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The Chakravarty Cup Horses

2015 sees the launch of The Chakravarty Cup Horses

A unique celebration of the public's adoration of horses to raise funds for several Royal Charities

'Mistero' by Caio Locke

Artist Caio Locke takes us through the influences of the design:


“The Chakravarty Cup Horse is an idealised horse, a majestic, proud and contemplative animal, echoing the familiar, yet no less mysterious, form of our collective imagination.


“The design captures a horse whose footprints echo through the ages.  Attention to muscle structure references the drawings of Da Vinci, created as studies for a bronze horse that he would never see completed.


“Commissioned by Ludovico Sforza, Da Vinci based his studies on the compact and powerful Andalusian horse breeds favoured by the Sforza stables.  The Chakravarty Cup horse radiates not simply a notion of aesthetic beauty, but of innate strength.  The horse has been a stalwart companion to mankind and a constant adjunct to civilisation, whether in agriculture, trade, transport, warfare or leisure.


“The famous Argentinian polo horse, a thoroughbred, has both Spanish and Berber origins, making the reference to Da Vinci’s Andalusian horse doubly significant.

“However, the muscle definition of the Chakravarty Cup horse has been softened to allow for artists to work onto the shape.  Further, the abstraction to the neck of the Da Vinci horse, by virtue of its apparent extension by two vertebrae, has not been followed, since a sense of balance was paramount, and the slowly pacing pose did not require such a bowed head.


“The protruding mane captures a sense of the romantic, epic or fantastical, a horse of fairy tales set to inspire the imagination.  This protruding mane is evident in the stone carvings of the horsemen from the west frieze of the Parthenon dating to 438-432BC.


“It was, however, important to break from the rigidity of the mane in these depictions, to allow it to flow, albeit as a pronounced feature, elevating upwards from the arching neck.


“This was achieved at the maquette stage through discussions with the clay sculptor, and a divergence away from the rigid Greco-Roman style, to create a waved, flowing mane.  At this point, a flow and continuity through the horse was achieved by stylistically linking mane and tail.

“The need for stability influenced the choice of pose.  Consultation of Muybridge ‘Animals in Motion’  was helpful to find the ‘pacing horse’ pose, as distinct from the trot or canter.  The raised left front leg at a right angle together with the upright straining right leg lends the pose structure referenced by the drawings of Da Vinci, created as studies for a bronze horse that he would never see completed.  The horse appears almost static, caught in a frame of slow, considered movement, human-like in its pondering sense of transient awareness.


“It has been a wonderful experience to work with the sculptor to bring my hand-drawn designs and ideas into the 3-dimensional world.  It evokes childhood memories of long horse rides through savannah land and jungle, and my own familiarity with the small yet strong and flighty horses typical of rural Brazil.”


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