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The Horse In Art Analysis

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The Horse in Art

The horse has been a subject in art since the cave paintings of prehistoric man and has remained so until the present day, largely due to the royal connection with horses and the preoccupation with equine sport, particularly racing. Over the years, the role of the horse in the picture, the style, technique and function of the picture have altered dramatically. These changes can be traced in the work of three artists: George Stubbs, John Frederick Herring Snr. and Sir Alfred Munnings who were the few English horse painters to receive professional recognition.
The horse in art can be traced from ancient cave paintings found in south-west Europe which were made over then thousand years ago. These were a combination of artistic
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They wanted to show the horse moving but (until the late nineteenth century) no painter of horses had mastered the true action of the gallop. Van Dyck, Velasquez and Leonardo da Vinci (in the Sforza monument) portray horses rearing. This was probably copied from the ‘levade’ movement in ‘haute ecole’ which was popular at that time. Sartorius and Alken portrayed horses in the ‘rocking horse’ gallop with all four feet off the ground. In the mid nineteenth century this developed into the ‘ventre a terre’ gallop also with all four feet off the ground which Herring popularised. Meissonier, a French artist, constructed a miniature railway so he could ride and draw alongside a galloping horse and capture all its movements accurately, but this enterprising venture proved…show more content…
Stubbs was born in 1724 in Liverpool and was the son of a currier. He studied briefly under Hamlet Winstanley who was an assistant of Sir Godfrey Kneller. Stubbs became a provincial portrait painter and also gave private anatomy lessons to students at York Hospital. In 1751 he was commissioned to illustrate a book on midwifery by Dr. John Burton.

At the age of thirty he went to Rome to confirm his belief that nature, not art, was the only source of improvement. Whilst staying at Ceuta in Morocco, he saw a lion in the moonlight stalking and attacking a white Barbary horses and from this experience he painted a series of pictures. These pictures combine the terrible and beautiful in a mysterious imaginary landscape which has an aura of disquiet and
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