This bronze statue of man on horseback is called Physical Energy and commemorates Cecil Rhodes, the diamond miner and founder of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. It is one of several memorials in Kensington Gardens to leading figures of the 19th century.
The Physical Energy statue, installed in 1907, is by George Frederick Watts. It is based on a memorial to Rhodes on Table Mountain in Cape Town.
Watts said the statue was "a symbol of that restless physical impulse to seek the still unachieved in the domain of material things". This was particularly appropriate for Cecil Rhodes, made his fortune before he was 30 and in 1880 established the De Beers mining company, which has dominated the diamond industry ever since.
Rhodes used his wealth to try to extend the British Empire in Africa from the Cape of Good Hope in the south to Cairo in the north. Rhodes' dream came true shortly after he died when Britain took control of one million square miles of the Transvaal at the end of the Boer Wars. Rhodes left his fortune to Oxford University to fund the Rhodes Scholarships.
By the 1820s, Kensington Gardens was open to the public all week. They became a place to commemorate the nation's heroes. From here, you can also see the Albert Memorial, a memorial to Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, which was built at the end of Lancaster Walk from 1863-1872.