Horse getting ready to lie down

Title and year
Horse getting ready to lie down, 1966-1969


Nicolaus Wehding, 1932-2018

Aabenraa Stadion, Vestvejen, Aabenraa


Horse getting ready to lie down is a detailed representation of a full-grown horse preparing to lie down on the ground. The animal kneels on one knee, shifting its body weight towards the right as its muzzle rests against the ground, while its rump and hind legs are still at full height. This pose presents a line that runs from top to bottom, which the artist has emphasised by placing the sculpture so that the horse’s hindquarters rise up towards the tall trees in the background while its head points down towards the open area in front of it.

Nicolaus Wehding, who was born and raised in Aabenraa, had a very unusual profile compared to his peers at the royal art academy in Copenhagen, which he attended from 1952 to 1959. He stuck to the figurative sculptural tradition, swimming head-on against the strong currents of abstract art flowing through the art scene . Despite this, he enjoyed considerable recognition for his artistic talent and skill.

In 1965 he was one of several artists who, as the first batch under a new support programme, received the three-year artist’s stipend from the Danish Arts Foundation. This funding gave him peace and quiet to work, resulting, among other things, in his developing the bronze equine sculpture at Aabenraa Stadion. After its completion, Wehding moved back to Aabenraa, where he continued to work with his figurative art.