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Famous Equestrian Paintings and Drawings; Horse Racing and The Horse in Art

Amanda is a keen artist and art historian with a particular interest in 19th-century art, especially the work of the Pre-Raphaelites.

Whistlejacket by George Stubbs

Whistlejacket by George Stubbs. Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Whistlejacket by George Stubbs. Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Some Famous Equestrian Artists

  1. Susan Crawford (1941-) Undoubtedly one of the greatest British equestrian artists, Susan Crawford has created an outstanding body of work, including one of the best known equestrian paintings 'We Three Kings', which features portrait heads of 'Desert Orchid, Red Rum and Arkle'. Born in Scotland in 1941, Susan Crawford has enjoyed enormous professional success and acclaim throughout her career.
  2. Sir Alfred Munnings (1878-1959) Sir Alfred James Munnings, was known as one of England's finest painters of horses, and his distinguished artistic career was rewarded with a knighthood and a spell as president of London's Royal Academy of Art. He painted numerous well-known pictures in his long career, many of which can be seen hanging at his former home, Castle House in Dedham, Essex.
  3. George Stubbs (1724-1806) From humble origins as the son of a leather dresser, George Stubbs became one of the most sought after equestrian artists of his era. George Stubbs painted the famous study of 'Whistlejacket' that heads this article.
  4. Lucy Kemp Welch (1869-1958) British painter and teacher, Lucy Elizabeth Kemp-Welch was best known for the paintings of horses in military service she produced during the first World War, and for her illustrations to the 1915 edition of Anna Sewell's Black Beauty. Born in Bournemouth in Dorset, England, Kemp-Welch dedicated her life to painting horses and other animals.
  5. Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899) Her most famous work, the monumental Horse Fair, measured eight feet high by sixteen feet wide, and was completed in 1855. Bonheur was born in France, and succeeded in a male dominated profession. Her astonishingly detailed work hangs in museums and galleries around the world.
  6. Mike Heslop - Contemporary British artist, Mike Heslop enjoys a worldwide appeal and reputation as an exceptional sporting artist. His work is highly collectable, and he has painted many world-renowned racehourses. His many commissions include artwork for a set of UK Royal Mail postage stamps.
  7. Martin Grelle (1954-) Born and raised in the US state of Texas, Martin Grelle's iconic images of horses, cowboys, and native American Indians, earned him membership of the Cowboy Artists of America in 1995. He has won many prestigious awards for his evocative artwork.

Some More Equestrian Artists and Examples of their Work

Shown below are some well known works of equestrian art with a little bit of information about each of them. These are presented in alphabetical order, and include some of the earliest examples of art featuring horses.

Henry Alken

Henry Alken was born in London on 12 October 1785. He came from a family of artists, and he studied primarily under his father, Samuel Alken, and subsequently with the miniaturist, John Thomas Barber Beaumont.

From quite early in his career, Alken began to specialise in sporting subjects, and painted under the name of "Ben Tally-Ho".His highly illustrative style won him many commissions, and his work was very sought after. He became a successful cartoonist and illustrator of sporting life, and his paintings and drawings of horses were among his most popular works. Today his work can be seen hanging in some of the most pretigious museums and galleries, including both theTate Modern, and the British Museum, in London.

'Fox Hunting' by Henry Alken

Henry Thomas Alken [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Henry Thomas Alken [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

'To the Craners of England' by Henry Alken


Robert Bevan's Mare and Foal

Born on the South Coast of England, in Hove, East Sussex, in 1865, Robert Bevan was fortunate enough to be able to study and work in Paris during his early years as an artist, and he knew both Gaugin and Renoir, and studied alongside Pierre Bonnard. This early exposure to the works of the great French Impressionists helped Bevan to develop a very distinctive personal style of painting. Unfortunately, just like Van Gogh and Rousseau, Bevan's work was not always well appreciated in his life-time. However, a series of retrospective exhibitions held in 1965, 100 years after his birth revealed his extraordinary talent, and many of his paintings can now be seen at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, as part of the Bevan Gift, a donation made by Robert Bevan's children.

This simple rendering of a mare and her foal was completed in 1917, eight years before Robert Bevan's death. It is one of a series of horse paintings completed by Bevan.

Mare and Foal by Robert Bevan

Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Courtesy of Wiki Commons

'The Horse Mart' by Robert Bevan


Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899)

Rosa Bonheur was born on 16 March 1822 in Bordeaux, France. She was the oldest child in a family of artists, and several of her siblings were also very successful painters or sculptors. Rosa Bonheur was the best known of these, and her work is on display in galleries world-wide.

Bonheur had a preference for depicting animal subjects, and her skill was quite extraordinary. At a time when very few women were permitted to pursue an artistic education, or to consider a career in art, Rosa Bonheur blazed her own trail, and we are priveleged to still enjoy her work today.

Relay Hunting by Rosa Bonheur 1887

Currently on view at the St Louis Art Museum, this is a good example of Rosa Bonheurs skill at depicting horses.

Currently on view at the St Louis Art Museum, this is a good example of Rosa Bonheurs skill at depicting horses.

'Relay Hunting' by Rosa Bonheur, 1887

Rosa Bonheur (1822-99) was already in her 60s when she completed this serene oil on canvas. Whilst it has none of the fire and passion of her earlier painting 'The Horse Fair' which is shown below, it does demonstrate her mastery of animal portraiture. The horses are beautifully painted and every detail is faithfully recorded.

The St Louis Art Museum received this picture as a gift from Justina G. Catlin in memory of her husband, Daniel.

Detail from 'The Horse Fair' by Rosa Bonheur,1853-55

This picture can be seen in The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Image courtesy of Wiki Commons

This picture can be seen in The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Image courtesy of Wiki Commons

'The Horse Fair' by Rosa Bonheur

Rosa Bonheur was already an established and successful artist, when she first exhibited "The Horse Fair" at the Paris Salon of 1853. However, none of her earlier work was admired in quite the same way as this large-scale oil painting with its lively and characterful depiction of horses at a horse fair in France. It quickly became a very popular image, and was exhibited in Paris, Ghent, and Bordeaux, England and the United States. Since being acquired by MOMA in 1887 it has become one of the Metropolitan Museum's best-known works of art.

Breitner, painter of atmosphere and social realism

George Hendrick Breitner (1857-1923) was a Dutch painter and photographer who enjoyed painting everyday life in an honest, and realistic style. Whilst not specifically an equestrian artist, he often did paint horses, purely because they were very much a part of everyday life in the Netherlands during his career. Breitner was a contemporary of Vincent Van Gogh, and was introduced to him by Vincent's brother, Theo. They occasionally went out sketching together, but Breitner was unimpressed by his friend's work, and didn't consider him to be a good artist. History, of course, has decided otherwise!

Tram Horses on Dam Square by George Hendrik Breitner, 1894

Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825)

Although primarily a painter of society portraits and historical genre paintings, Jacques-Louis David's immense skill in depicting animals earns him a place in the list of equestrian artists, if only for this amazing portrait of 'Napoleon Crossing the Bremmer Pass'.

Born into a prosperous Parisian family, David went on to become an ardent supporter of the French Revolution, and a friend of Robespierre. He supported the fall of the French royal family, and became a follower of Napoleon. Later in his life he lived for a time in both Brussels, and later, Holland, enjoying celebrity and success wherever he landed.

Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David 1800

Wild-eyed and rearing. Well, wouldn't you be with Napoleon on your back?

Wild-eyed and rearing. Well, wouldn't you be with Napoleon on your back?

Napoleon Crossing the Alps

This famous image of Napoleon crossing the St Bremmer Pass is one of a series of five such paintings created by the French artist Jacques-Louis David. Napoleon was so completely delighted with the first painting completed by the great artist, that he commissioned a further three versions, showing him mounted on different coloured horses, and wrapped in different coloured cloaks. Despite the fact that Napoleon refused to give sittings for his portraits, David managed to produce an iconic work of art. He also produced a fifth version of the painting which remained in his own studio until his death.

From the outset, this painting was designed to present Napoleon in a dramatic and commanding manner. Effectively intended as a piece of propaganda, the artist has shown the Emperor mounted on a 'fiery steed' against an ominous sky. In fact the crossing of the Alps happened in fair weather, and Napoleon was led across riding a mule!

'Stanisław Kostka Potocki' by Jacques-Louis David


Leonardo's Unfinished Project

In 1482 Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned by the Duke of Milan, Ludovico Il Moro, to produce a sculpture of a horse. It was intended to be the largest equestrian statue in the world, and a monument to the duke's father, Francesco. Leonardo made many drawings and designs, but the long-drawn out project ground to a halt in 1499, when French soldiers invaded Milan, and destroyed Leonardo's preparatory clay model. About five centuries later, Leonardo's surviving design materials were used as the basis for sculptures intended to bring the project to fruition. Two full sized versions were subsequently cast, and one now stands in the San Siro Hippodrome in Milan, and the other is in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Study of a horse by Leonardo Da Vinci

Courtesy of Wiki Commons.

Courtesy of Wiki Commons.

The da Vinci horse in San Siro Hippodrome, Milan

photographed by Nina Akuma, courtesy of Wiki Commons

photographed by Nina Akuma, courtesy of Wiki Commons

Edgar Degas (1834-1917)

Edgar Degas was born in Paris on the 19th July 1834. He is mainly associated with the French Impressionists, and is best known for his delicate paintings and pastel drawings of ballet dancers. However, Degas's many outstanding depictions of horses deserve to be given closer inspection.

Always seeking to represent movement in an effective way, Degas would attempt to show the horses when they were at their most nervous and agitated. He would paint them jostling and tensed up ready for a race to start, or spiky and obstinate refusing to jump a fence. He liked difficult poses, and his interest in photography enabled him to develop new ways of showing a traditional subject matter.

'Jockeys before the Start' by Edgar Degas

Another of Degas's stunning works, this time in oil on canvas.

Another of Degas's stunning works, this time in oil on canvas.

Race Horses in a Landscape by Edgar Degas 1894

Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Courtesy of Wiki Commons

'Les Courses' by Edgar Degas


Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)

Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin was a French post-Impressionist artist. Well-known for his experimental use of colour, Gauguin produced a number of striking paintings of equine subjects. Towards the end of his life he spent ten years in French Polynesia, and the paintings produced at that time are amongst his best-known works. Many include images of the islanders horses, and these are beautifully rendered in non-naturalistic colours.

'Riders on the Beach' by Paul Gauguin, 1902

Stavros Niarchos Collection, Greece. Image courtesy of Wiki Commons

Stavros Niarchos Collection, Greece. Image courtesy of Wiki Commons

'The White Horse' by Paul Gauguin


'The Horse Market' by Gericault

Born in Rouen, France, Theodore Jean Louis Gericault (1791 -1824) became a pioneer of the Romantic movement in Art. Although he died young, he produced some of art's best known images, including 'The Raft of the Medusa'. The picture shown above, of horses tied to a stake at a horse market, now hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. It is executed in watercolour over pencil and red chalk.

Horse Market: Five Horses at the Stake by Theodore Gericault (1816-19)

Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Courtesy of Wiki Commons

John Frederick Herring (Senior) 1795-1865

John Frederick Herring senior led a full and varied life which encompassed work as a coachman, a painter of inn signs, and later, a painter of equestrian portraits for the gentry and for royalty, including Queen Victoria herself. His three sons all became artists, and the best known of these is John Frederick Herring junior, who was also in great demand for his realistic paintings of horses.

'Horses and Ducks by a River' by John Frederick Herring, senior

source: allartpainting.com, image courtesy of Wiki Commons

source: allartpainting.com, image courtesy of Wiki Commons

John Frederick Herring (Junior) 1820-1907

One of three artist sons born to John Frederick Herring Senior, Herring Junior continued in the family tradition of specialising in equestrian subjects.

'Returning From the Hunt' by John Frederick Herring Junior


Horses galloping, Lascaux Cave Painting

The caves which have sheltered this, and many other primitive Paleolithic paintings for around 17,300 years, was first re-discovered in the 1940s at Lascaux in the Dordogne region of France. These days the caves are closed to the public in an effort to protect the images from damage caused by strong lights, moisture and mould. We are fortunate, however to have good quality photographs of these early works, and it is amazing how brilliantly the primitive artists captured movement and speed with a few simple marks daubed on a cave wall using little more than fingers, sticks, and home-made pigments.

One of the earliest known equestrian paintings

Cave painting from Lascaux in France

Cave painting from Lascaux in France

Li Gonglin was a Chinese painter of horses who was active in the 12th century during the Northern Song dynasty. Trained as a civil servant, and also active as an archaeologist, Li Gonglin was a man of many talents. This picture is apparently a re-working of an 8th century original and is therefore a very ancient image indeed. The Chinese horses look a little rounder and shorter than European paintings of the same era.

12th Century Song dynasty hand-scroll painting by Li Gonglin

courtesy of Wiki Commons.

courtesy of Wiki Commons.

Franz Marc (1880-1916)

Born in Munich in 1880, Franz Marc was encouraged in his artistic ambitions by his father, a professional landscape painter. Marc quickly developed a striking and original style of painting which was to become much copied and admired. Marc painted numerous studies of horses during his short career, and two of these are shown below.

Franz Marc died of injuries inflicted at the Battle of Verdun where he was serving in the military. He was 36.

Blue Horse I by Franz Marc (1911)

Blue Horse I by Franz Marc (1911). Currently owned by the Lenbachhaus Museum in Munich, Germany

Blue Horse I by Franz Marc (1911). Currently owned by the Lenbachhaus Museum in Munich, Germany

'Small Horses' by Franz Marc (1909)


'Charge of Flowerdew's Squadron' by Sir Alfred Munnings 1918

Sir Alfred Munnings (1878-1959) was a British artist, famous for his many paintings of horses. Munnings was an official war artist in the first World War conflict in Europe, and was attached to the Canadian Cavalry Brigade. He painted this large canvas in 1918 as a tribute to 'the last great cavalry charge'. Nearly three-quarters of the Canadian cavalry involved in this attack against German machine-gun positions at Moreuil Wood on 30 March 1918 were killed or wounded. Lieutenant G.M. Flowerdew, who led the charge, was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

'Charge of Flowerdew's Squadron' by Sir Alfred Munnings 1918

Image courtesy of Wiki Commons

Image courtesy of Wiki Commons

Balthasar Paul Ommeganck (1755–1826)

Born in Antwerp in 1755 Balthasar Paul Ommeganck (1755–1826) became renowned for his skill as a painter of animals and landscapes. At twelve years old, he was registered in the Antwerp Guild of SaintLuke as a pupil of the respected painter Hendricus Josephus Antonissen. He also studied at the Antwerp Academy where he was awarded a second prize for drawing in March 1771. Ommeganck built on his early successes, and enjoyed a long and rewarding career both as an artist and as a teacher. This picture of a hoirse demonstrates Ommeganck's talent for depicting the rough winter coats of horses at pasture,

'A Horse' by Balthasar Paul Ommeganck


Pompeii's fiery mosaic horses

The Alexander Mosaic, dating from circa 100 BC, is preserved in the National Archaelogical Museum in Naples, Italy. It was discovered in the House of the Faun during the excavation of Pompeii, an ancient Roman settlement, which was destroyed during a volcanic eruption. The horses are shown as lively and wild-eyed. This wonderfully detailed mosaic allows us to see how horses were harnessed and ridden over 2,000 years ago, and is a reminder of how important horses were to our ancestors.

The Alexander Mosaic from the Museo Archaelogico in Naples

Detail from  'The Alexander Mosaic' Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Detail from 'The Alexander Mosaic' Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Frederic Sackrider Remington (1861-1909)

Frederic Sackrider Remington was an American painter, illustrator, sculptor, and writer whose depictions of the Old American West, included well-loved images of cowboys, native American Indians, and the U.S. Cavalry.

Remington was an exceptionally gifted artist and sculptor, and his work often includes wonderful examples of equine art. Despite dying of complications following appendicitis at the relatively young age of 48, Remington left a vast legacy of completed artworks. He was a truly prolific artist, and a larger than life character in every aspect of his life.

The Scout - 'Friends or Foes?' by Frederic Sackrider Remington

This is one of my favourite paintings by Remington. A stunning image, painted between 1900 and 1905.

This is one of my favourite paintings by Remington. A stunning image, painted between 1900 and 1905.

Smoke Signals by Frederic Remington

Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Courtesy of Wiki Commons

George Stubbs (1724-1806)

Born in Liverpool in 1724, George Stubbs was to become one of the most famous British equestrian artists. The well-known painting of 'Whistlejacket' at the head of this article is by Stubbs.

Stubbs had a great affinity for horses, and for animals in general, and frequently sought to depict more exotic varieties in his work. Stubbs work includes many equine portraits, and he was a commercial success for the majority of his long career. His paintings continue to be highly regarded (and extremely valuable) more than 200 years after his death.

'Mares and Foals' by George Stubbs, 1762

Image courtesy of Wiki Commons

Image courtesy of Wiki Commons

The racehorse, Eclipse, with his groom at Newmarket by George Stubbs

This is one of George Stubbs' many portraits of racehorses, painted at Newmarket, close to the famous English racecourse

This is one of George Stubbs' many portraits of racehorses, painted at Newmarket, close to the famous English racecourse

'Mares and Foals' by George Stubbs, 1763-68

Tate gallery, London UK. Image courtesy of Wiki Commons

Tate gallery, London UK. Image courtesy of Wiki Commons

The Uffington White Horse

The Uffington White Horse is a highly stylized Bronze Age hill figure, which measures 110 m long (374 feet). It lies on the upper slopes of White Horse Hill at Uffington, Oxfordshire, and is one of a number of chalk images carved into hill-sides in the English countryside, although it is by far the oldest of them. The figure is formed from deep trenches filled with crushed white chalk. Modern dating methods suggest that it is around 3000 years old, and the site has been maintained periodically throughout it's long history, in order to prevent it grassing over. No-one knows why it was originally cut into the soil, although there are many theories. Certainly it is a powerful image, and it featured on many of the Celtic coins that were in circulation before the Roman occupation of Britain.

The Uffington White Horse is etched in chalk on a hill-side in Oxfordshire, England

Courtesy wiki commons

Courtesy wiki commons

Van Calraet -Painter of Fruit and Horses

Abraham Pietersz Van Kalraat (1642-1722) (also known as Van Calraet) was a Dutch Golden Age Painter who started his career as an artist painting fruit, but is now also known for his excellent paintings of horses in landscapes. This image of two horses shows Van Kalraat's attention to detail, and fondness for painting these wonderful animals.

'Two Horses' by Abraham Van Calraet

Image courtesy of Wiki Commons

Image courtesy of Wiki Commons

More fantastic horse paintings

Artists from around the world create a giant mural of a horse

More hubs on art for you to enjoy....


Susan Taylor Proctor on April 04, 2020:

Amanda, Not a painter, but a USA sculptor famed for his mastery of equine subjects. Alexander Phimmister Proctor (approx 1860 - 1950). The installation of The Mustangs at a college in Texas was his final work.


Amanda Severn (author) from UK on December 10, 2019:

Thank you Ranjan!

Ranjan dhar from Kolkata, INDIA on December 10, 2019:

Fantastic description about art and painting, particularly when the beauty of a horse redefined!

Cathy Fidelibus - Creative Touch Art from New Jersey on May 16, 2018:

Thank you for such an informative and entertaining artlcle. Have you ever heard of an Equestrian Artist named Sam Savitt? I lived on his estate in No. Salem, NY for a while. He was a great person, kind and gentle spirit, and a great mentor to me. Here is an article about him: https://eqliving.com/remembering-artist-sam-savitt... Enjoy :)

Deborah Minter from U.S, California on August 26, 2017:

Fascinating article.

Delia on February 11, 2015:

Great Equine artists featured! One of my favorite artist is Alfred de Dreux .... The Mosaic Mural you have featured on a YouTube video, I have my painting in it....I wrote about my experience on a page here.

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on March 29, 2013:

Hi DaffodilSky, thanks for dropping by and commenting. Stubbs' 'Whistlejacket takes a lot of beating!

Helen Lush from Cardiff, Wales, UK on March 27, 2013:

Beautiful images - particularly the Stubbs paintings. I love horses! Great hub.

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 13, 2013:

To the reader who e-mailed me asking for help with a recently acquired horse picture. I do not offer an appraisal or valuation service, but I have written about researching old paintings and prints in great detail in two of my other on-line articles. You can learn more by clicking on my profile at the top of the page and following the links. Good luck with your research.

george hendrikse on February 16, 2011:

no no , I have a lump in throat- I will sell my house to buy these paintings !

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on June 10, 2010:

Thanks Blue Parrot. I think 'Whistlejacket' is one of the best equestrian pictures around. I once went to an exhibition of Stubbs work, and this was definitely his finest painting, (in my opinion!)

blue parrot from Madrid, Spain on June 10, 2010:

Nice hub, Amanda. Now you'll have to do one on equestrain statues. I hope you won't forget the Donatello and the Verrocchio, or the wonderful Benlliure (General Martinez Campos) in Madrid. That Stubbs is really spectacular--great choice.

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on August 26, 2009:

Hi Meghan, the painting is called Whistlejacket and it's by George Stubbs. I'm sure it would make an amazing tattoo!

Meghan on August 25, 2009:

What is the name of the first picture, the horse that looks like he is almost jumping and is looking at you. It looks like a painting I saw in London and always wished I could get a print of. I want a tatoo of that painting/picture!

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on June 01, 2009:

Thanks for stopping by, Prasetio. I've never painted with egg tempera, but I've seen some really good work done in that medium.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on May 30, 2009:

Nice painting. I like painting also, but in egg. thanks for great picture

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on April 10, 2009:

Hi C.S. Alexis,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I just checked out the link you posted, and the work is really unusual and stunning. It takes great skill and vision to assemble a work of art out of random pieces of driftwood. The artist has certainly done the subject justice.

C.S.Alexis from NW Indiana on April 09, 2009:

I found it on the Internet. http://behindthebit.blogspot.com/2008/04/driftwood... Hope you enjoy this artwork as much as I do. This artwork is something special, takes these women a lot of driftwood to produce this kind of work.

C.S.Alexis from NW Indiana on April 09, 2009:

I have some horse art that I will email to you if I can locate it in my computer. Love the powerful animal and you did this hub justice. Thanks for sharing.

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 28, 2009:

Hi online-business,

It's great to share our art with like-minded people. I look forward to seeing your sister's work!

online_business on February 28, 2009:

Great. I must ask my sister to start a hub page for drawings. Maybe you two can be great friends.

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 28, 2009:

Thanks for the links. There are some great paintings of fox hunts around. Fox hunting is more about the spectacle and the occasion than it is about the poor old fox. You might know that hunting a fox with hounds was legally out-lawed in the UK a couple of years ago, but many of the hunts still meet, and they are worth seeing, in their fine red jackets on a crisp winter's morning.

newsworthy on February 27, 2009:

From my understanding Amanda, the original title 'The Fox Hunt' was painted by Winslow Homer in 1893. On the contrary, the painting of starving crows hovering over a fox in the snow isn't really about horses.

Sorry,I should have written Fox Hunt(ing) as shown in these plated engravings


English fox hunting made terrific equestrain art. Although most of these old horse works are SOLD, they are fun to look at: http://www.printsoldandrare.com/foxhunting/

Jus thought Id share while I enjoyed this hub thoroughly. :)

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 27, 2009:

Hi Newsworthy,

Do you know the painter of Fox Hunt by any chance? If we could track it down, I could possibly include it here?

newsworthy on February 26, 2009:

No mention of the great horse paintings, Fox Hunt? It is the 19c. London engraving over my home desk! I know... boring, huh.

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 22, 2009:

Hi 2patricias

If you've a mind to see an exhibition of horse paintings my personal favourite is Castle House at Dedham on the Essex/Suffolk border. It was the home of Sir Alfred Munnings and makes a perfect backdrop for his paintings. I did once go to a Stubbs exhibition in London, but although Whistlejacket is one of my all-time favourites, a whole room full of Stubbs was more than even I could take!

Parrots in Art must have been a fine sight! They must have had to cast their nets far and wide for that one!

2patricias from Sussex by the Sea on February 21, 2009:

Wow! Great illustrations - wide selection of ages and schools of painting. Made me think that I'd love to see an exhibition of horse paintings. (BTW - last year the Barber Institute in Birmingham had an exhibition called 'Parrots in Art')

Sherri from Southeastern Pennsylvania on February 17, 2009:

Oh, Amanda, don't be sorry.  I've cultivated my depressing experiences into art forms, seriously.  There's as much to be learned from black as there is from white, as much from sorrow as from joy, as much from plunging as soaring.  Each extreme brings insights that could be gained in no other way. 

Truth be told, I'm a little more interested in the engineering aspects of the installation than I am in the artistic.  I'm fascinated about the scope, as you are. Imagine having the means and knowledge to create 100 iron casts of your own body, anchored into the earth as decorative heads of acupuncture pins that challenge the saying, "time and tide wait for no man".  If I had a little more time these days, I'd go investigating the engineering design and construction processes behind the work.

Again, thanks for sharing!

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 17, 2009:

Thanks Sally, for your thoughts. I'm sorry that you found the Gormley sculptures depressing, although I can see what you mean by that. My take on them is that they are watchers waiting on the shore, and, as I live on the coast myself, I find the movements of the tides familiar and timeless, an integral part of the experience.

I'm fascinated by the scope of some of these huge works, and even how they get funding! I know a number of working artists, and many of them are obliged to work at other jobs as well just to make a living. It's just a different league I guess.

Sherri from Southeastern Pennsylvania on February 16, 2009:

Thank you for the Gormley link.  I'm afraid this art event, happening, installation, is depressing the hell out of me.  Because of the representation of people who are being swallowed up into the tides, and because the real live people looking at this installation are wondering where all these casts are going.

But here's the good news.  The installation does what it's supposed to do...elicit a reaction.  The idea that these sculptures are acupuncture on the skin of the earth is mind boggling.  So, the surface of the earth is the skin which has paths to the heart, to the essence, to the spirit, of the earth.  And yet, all is somber, contemplative, longing...well, I think I could go on and on about this, but only under a dark cloud.

The white horse touches me in no similar way.

I understand now your comment about "static".  And I thank you for your elaboration.  I wonder what awaits, looking into the horizon.  Shades of Stephen King here.  What is coming through the mist?

Thank you so much for this extra added link and for bringing forth your description of "static".

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 16, 2009:

Hi Sally,

I guess my I could have expressed that better, couldn't I? By static, I meant posed, and still, rather than suggesting movement as in the Remington sculpture. Another Anthony Gormley that you might enjoy is at this link:


and again, this seems to be about stillness, contemplation and waiting.

I feel as though we're on the edge of great change globally, and that some of the large works of art currently appearing here in the UK represent that sense of stillness before a storm. But maybe that's just me!

Sherri from Southeastern Pennsylvania on February 15, 2009:

Amanda, I did not know about the Angel of the North until I read your Hub and followed your link. You say that there's a static style of monumental sculpture in Britain at present, and I wonder what that means?

As far as the Angel goes, I see it, at this moment, as dynamic, progressive, and metaphorical (with my little knowledge about the sculpture and its background..which I will look into, thanks to your Hub). It says a lot more to me than the white horse does.

Guess the jury's out for now, with verdict to be determined in the future.

As for American artists, I spent my college and post-grad years learning about European artists and the influences they had on Americans. It was only much later in my life that I began to appreciate American artists as a genre, a happening, unto themselves.

Again, thanks for an awesome Hub.

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 15, 2009:

Hi Sally,

Thanks for the link and the info. about Remington. I think he's a wonderful artist, but I have to confess that I know less about the man and his work than I do about many of our European artists. Perhaps that's something for me to research! The sculpture is very impressive and full of action, as you would expect from Remington. It's certainly a far cry from the Ebbsfleet sculpture which has more of a pastoral feel about it. There seems to be quite a movement towards this very static style of monumental sculpture in Britain at present. Have you seen anything about the Angel of The North, which is also huge and very striking?


Sherri from Southeastern Pennsylvania on February 15, 2009:

Beautifully put together, Amanda! A real joy to experience.

Did you know that Remington, despite his prolific output of both sculpture and painting, created only one large-scale, bronze? It is the magnificent cowboy on a shieing horse, displayed on a rocky crag overlooking Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. I was always intrigued by this detail of his works and thought I'd share, especially as I thought about it in contrast to what's going on in Kent. I must admit that the proposed sculpture looks a little lackluster, considering other artists' spirited and energetic renderings. On the other hand, it's apparently already generated a lot of publicity, which is what Ebbsfleet is after. If the goal of spending all that money is to drive tourists to Ebbsfleet, then I say it's a good investment, no matter what it looks like. But until it's built, I won't know whether to call it art or mere sensationalism.

Thanks for the link to Kent News...it was most informative. You can see the Remington sculpture here:


Quite a contrast!

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 13, 2009:

There's a small photo mock-up on this site with more info:


And I think there's also a similar image at the end of the Youtube clip. It's a big project, and as you say Cris, more architectural than sculptural in a way.

Cris A from Manila, Philippines on February 13, 2009:

yes, it definitely would be a magical sight like only white horses can be! I wonder how it will be posed...

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 13, 2009:

I think so. Kind of. Something this monumental is more akin to the Mount Rushmore monument, or the Eiffel Tower, or even our British Angel of the North. You need to be thinking right outside the box to come up with a concept so grand. I can't wait to see it in the flesh.

Cris A from Manila, Philippines on February 13, 2009:

Well geez, I guess that kind of art will have to be more like arhictecture in a sense that it will have both aesthetics and function although not necessarily utilitarian in nature - but it will obviously help tourism in that place. And I think that art being incidentally artistic (as in i will paint and not think of art but ending up with a piece of art) is long gone specially when it involves that big amount of money - it has to serve a purpose. Did I make sense? LOL

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 13, 2009:

There are some great images of horses in art, Cris, and as you say, the ancient art pieces give a clue to how important horses have always been to man throughout the milennia. As an art buff yourself, what do you think about the Ebbsfleet White Horse that I wrote about at the start of the hub?

Cris A from Manila, Philippines on February 13, 2009:

Wow Amanda this is a great art collection. Horses deserve to be in high art as they are one of the noblest creatures to work this earth with man. And based on the more ancient art pieces, it is evident that they are indeed special to man since time immemorial. Thanks for sharing! :D

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 12, 2009:


I hope your sisters enjoy the pictures. They did take a while to find, but I enjoyed searching them out. Thanks for stopping by.

LondonGirl from London on February 12, 2009:

what a wonderful collection!

I've emailed this to both my sisters, as they are horse nuts and will love it. Must have taken you ages to put together.

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 12, 2009:

Thank you Melissa! You make being a pig sound great! I hope your reading as a horse is equally pleasing. I have to agree that pigs can be quite endearing, and I particularly like little ginger Tamworths, particularly when they're piglets.

And yes you're right, that horse does have a knowing look about him!

Melissa G from Tempe, AZ on February 12, 2009:

Personally, I think pigs are lovely creatures. :) I did a little research on your Chinese Astrological sign, and I think it's actually quite fitting: Contrary to its rather negative reputation in the West, the Pig of Chinese Astrology may be the most generous and honorable Sign of the Zodiac. Pigs are nice to a fault and possess impeccable manners and taste. They have so much of the perfectionist in them that others may be inclined to perceive them as snobs, but this is a misconception. Pigs are simply possessed of a truly luxurious nature, one that delights in finery and riches (in surroundings, food, lovemaking and otherwise). This Sign believes in the best qualities of mankind and certainly doesn't consider itself to be superior. Pigs also care a great deal about friends and family and work hard to keep everyone in their life happy. Helping others is a true pleasure for the Pig, who feels best when everyone else is smiling (from http://chinese.astrology.com).

I tend to like either very detailed or very abstract art, which might be why I gravitated toward the Gozzoli. I especially like how the horse seems to be gazing out of the canvas, with such an intelligent and soulful expression.

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 12, 2009:

Thanks for stopping by Justmesuzanne.

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 12, 2009:

Thanks Melissa. I don't know too much about Chinese Astrology either, but I do know that my own sign is a little less glamorous than yours, as I'm actually a pig! The Gozzoli is a good choice. The level of detail in 15thcentury art is often astonishing, and the fact that it was painted as a fresco has helped to keep those colours jewel bright.

justmesuzanne from Texas on February 11, 2009:

Lovely! Thank you! :)

Melissa G from Tempe, AZ on February 11, 2009:

Nicely done, Amanda! I share your affinity for horses and I agree that you've chosen a wonderful sampling of artwork to capture their grace and beauty. I think the Gozzoli one is my favorite.

I remember choosing horses as my animal of choice for a project in elementary school, and then a few years later I discovered that I was born in the year of the horse! I don't know much about Chinese astrology, but that doesn't keep me from taking great comfort in my cosmic association with such a noble creature. :)

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 11, 2009:


Thank you so much for all your efforts. (Mucho gracias Chica!) I like the Byzantine mosaic on Flickr. What was going on in that picture? It looked like a very early example of road rage, with bodies being trampled under the horses hooves! The second sitesandphotos image is great too, but in a different way. Very fluid lines, and great feeling of movement.

Elena. from Madrid on February 11, 2009:

Two more and I've done my duty :-)



Elena. from Madrid on February 11, 2009:

You Brits, you!  Laugh! Here are some images:

- Roman Villa bath: http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/armerina/chario...

- Rome, too, but don't know exact location (this is more on the chariot than the horse, but still): http://www.sattlerlatin.com/pic17.html

- Jackpot in Flickr :) There are plenty, here's a Bizantine one: http://www.flickr.com/photos/44124324682@N01/27687...

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 11, 2009:

Hi Shalini,

I love the Degas ones too. I'm a sucker for his pastels, and I love his informal compositions. I imagine he may have used photography as an inspiration for some of his work.

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 11, 2009:

Thanks Elena. I'd forgotten about the Roman influence further east. The problem with our Roman remains, is that being a tiny and crowded island, we tend to build on top of them!

Shalini Kagal from India on February 11, 2009:

Amanda - that was a treat! I love the Degas ones especially! You pick the best and put them together so well - thanks for a wonderful hub!

Elena. from Madrid on February 11, 2009:

Let me try and fetch images from the web, Amanda -- there are some well preserved ones in Turkey, Tunisia and Syria, and also some in Rome and Athens in museums. Some of these have horses, maybe I find something in the web :-)

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 11, 2009:

Hi Catherina.

Thanks for stopping by. Horses are wonderful, aren't they?

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 11, 2009:

Thanks Elena, The mosaic is sweet. Where have you seen other mosaics with horses? The Roman mosaics in Britain tend to be quite stylized and mostly geometric, and the only mosaic that I've seen with a regular horse in it would be the Nile Mosaic at Palestrina. Being in Europe, you probably know where some of them are?

Catherina Severin on February 11, 2009:

Thank you for sharing these beautiful images of this wonderous, clever and special animal. xx

Elena. from Madrid on February 11, 2009:

Very pretty, Amanda, I especially like the mosaic --and there are plenty of fabulous mosaics with horses!

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 11, 2009:

Thanks Kerry. I love horses too, and they make a great subject to paint.

kerryg from USA on February 11, 2009:

What a beautiful hub! I've been horse crazy for as long as I can remember, but some of these images and artists are still new to me.

Amanda Severn (author) from UK on February 11, 2009:

Thanks Brian. It was a lot of fun putting it together.

Brian Stephens from Laroque des Alberes, France on February 11, 2009:

Fabulous paintings and artwork to go with this very informative hub, another nice piece of work Amanda. Thumbs up from me.

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