10. Ulysses S. Grant Memorial

"The Grant Memorial is one of the largest, most important sculptures in the capital. The central figure, an equestrian statue of General Ulysses S. Grant, towers 40 feet above the 252-foot-long and 71-foot wide marble platform. Grant and his horse constitute the second largest equestrian statue in the world, second only to the statue of Victor Emmanuel in Italy. Altogether, the memorial features thirteen horses sculpted in the round, making it one of the world's most complex equestrian statues and making artist Henry Merwin Shrady (1871-1922) one of the most prolific equestrian sculptors of all time. Located at the foot of Capitol Hill, in Union Square, the Grant Memorial is also one of the city's most prominently placed monuments. Shrady's and Casey's design, unlike the other 26 sculptors who submitted models, gave no nod to peace or reconciliation, no hint of reunion or progress. Shrady's Grant is surrounded not by figures of Education and Justice but by cavalry, infantry and artillerymen rushing headlong into battle. Shrady portrayed war's carnage untempered by hope and rebirth. The men in his groupings depict the terror, suffering and fatigue of war. In preparation for sculpting the artillery group, Shrady haunted the stables of the New York Police Department and joined an artillery regiment of the New York National Guard. When it was cast in four pieces in 1911, the 15-ton artillery group was the largest bronze group ever cast in America. For the cavalry group, Shrady spent days at West Point, near his home on the Hudson River, where the superintendent staged cavalry charges while he sketched. So densely packed is the cavalry group that the viewer feels the dangerously limited perspective of every soldier in the desperate pack. In both the artillery and cavalry groups, viewers are not neutral observers but are forced to project themselves into the soldiers' maelstrom as they rush at an unseen enemy. Shrady's health deteriorated over the long period he worked on the memorial (it took almost 20 years to complete) and, just 15 days before the dedication, he died. The infantry panels on the pedestal were completed by sculptor Sherry Fry and installed in 1924."