The horse is an icon of civilization. Man has long depended on the horse in farming, transportation, war, religion, and exploration, and as a consequence we have a wonderfully rich legacy of horses depicted in art. This spectacular book presents the horse in its many roles since its discovery and domestication until the present day.
Distinguished author John Baskett begins with the horse in ancient civilizations, including masterpieces from Asia, and then discusses the horse in the Middle Ages, in which the animal was bred for warfare and agriculture and is represented in such scenes as the Bayeaux Tapestry. Renaissance artists, whose interest in horses was as great as that for the human form, are then discussed, evidence of which is shown in the skillful drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. The 17th century brought beautiful examples of naturalism from such masters as Peter Paul Rubens, while George Stubbs became the premier horse painter in 18th-century England. Works by Americans George Catlin and Frederic Remington are also explored, along with exquisite miniatures of natural scenes produced by Persian and Mughal painters from varying periods.
A new edition of a long out-of-print gem, The Horse in Art brings artistic representation of the horse to life, with additional illustrations, a new chapter on the 20th century, and the inclusion of biographies of the artists featured in the book. With beautiful color reproductions and an accessible text, this book is a unique and indispensable guide to the changing cultural perspectives, artistic styles, and symbolic interpretations associated with its timeless and much-loved subject.
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John Baskett was the first curator of the Paul Mellon art collection and assisted Mr. Mellon in writing his autobiography, Reflections in a Silver Spoon. The author’s first edition of The Horse in Art was published in 1980.From Booklist:
The horse has been a subject of deep interest and fascination to artists worldwide and across time. Baskett's history of the horse in art begins with ancient civilizations and moves on to encompass the early oriental horse, the medieval horse during the age of chivalry, horses in Renaissance and Baroque art, and finally nineteenth-century and modern tributes to this majestic animal. In every age, artists have vacillated between steadfast devotion to correct anatomical detail and dreamlike impressions. George Stubbs was so determined to achieve scientific precision he spent eight years dissecting and sketching horse carcasses, leaving his The Anatomy of a Horse as a legacy to other artists, whereas Rubens' horses were as imaginatively curvaceous and sensual as the women he painted. Horses in the midst of barely remembered battles grace the frescos of ancient Greece and Rome, and Frederick Remington's poignant sculptures of the Old West portray vibrant scenes between men and horses. Humankind's love for and dependence on this powerful and beautiful animal are boundless, as proved by this densely illustrated volume. Pamela Crossland
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