milo at the Louvre.
There’s no end to the number of wonderful statues in the world – some small enough to hold in hand, others large enough to climb into. And all were wonderfully conceived and created by clever human hands.
___________________________________________________________ This post was written in response to the weekly Travel Theme challenge by Ailsa of WheresMyBackpack: Statues. To see other bloggers’ shapely responses and get more info on these challenges, just click on the link!