Frederik V

It took an extremely long time, no less than 19 years, to create this equestrian statue. The commissioning of the statue to Saly took place in 1752. Having agreed upon a significant sum for the model and free housing at Charlottenburg in Copenhagen, Saly arrived with his parents and sisters in 1753. A year after his arrival, Saly showed the king a first design. The king approved a sketch for the whole monument in 1755. Saly started with a thorough study of horses from the king’s stables. After having set up an appropriate studio, the sculptor was able to present a plaster model of the statue to the king nine years later in 1764. Preparations for the bronze casting took four more years. Another Frenchman, Pierre Gors, carried out the casting in 1768. The base took two years. The unveiling of the statue was in 1771, five years after the king’s death. It has the most pleasant setting imaginable: in the centre of the courtyard of Amalienburg Palace in Copenhagen. Saly left Copenhagen a few years after the unveiling, ‘unsatisfied with the conclusion of his financial negotiations on an additional sum for his “extraordinary services”’. The statue was restored in 1998. 

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