Bucharest hippocamp

Decorative panel with hippocamp ridden by a sea god/ goddess (panel cca 90cm length) on the façade of Frederic Stork Museum in Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The hippocamp (Greek for “horse – sea monster” combined together ), a decorative element, part of the classical panoply, is one of the most scarcely represented mythical animals adorning the diverse buildings of Bucharest, in sharp contrast with the popular mermaids, winged horses or centaurs. I was able to identify so far just a handful of compositions that contain the hippocamp depiction on the façades of c19th and early c20th historicist style edifices, with the most prominent representation shown in the above photograph. It embellishes the street wall of Frederic Storck Museum in the ASE area of Bucharest. The building was designed by the French architect Alexandre Clavel in 1911-’13 in a basic German Renaissance style, as an identity message of its owner, the sculptor Frederic Storck, a Romanian artist of German ancestry. Stork himself decorated the building and this panel is probably his work. It is in the same German Renaissance vein as the style of the house, representing a beautiful hippocamp mounted by a human figure of uncertain gender.

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I endeavour through this series of periodic articles to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural history and heritage.

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If you plan acquiring or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.