Thursday, February 15, 2007

El Cid Campeador: OMOM Essay 54

I first heard of the Cid while studying in Spain, where he's a national hero on a par with George Washington in the United States. Thus it was a surprise to read the prestigious 1911 Britannica's disparaging estimate of him. I used this to raise the question of how one should properly evaluate a historical figure: by the standards of his own time, or of one's own?

"About the Sculpture" identifies the theme based on the details of the sculpture. In "Getting More Enjoyment from Art You Love" (The Objective Standard 1:2, Summer 2006) I discuss the Cid's theme at greater length and compare it to the equestrian George Washington at Union Square (Essay 13). The TOS article includes a photo of the Hispanic Society courtyard, where the Cid is the center of an ensemble.

In Appendix A, section 3 of Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan, I show how to evaluate the Cid in esthetic, philosophical, emotional and art historical terms.

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