Saumur Ecole de Cavalerie, Courses de Tetes
I have this print hanging on the wall of my office. My assistant, the lovely and incomparable Jane, thinks it is morbid and shocking. I think it metaphorically demonstrates what a good trial lawyer does.
The name of the painting is “Saumur Ecole de Cavalerie, Course de Tetes (Carrousel).” It is by Albert Adams. Although my French is as rusty as my ancient Etruscan (that means it’s somewhat better than my Sumerian, at least idiomatically), I can roughly translate this to mean that the French cavalry school at Saumur has a ring it calls “The Course of Heads.” Apparently the cavalry students brandish sabers and attempt to collect as many heads as possible as they go through the course.
Here’s a close-up:
Given the French predilection and national past time of separating heads from bodies (see: guillotine) it may be necessary, occasionally, for a French cavalryman to pick up the mess. Someone has to, after all. All those loose heads lolling and rolling about the countryside and through the city streets would be a menace and cause the bourgeoisie to trip and fall, thus giving rise to lawsuits of the variety I’d like to bring on behalf of my bruised and battered bourgeois client. (Hands fallen future plaintiff a business card. “Call me,” I say. “Merci.”)
But back to the incomparable and indispensable Jane, who says that this particular picture is, in a word, “gross.”
Since I have only one print of the painting, I am 143 short of a gross. She must mean something else by her statement.
I think it’s entirely appropriate for my law office.
I have always loved this print, which hung in my grandparents’ house, and which I rescued from my aunt who had it stored in a damp storage building about 20 years ago. Aside from the fact that I find it fascinating, though, there is the metaphor.
You can see a close-up of it on that web page:
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