Caves at Lascaux
An appreciation of the horse in art and history from 35,000 years ago to the present.
Man's shared existence with the horse extends over 35,000 years and one cannot help but wonder what we would have achieved without having his strength to pull our ploughs, carry us to the four corners of the world and (regretfully) into battle.
From the Ice Age to the present he has captivated man by his physical presence, speed and strength...and he has carried man or been with him at almost every significant event since his domestication. Most awe-inspiring is how the horse figured so superbly in prehistoric cave paintings and in carvings of exquisite anatomical accuracy and elegance: no matter the reason, it is as if the horse helped make of us an artist and an appreciator of the beauty in the world around us.
The history of our shared existence is illustrated with art and stories telling of horses that have starred both in fact and fiction and of the humans who cared for and loved them. The beginning of the end of the horse's use to man came a bare 100-150 years ago with the industrial revolution - and suddenly the art of impressionists falters in its admiration of his beauty and revels in the steamy thunderous vision of an 'iron horse'. One of his last mysteries, his galloping movement, was only revealed in 1878 by another invention, photography.
A footnote: "horsepower", a word that was coined when machines (specifically the steam engine developed by James Watt) began to replace their power is a word we still use today - but without a moment's thought as to its significance. So next time you see or read the word - pause - and remember how this honors the strength and mobility horse gave to man from the dawn of time.
The Jockey ca 150 BC
"Skittles" a woman famous for her style on a horse...and elsewhere!