King Philip IV statue
Public Art : King Philip IV statue
Sculptor : © Pietro Tacca (16th September 1577 – 26th
Description : A colossal equestrian bronze of Philip
IV astride his rearing horse.
Style : Baroque
Date Unveiled : The statue was originally erect in
1640 at the Buen Retiro Palace (Parque del Retiro) but in 1843 it was moved the the Plaza de Oriente and placed in
the center of a large fountain decorated with statues of lions and allegorical figures.
Location : The equestrian statue of King Philip IV
astride his rearing horse is located in Plaza de Oriente, Madrid, Spain.
Background : One of the main problems confronting
Italian sculptor Pietro Tacca when designing the rearing horse was how to make the bronze scultpure stable, as
the rear legs were taking the entire weight of the sculpture. In the end he consulted Galileo
Galilei. Yes, the famous Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher who suggested he create
the rear of the horse in solid bronze and make the other half hollow with the two legs and tail taking all of
the weight. This was to be the first time this had ever been attempted in a figure on this heroic scale.
Trivia : The sculpture was begun in 1634 at Tacca's
studio in Italy and shipped to Madrid in 1640, the year of his death. It would be his last public