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Cavalli del Mochi, Piacenza

Cavalli del Mochi, Piacenza

Cavalli del Mochi is represented by two paired equestrian statues in the central square of Piacenza. They are an excellent example of Baroque sculpture. And these statues gave the name of the square on which they were installed. They are dedicated to very famous and influential rulers of the 16th and 17th centuries, father and son – Alessandro and Ranuccio Farnese. They were respectively the Dukes of Parma and Piacenza. In the conditions of a tense geopolitical situation, the father waged continuous wars, concluded alliances. Subsequently, he became the man who significantly influenced the political picture that developed in Europe in the 17th century. In 1586, Alessandro became the Duke of Parma, but appointed his son, Ranuccio as regent. In 1592 he died, and Ranucco I became a full-fledged ruler. He did not follow in the footsteps of his father, leading the strengthening of a small state through economic and political reforms, which he did very well. The ruler died in 1622.


To immortalize the memory of his father, in 1612 the Duke ordered the creation of a monument in Piacenza. A sculptor from Tuscany – Francesco Mochi took on the project, and his name is the current name of the statues. The monument to the Duke of that time - Ranuccio appeared first, in 1620. And in 1625 the monument to Alessandro was completed. Thus the memory of the Dukes Farnese family was honored with paired sculptures. After almost 4 centuries, in 2007-2008, their restoration was carried out.

Bronze sculptures rise on pedestals of white Carrara marble. Ranucco Farnese is portrayed on horseback in a classic Roman apparel and with a scroll in his hand. This indicates his political activities and the construction of the state through reforms. On the sides of the pedestal there are two bronze bas-reliefs, on which the allegories of Peace and Good government are depicted. The second monument is located symmetrically to the first. It was created later, and it perfectly traces the growth of the sculptor's skill. Alessandro Farnese is also portrayed on horseback, but the rider and the horse are in a dynamic state. At the base of the statue there are 4 cherubs, and on the sides of the pedestal – 4 bronze bas-reliefs. Two of them depict the battle of Flanders, the other two – the meeting of the Duke with the British ambassadors and the bridge of Antwerp, along which Alessandro entered the conquered Belgian capital.

How to get there

The statues are located in the heart of Piacenza, on Piazza dei Cavalli. On the same square there is a Monument to Romagnosi and the Gotico Palace. Nearby there is a bus stop Municipio – Ufficio Turismo. It can be reached by routes 2, 3, 16.


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