Islam forbids idolatry in any form. In Saudi Arabia, there are no statues of human beings or creatures at all, however body parts are permitted. At the same time, you can see ads and billboards all over the place featuring men, children, and women who are properly covered. I have tried photographing this work of art for quite some time. It is positioned in the middle of divided highway in a grassy area which separates the busy lanes of traffic going in opposite directions. There are actually five galloping horses in the entire sculpture, but I only managed to capture three of them in this photo. Each horse is divided into two parts, front end and back end, with the middle girth missing entirely. That’s why my son has dubbed this sculpture “The Hungry Horses!”
I’ve previously posted other art from the City of Jeddah which adheres to the anti-idolatry policy of this Islamic country. Take a look: The Supplication, The Eye, The Fist, Camel Sculpture, and Tall Camel Sculpture.
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You should check out the photo I captured of it on my Flickr:
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Actually, in the daytime these horses look disjointed. However, at night they are lit in such a fashion that the shadows they cast make the horses appear as a whole.
I don’t think there were any religious requirements surrounding the creation of this set of sculptures. Usually, it’s people’s faces that are of concern because that could lead to idolatry.
The vast majority of art on roundabouts in Saudi Arabia is abstract in nature, which could explain the tall camel or the bronze eye.
Just discovered the blog. It’s fantastic 😀
always amazes me the things that are ok and not ok in your part of the world. a beautiful sculpture…but, strange in another sense.
thanks for posting and enjoyed the commentary as always.
Great post Susie and I am still amazed at all the magnificent sculpture you have there!
what a very strange statue. bit eerie.
It is really interesting! Thanks!
I like this sculpture…it has a haunting quality to it. Your son named it very well.
the sculptures are wonderful..horses are quite powerful..they are significant in almost every culture
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Interesting to see how artists work within the idolatry restrictions: I particularly like these horses, so elegant!
The poor disjointed things. You really have to wonder at it with the Arabs being so great at horse racing.
Thanks for sharing the culture of your side of the world.
beautiful sculpture and really interesting post about the restriction.
This is amazing (both the statues and the restrictions)! I see that we are not the only ones to excell in finding ways to “outsmart” holy writ. 😉
Your posts are so enlightening and offer us western folks glimpses into the Middle Easter Muslin world. Like someone else mentioned above I hope these posts don’t put you into harms way with the Muslim religion cops. Thanks again for posting Susie. And yes, your son has a great sense of humor.
A fascinating post from the non idolatry angle to the missing middle part of the horse.
your son has a great sense of humor. thank you for sharing this interesting culture.
Very interesting pics and explanation. Fascinating.
I’d say the reproductive organs were left out. The art is wonderful because of that. But maybe not for the Islam reasons. I’m just always impressed with the variety of outdoor art. Thanks for sharing with us again Susie.
Sometimes religion is just silly. Congrats on getting this photo…and your commmentary, as usual, is delightful. Hungry horses, for sure, but what’s the problem with no stomach?
Very strange the middle part missing. I wonder what the artist wanted to convey. Interesting post.
Great photo Susie, what a dramatic sculpture of horses.
Have a great week!
Regina In Pictures
I hope you are not taking unecessary risks each day photographing your fascinating world for us. I’m always gobsmacked at the outside art.
I’m enjoying all the sculptures you are featuring here. I wonder why the missing parts?
A beautiful post as always, Susie! And what beautiful, interesting horse sculptures! Terrific photo, so glad you were able to get it! Thanks for sharing a piece of “your world”. Have a great week!
Beautiful. It seems they are becoming more ‘horse’ because of the missing part.