Legend has it that for every memorial statue with a person on a horse, if the horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died of battle wounds; if all four of the horse’s legs are on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
Well, this story has long intrigued art enthusiasts, sculpting specialists and even history buffs. And a number of these experts have put the code to the test over the years. They simply make lists of statues, the positions of the horse’s feet, and the subject’s history in battle, and note the code’s success. In most cases, these tests have shown that the code is accurate in less than 30 percent of sculptures, and, to date, no sculptor has made a spectacle of announcing that he or she, in fact, does adhere to the code.
So, while the jury is still out on whether this legend is true, it makes for interesting statue viewing.