A gem of a book

The Book of the Horse: Horses in Art. Author: Angus Hyland and Caroline Roberts. Publisher: Laurence King Publishing. Price: £12.99

This book needs to be bigger! That was my first thought, not in pagination, but literally be a bigger size. It would make a beautiful, huge hardback coffee table book.

It is still a rather lovely read in its paperback small size if you love horses, art and equestrian quotes. It is full of stunning artworks by well known and lesser-known artists. There are some images in here you will recognise, the famous ‘Whistlejacket‘ by George Stubbs for example, but there are also some gloriously quirky ones which I have not seen before – like this horse’s head by Lucian Freud, from 1947, and the quote that is with it is brilliant. I had no idea until I read this book that he loved horses and did many paintings of them.

The famous Whistlejacket painting I learned was considered really unusual for its time as it had a plain background – really common in today’s equestrian art.

Henri De Toulouse -Lautrec

‘Henri could not follow in (his father’s) stirrups, breaking both legs as a child. The injury subsequently resulted in severely stunted growth, and the description of the artist as ‘an aristocratic, alcohlic dwarf’.

Horses have always held a place in the heart of art – from the earliest depictions of them cantering across the walls of the caves of stone age man, and this book shows that really, nothing has changed. Artists across the world still find inspiration in the heart of the horse.

This would make a great buy for a friend who would enjoy leafing through it. It is a really reasonable price for a nice thing.

The book of the Horse: Horses in Art

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