The Flying Horse of Gansu

The Flying Horse of Gansu

The Flying Horse of Gansu,  also known as the Bronze Running Horse (銅奔馬) or the Galloping Horse Treading on a Flying Swallow (馬踏飛燕), is a Chinese bronze sculpture from circa the 2nd century CE. Discovered in 1969 near the city of Wuwei, in the province of Gansu, it is now in the Gansu Provincial Museum. 

This outstanding bronze horse has become an iconic emblem of China. Racing through the skies, it treads on a swallow (base of statue) that looks up in amazement. Unlike Pegasus, the Western flying horse, the wingless Han steed is meant to be understood metaphorically rather than literally; it represents an ideal horse that can gallop so fast that it seems to outrun the wind.

The sculpture is perfectly balanced on only one hoof, to complete the illusion of flight.

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