El Cid Campéador

El Cid Campéador, 1921, cast ca. 1927
Anna Hyatt Huntington (1876–1973)

Standing before the entrance of the Legion of Honor is this monumental equestrian statue depicting the Spanish hero, Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (ca. 1040–1099), called El Cid Campéador (The Lord Champion), the historic Castilian champion and conqueror. El Cid, stands fearlessly astride his horse, raising his arm to the sky with a bannered spear in hand.

Wearing mail armor and holding a large shield, he turns his body to the right, perhaps to speak words of inspiration to his fellow soldiers before battle. This statue may represent the warrior during the siege of Valencia in 1094.

Anna Hyatt Huntington was a notable, thriving figure in American sculpture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, one of the few women in the world engaged in the profession at the time. In 1923, she married Archer Huntington, stepson and heir to the fortunes of railroad magnate Collis P. Huntington, and an avid historian and enthusiast of Spanish history and culture. In 1897, he translated into English the famous Spanish poem El poema del Mio Cid (The Poem of My Cid), a likely inspiration for her El Cid Campéador.

Anna Hyatt Huntington (1876–1973)
El Cid Campéador, 1921, cast ca. 1927
Bronze on granite base
Gift of Herbert Fleishhacker
1937.11

Listen to Martin Chapman, Curator in Charge of European Art, provide his perspective on Anna Hyatt Huntington’s El Cid Campéador.

 
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