Museum Tour « Collection Highlights & Essays « El Cid
El CidZoom Select the image to zoom

El Cid

H. 5.07 m.

Audubon Terrace, the courtyard in front of the Hispanic Society building offers one of the finest ensembles of monumental sculpture in New York. The Beaux-Arts plaza had been designed in 1908, but it was Anna Hyatt Huntington, distinguished American sculptor and wife of the founder, who transformed the site with her sculpture. On the lower level is an equestrian statue of the medieval hero El Cid Campeador with four seated warriors around the base. Raising his banner and spear, the victorious Cid tums to greet the spectator while his horse, Babieca, rides forward. El Cid's pride of place reflects not only his prominent role in Spanish history, but also Mr. Huntington's love of Spanish literature and, in particular, the medieval epic El poema del mío Cid. This central unit is completed by two flagpoles, the bases of which include personifications of the arts, kneeling monks, churchmen, and battle scenes. Complementing the free-standing bronze ensemble are the limestone reliefs of Boabdil, the last caliph of Granada, and Don Quixote, both in profile and on horseback. Finally, Anna Hyatt's special interest in animal sculpture is evident in the figures of lions, deer, bears, jaguars, vultures and wild boar which complete the terrace.