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Monthly Archives: January 2018

Giuseppe Garibaldi and Vitorio Emanuele II shake hands on horseback: the historical agreement between nationalists

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‘ The encounter of Teano on 26 October 1860 ‘, lifesize bronze  group by Oreste Calzolari in Fiesole, inaugurated on 17 June 1906 (photographs by Kirsten Bras-Ykema)

In the present world where disagreements between countries and regions dominate, where tensions are being cultivated, it may be refreshing to pay attention to this magnificent monument. In a complicated strategy for the unification of Italy, two patriots decided to drop disagreements and to join forces in the interest of their common country. The sculptor used the position of the horses coming from two different directions to maximal theatrical effect. The riders hold out their hands to each other and so bridge the distance between them and the horses. Everything in this encounter has symbolic significance which in this way is strongly emphasized and recorded for posterity. The gestures of Garibaldi and Vitorio Emanuele will also be influenced by some chivalry which historically belongs to the basis of horse riding. This attitude seems somewhat forgotten but is an important peace making tool. In summary, we see a beautiful equestrian monument with much value for the present time.