Olaf Schneider, “Out in Front,” 2015, oil on canvas, 42 x 72 in.

by Max Gillies, contributing writing to Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine

Horses have played a starring role in art from its very beginnings.  On the walls of the Chauvet cave complex in southern France—believed to be approximately 30,000 years old—they appear prominently among the animals these prehistoric artists recorded.  And of course horses’ dynamism drives forward the procession depicted in the British Museum’s Elgin Marbles (5th century BCE), which originally adorned the Parthenon in Athens.

Mark Edward Adams, “What Lies Beyond,” 2012, bronze (edition of 12), 14 x 4 x 14, photo: Paul Savage
Mark Edward Adams, “What Lies Beyond,” 2012, bronze (edition of 12), 14 x 4 x 14, photo: Paul Savage
Bill Anton, “Under the Cowboy Moon,” 2011, oil on linen, 30 x 24 in. private collection
Bill Anton, “Under the Cowboy Moon,” 2011, oil on linen, 30 x 24 in. private collection
Heather Arenas, “Home on the Range,” 2016, oil on linen, 18 x 18 in. Mary Williams Fine Art
Heather Arenas, “Home on the Range,” 2016, oil on linen, 18 x 18 in. Mary Williams Fine Art
Julie Bell, “Backstage Jitters,” 2016, oil on wood, 20 x 24 in. private collection
Julie Bell, “Backstage Jitters,” 2016, oil on wood, 20 x 24 in. private collection
Kevin Box with Te Jui Fu, “Monument Ponies,” 2006, 67 x 80 x 24 each; Kevin Box, “Dancing Pony,” (blue) 2007, 40 x 48 x 13, bronze
Kevin Box with Te Jui Fu, “Monument Ponies,” 2006, 67 x 80 x 24 each; Kevin Box, “Dancing Pony,” (blue) 2007, 40 x 48 x 13, bronze
Tom Browning, “On the Lookout,” 2015, oil on canvas, 12 x 28 in. private collection
Tom Browning, “On the Lookout,” 2015, oil on canvas, 12 x 28 in. private collection
Mary Ross Buchholz, “Dapple Dan,” 2015, oil and gold leaf on panel, 28 x 20 in. private collection
Mary Ross Buchholz, “Dapple Dan,” 2015, oil and gold leaf on panel, 28 x 20 in. private collection
Laara Cassells, “Neither Jasmine nor Duke,” 2009, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 48-1/2 in. private collection
Laara Cassells, “Neither Jasmine nor Duke,” 2009, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 48-1/2 in. private collection
D.L. Engle, “Waiting,” 2012, bronze, 12-1/2 x 8-3/4 x 4-1/2 in. private collection
D.L. Engle, “Waiting,” 2012, bronze, 12-1/2 x 8-3/4 x 4-1/2 in. private collection
Joan Frimberger, “Flaxen-Haired Girl,” 2014, acrylic on linen, 30 x 30 in.
Joan Frimberger, “Flaxen-Haired Girl,” 2014, acrylic on linen, 30 x 30 in.
Nanci Fulmek, “Cash and Katherine,” 2016, oil on canvas, 24-1/2 x 23-1/2 in. private collection
Nanci Fulmek, “Cash and Katherine,” 2016, oil on canvas, 24-1/2 x 23-1/2 in. private collection
Cheryl Harley-Volz, “In it to Win It,” 2014, colored pencil on paper, 10 x 19 in.
Cheryl Harley-Volz, “In it to Win It,” 2014, colored pencil on paper, 10 x 19 in.
Olga & Aleksey Ivanov, “Cowboy Chair,” 2014, egg tempera on panel, 20 x 16 in. Rose Renée Fine Art
Olga & Aleksey Ivanov, “Cowboy Chair,” 2014, egg tempera on panel, 20 x 16 in. Rose Renée Fine Art
Laurie Kersey, “Stanley’s Bath, 2015, oil on canvas, 10 x 8 in. private collection
Laurie Kersey, “Stanley’s Bath, 2015, oil on canvas, 10 x 8 in. private collection

From the Crusades and Genghis Khan to Columbus and the Wold West, horses have featured in human history every step of the way, universally revered for their speed, power, grace, intelligence, and nobility.  When we learn of horses being eaten by famine victims or dispatched to the glue factory, we are instinctively repulsed because they are not merely animals to us: they are somehow a version of our better selves, regardless of whether we have mounted one, or even touched one.

Bruce Lawes, “On a Cloud,” 2015, oil on linen, 40 x 50 in. private collection
Bruce Lawes, “On a Cloud,” 2015, oil on linen, 40 x 50 in. private collection
Jan Lukens, “Bay Hunter III,” 2015, oil on canvas, 60 x 48 in. Sportsman’s Gallery & Paderewski Fine Art
Jan Lukens, “Bay Hunter III,” 2015, oil on canvas, 60 x 48 in. Sportsman’s Gallery & Paderewski Fine Art
Mark Maggiori, “Always on the Run,” 2015, oil on linen, 30 x 40 in. collection of Derek Tam
Mark Maggiori, “Always on the Run,” 2015, oil on linen, 30 x 40 in. collection of Derek Tam
Kiki Martinez, “Andaluz,” 2015, oil on canvas, 53 x 93 in.
Kiki Martinez, “Andaluz,” 2015, oil on canvas, 53 x 93 in.
Terry Miller, “The A Team,” 2013, graphite on board, 10 x 23 in. private collection
Terry Miller, “The A Team,” 2013, graphite on board, 10 x 23 in. private collection
Amelia Murdock, “Double Stop,” 2016, oil on linen, 14 x 18 in. collection of Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson
Amelia Murdock, “Double Stop,” 2016, oil on linen, 14 x 18 in. collection of Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson
Carrie Nygren, “Between Chukkers,” 2017, oil on canvas, 35 x 30 in.
Carrie Nygren, “Between Chukkers,” 2017, oil on canvas, 35 x 30 in.
Lori Putnam, “A Full Pack,” 2016, oil on linen, 28 x 36 in. Illume Gallery of Fine Art
Lori Putnam, “A Full Pack,” 2016, oil on linen, 28 x 36 in. Illume Gallery of Fine Art
Rosetta, “Friesian Fantasy,” 2016, bronze, 16 x 21 x 5-1/2 in. Bronze Coast Gallery
Rosetta, “Friesian Fantasy,” 2016, bronze, 16 x 21 x 5-1/2 in. Bronze Coast Gallery
Olaf Schneider, “Out in Front,” 2015, oil on canvas, 42 x 72 in.
Olaf Schneider, “Out in Front,” 2015, oil on canvas, 42 x 72 in.
Jill Soukup, “Working out the Kinks,” 2017, oil on canvas, 20 x 20 in. Saks Gallery
Jill Soukup, “Working out the Kinks,” 2017, oil on canvas, 20 x 20 in. Saks Gallery
Andrea Steiner, “On the Line,” 2010, oil on canvas, 24 x 36 in. Dog & Horse Fine Art & Portraiture
Andrea Steiner, “On the Line,” 2010, oil on canvas, 24 x 36 in. Dog & Horse Fine Art & Portraiture
Bart Walter, “Guardian,” 2013, bronze, 132 x 48 x 114 in. Stevenson University, MD
Bart Walter, “Guardian,” 2013, bronze, 132 x 48 x 114 in. Stevenson University, MD
Rod Zullo, “The Écorché, Muscle Skeletal Model,” 2016, shown here in clay, 17 x 22 x 5 in. Legacy Gallery
Rod Zullo, “The Écorché, Muscle Skeletal Model,” 2016, shown here in clay, 17 x 22 x 5 in. Legacy Gallery

This is an excerpt from “The Timeless Appeal of Horses”. Find the full article in the March / April 2017 Edition of Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine.

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