Quadriga of Victory
Public Art : Quadriga of Victory
Sculptor : ©
Johann Gottfried Schadow
Date : 1793
Description : A bronze
statue of the Goddess of Victory on a chariot drawn by four horses. In her hand she holds a staff with an eagle
perched on the Iron Cross.
Location : The Brandenburg Gate
is located between the Pariser Platz and the Platz des 18 on the former border between East & West Germany,
Acknowledgements: Thank you to Dr
Andrew Taylor kindly providing the photographs.
History of the Quadriga of Victory : In
1793 Johann Gottifried Schadow created the Quadriga for the Brandenburg Gate. A
quadriga is a four-horse chariot, which was onced raced in the Olympic Games and then was later adopted in ancient
Roman chariot racing. It was a great symbol of triumph, victory and fame. The quadrigais usually depicted with a
female driving it. In 1806, during French Occupation (and following the Battle of
Jena-Auerstedt), the Quadriga of Victory was stolen. Napolean had the sculpture dismantled and
taken back to Paris, France. It was later returned to Berlin by Field Marshal Gebhard von Blucher in
1814. On its return to Berlin the goddess's olive wreath was replaced by a staff bearing the
Prussian eagle perched on the iron cross.
The gate was heavily damaged during World War II and was later restored in 1957-58. The Quadriga was also damaged
and was recast from the original molds.
History of the Brandenburg Gate : The Brandenburg Gate is a Triumphal Arch and stands on the former border between East & West Germany in
the city of Berlin. The Neo-classical gate was designed by Carl Gatthard Langhans and was erected from
1788-1793 as a "Gate of Peace". The gate was inspired by the Propylaea, the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens.
The structure is crowned by the "Quadriga of Victory", a statue of a chariot drawn by four horses. The Doric
gateway once served as a customs port.
From 1961 to 1989 the gate was blocked as the construction of the Berlin Wall divided East and West Berlin .The
gate was reopened in 1989 with the reunification of East & West Berlin. In the year 2000, the Brandenburg Gate
was privately refurbished at a cost of $3 million.
1945 Brandenburg Gate
Quadriga Trivia :
A quadriga is a chariot drawn by four horses which were often raced during the
Ancient Olympic Games. Quadrigas became symbols of Victory and Triumph and are often depicted with either Victory
(Victoria) or Fame (Pheme or Fama) behind the reigns of the chariot. Victory being the Roman Goddess and Fame
being the Greek equivilent. In mythology the quadriga is the chariot of the gods. Apollo is often depicted driving
his quadriga across the heavens.
All modern quadrigas are based on the Triumphal Quadriga or Horses of St Mark's
in Venice.This being the only surviving quadriga from ancient times. The Venetian crusaders stole them in 1204
during the crusades from the Hippodrome of Constantinople. Nearly 500 years later Napoleon stole the horses from
the Venetians and carted them off to Paris. They were later returned in 1815.
So Where Are All The Quadrigas ?
Brussels, Belgium - Quadriga of
Brabant atop Parc du Cinquantenaire, by sculptors Thomas Vincotte and Jules Lagae.
London, England - Wellington Arch Quadriga atop the Wellington
Arch, by sculptor Adrian Jones
Paris, France - Carrousel quadriga atop the Arc de Triomphe du
Carrousel, by sculptor Baron Francois Joseph Bosio.
Paris , France - Two quadrigas atop the Grand Palais, Georges
Berlin, Germany - Quadriga of Victory atop the Brandenburg
Gate, by sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow.
Braunschweig, Germany - Quadriga atop the Royal
Dresden, Germany - Panther Quadriga atop the
Munich, German - A lion quadriga atop the Siegestor
(Victory Gate), by sculptor Martin von Wagner
Rome, Italy - Quadriga
dell'Unità atop the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, by sculptor Carlo Fontana
Venice, Italy - Triumphal
Quadriga, St Mark's Basilica, (Oldest surviving quadriga)
Moscow, Russia - Quadriga atop the Bolshoi Theatre, sculptor
Peter Clodt von Jurgensburg
Saint Petersburg, Russia - General Staff building Quadriga
Saint Petersburg, Russia - Quadriga atop the Alexandrinsky
Brooklyn, New York, USA - Quadriga atop the arch at Grand Army
Plaza, by sculptor Frederick William MacMonnies.
Detroit, Michigan, USA - Victory and Progress quadriga atop
the Wayne County Building, by sculptor J. Massey Rhind.
Minnesotta, USA - Progress of the State quadriga atop the
Minnesota State Capitol, by sculptors Daniel Chester French and Edward Clark Potter