This bronze sculpture is located within the grounds of the Palace of Westminster. It is set on a long rectangular plinth (roughly 6 feet high). It depicts Richard on horseback, wearing a helmet, and raising a sword triumphantly with his right arm. The statue is a replica of an 1851 clay piece made for the Great Exhibition in that year.
This website (visit link
) discusses the history of the sculpture:
"A clay model of this sculpture was exhibited at the 1851 Great Exhibition. Although many sculptors exhibited there, this work by Baron Marochetti was the only one to receive an award from the exhibition Council.
The art critic John Ruskin said 'it will tend more to educate the public with respect to art than anything we have done for centuries' and that it was the 'only really interesting piece of historical sculpture we have'. The Times newspaper described the statue as 'heroic'.
After the exhibition it was decided to cast the statue in bronze as a commemorative symbol of the exhibition. The cost of £5,000 was paid by private subscription and the sculpture was completed in 1856.
A plaster model had been displayed in New Palace Yard outside Westminster Hall for three months, but Charles Barry, the architect of the Palace of Westminster, did not think this was a suitable permanent home.
Other sites including Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards Parade and the top of Marble Arch were considered but finally, in 1859, Old Palace Yard - where it stands today - was agreed upon.
The Cornish granite pedestal was commissioned and the statue was installed on 26 October 1860. The cost of erecting the statue was paid by public subscription.
In 1866 Marochetti was commissioned by Parliament to make the bas-relief panels for the sides of the pedestal. They show:
Richard's victory over the Saracens at Ascalon
The dying Richard pardoning Bertram de Gourdon
In the winter of 1908-09, which was particularly severe, the near foreleg of the horse was damaged by frost and had to be repaired.
In 1940 the statue was damaged by shrapnel from a bomb. The sword was bent although not broken but damage can still be seen on the base.
Baron (Pietro) Carlo Giovanni Battista Marochetti (1805-1867) was born in Turin, Italy. He studied sculpture in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. After working in Europe, particularly France, he moved permanently to Britain in 1848.
By this time he had established a reputation as an equestrian sculptor as a result of modelling a number of pieces depicting horses, including in 1840 an equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington for Glasgow.
He was also a favourite sculptor of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and when the latter died in 1861 Queen Victoria selected Marochetti to produce the sculpture of her late husband for the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens. Unfortunately, Marochetti died before it was finished so his sculpture was not used."
Wikipedia (visit link
) informs us that:
"He was known as Cœur de Lion, or Richard the Lionheart, even before his accession, because of his reputation as a great military leader and warrior. The Saracens called him Melek-Ric or Malek al-Inkitar - King of England.
By the age of sixteen Richard was commanding his own army, putting down rebellions in Poitou against his father, King Henry II.Richard was a central Christian commander during the Third Crusade, effectively leading the campaign after the departure of Philip II of France and scoring considerable victories against his Muslim counterpart, Saladin, but was unable to reconquer Jerusalem."