When a statue is erected of someone riding a horse, they usually follow certain rules. If the rider died in battle the horse would be rearing on two legs. If the horse has one leg up, the rider died of an injury and if the horse is standing on all four legs, then the rider died of natural causes. With this in mind Filbrick has built a statue of Napoleon Bonaparte on a horse standing on all fours. I particularly like the textured “greebling” effect on the horse using wheels, gears, Bionicle parts, radar dishes and other bits usually employed in building spaceships.
Some statues of Napoleon on horseback have been erected in all three leg configurations, because the cause of his death can be a topic of hot debate. Did he die bravely in battle defending the French army? Was he poisoned by enemies while in exile on St. Helena as so many history books suggest or was it just the unkind fate of the winds? Autopsies reveal that the cause of death was stomach cancer which may have been brought on by excessive levels of arsenic. (A-ha!) However, later studies, not available during his time, stated that Napoleon (and so many others of his day) were being exposed to arsenic throughout his entire lifetime from glues and dyes and not by purposeful murderous intent. It would seem that Filbrick’s depiction of a serene horse on all four legs may be the correct configuration all along.