About animals

VII International Student Scientific Conference Student Scientific Forum


From the first drawings in caves created 15-20 thousand years ago, and to the costly portraits made in recent years, which are much more expensive than painting, elite horses for wealthy owners - the image of the horse does not leave anyone indifferent.

Well-being and fertility are embodied by horses depicted in cave paintings in Neux and Vallon-Pont-d'Arc. Powerfully outlined by a flexible, thick black line, with a heavy large body and thin light legs, they rush through the darkness of caves, surprisingly overcoming the insane distance of millennia and our relatives with that primitive master, who, like us, was fascinated by these beautiful animals.

In the Land of Eternal Life, hooves carrying the bronze chariot of Pharaoh Ramses, light-footed hammered horses of the Arabian type with short-cut mane are knocking hooves - in ancient Egyptians this animal was a weapon or an indicator of status.

The mighty bronze horse with a small jockey on its back rushes with all its might - it miraculously rushed to us from Ancient Greece, most of the sculptures of which were preserved only in Roman copies.

Ceremonial portrait of a stallion

The British animalist George Stubbs became famous for his specialization in the depiction of horses, whom he sometimes painted without any background, in the tradition of ceremonial portraits. Extraordinarily lively, energetic, graceful, dignified Stubbs horses adorned the cabinets of sometimes far less aristocratic English gentlemen.

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The Renaissance continued the ancient fashion of pictorial depictions of the figures of horses, unfolded to the viewer with croup, in crowded processions. This made it possible to reduce the fussy detail, give a bright solid color spot to relax the eyes and work with shades of color on a large plane as opposed to fine detail of the rest of the picture field. So horses are written by Paolo Uccello, Giorgione and other artists. Rafael’s horses are very “human”, ironically looking at the viewer, offering to join the contemplation of the plot.

These artists laid down the tradition of depicting horses, giving descendants the opportunity to develop certain directions, trying to express their attitude to the beautiful animal.

Not a horse, but a symbol

In the Middle Ages, the horse was depicted somewhat schematically (only pagans draw as in life) and mainly under the saddle. Such, for example, are the statue of the Bamberg Horseman, an almost toy horse in the model of the monument to Charles the Great, or the gracefully drawn graceful horses from the popular Limassol Duke's Watchtower.

Philosopher horse

The equestrian monument of Marcus Aurelius, the emperor-philosopher, is the only surviving bronze equestrian statue of the times of Ancient Rome. It is no coincidence that it is considered the “most intellectual portrait of a horse” in all of fine art. Subtle elaboration of details, excellent knowledge of anatomy, the ability to convey the figure of an animal in motion, create a mood give the hand of a wonderful sculptor-animalist, which is not easy to find equal.


The image of the horse in artwas used many thousands of years ago, even before the era when the horse was domesticated and tamed by man. For example, cave paintings in France show us not only the pictorial skills of primitive people, but also the appearance of ancient horses. These drawings were made in deep underground caves, thanks to which they have survived to our time. Moreover, the researchers are interested not only in why the horses were depicted in such an inaccessible place, but also in whether they were images of those creatures that primitive people considered godlike?

A horse is one of those animals, which can be found in pictures, and indeed in art, is not difficult, so much it has entered our lives. Why is the image of a horse in art affected by many artists? How did a horse deserve such attention of masters of all time? Not for nothing that horses were deified in ancient times, because this animal is distinguished not only by its beauty and grace, but also by its intelligence and excellent intellect.

The work of George Stubbs, an American artist (1724-1806) is familiar to many, because most of his canvases depict horses. The customers of his paintings were exclusively aristocrats of that XVIII century. The most famous painting is a canvas depicting a prancing stallion nicknamed Whistlejackate. The dimensions of this picture are very impressive: 292cm by 246.4cm. The canvas was commissioned by the Marquis of Rockingham, a generous patron of the artist, the owner of the animal. Maybe a horse bribes people with its friendliness? After all, after a dog, probably, first of all, a horse can be called a friend of a person. And often the horse in the pictures is depicted in this role.

In the XVII century, horses were portrayed as drinking water, and galloping among the fields, and participating in fierce battles with the enemy. Even in the icon and the fresco, horses were often depicted. One of the great portrait painters of the 17th century, Sir Anthony Wandaike, also did not ignore the image of the horse, for example, on the canvases of the Horse portrait Charles I "(1638) and" Charles I English on the hunt "(1635)." Horse portrait "- an unusually beautiful picture, the central image of which is a magnificent horse, against the background of the power and beauty of which the figure of the king seems pale and inexpressive. The horse is not depicted with anatomical accuracy: he has a powerful body, slender long limbs and a disproportionate head compared to the torso, which nevertheless does not deprive him of beauty. From the second portrait, the king who has just dismounted from his horse looks at us. the picture shows sun its only a fragment of a horse, nevertheless, you can see that he is beautiful, muscular and well-groomed.Horse stands, bowing his head, as if he wants to bow to the great sovereign

In the middle of the 18th century, with the advent of romanticism, French artists Theodore Gericault (1791-1824) and Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863) continued to portray the image of a horse in many of his works. You can talk endlessly about the works of the great artists of that time, because horses were not only helpers at all times, but also loyal comrades, both ordinary people and noble nobles

Russian painters also did not disregard the theme of horses, so Nikolai Yegorovich Sverchkov began to draw horses as a child, showed observation, could accurately convey the habits of his "models". He was independently engaged in drawing and painting .. The image of the Russian troika is also present in many of his works. Three - considered as the spirit of the Russian people, the same mischievous, fast and fun. In 1852, Sverchkov received the title of Academician of "Painting of Folk Scenes" for the painting "The Landowner's Three", and in 1855, the professorship for the painting "Road".

Ultimately, the horses did a lot for us, we can say we owe them. And it is not surprising that in many paintings they are the center of composition or the only figure. The animalistic genre is an integral part of the history of art. Accompanying man from the first steps of his existence, the horse became one of the first images of the animal in art. It not only reflected its place in human life, but also was sometimes exalted above others, proving not only a utilitarian, but also an artistic and aesthetic role.

Ed. Kalashnikova T.V. Encyclopedia of Russian Painting, Moscow:

"OLMA-PRESS", 1999 with. 257-266

Ed. Afanasyeva I.V. Culture and art. "Horses"

Horses in Russian art of the 19th century

The art of the first half of the 19th century, the era of wars and revolutions, gave much for the development of the horse theme, in its depths lurked the beginnings of many important processes that influenced the artists of that time.

Romanticism discovered the horse as an object of art, saw in it a part of wild, free nature, not corrupted by civilization. Artists of Europe gave in those years many memorable images of horses, among them the works of J. Stubbs, T. Gericault, P. Mikhalovsky and others. Numerous pastels, paintings, lithographs by A.O. Orlovsky, B. Svebakh were the response of the masters working in Russia to the mood of the era, a reflection of the craving for freedom, for feat, for exoticism. Later, romantic moods were reinforced by the atmosphere of wars in the Caucasus.

The appearance of portraits of horses was new and logical for this era, which served as the beginning of a great tradition in Russian art. Such is the emotional pen drawing “The Horse's Head” (1807) by A. O. Orlovsky. Later they will write outstanding, beloved or characteristic representatives of the breed. Portrait compositions where the horse is depicted in profile and the rider in full face will become popular in the middle of the century. New was the motive of the Russian trips. Orlovsky’s lithographs masterfully convey the frisky movement of trotters, the characteristics of characters and horses are vital, the life of the capital is ordinary. With romanticism came a fascination with hunting scenes.

In the first half of the 19th century, ceremonial equestrian portraits were still painted with the processes of democratization of public life inherent in time, but now their customers could be not only the court of the emperor and those close to him, but also a wide layer of the nobility. The middle of the XIX century, associated with the last decade of the reign of Nicholas I and the “peal” of the second wave of romanticism in Russian art, gave an unexpected surge of interest in hippology.

The popularity of this topic was accompanied by the appearance of early, classic and characteristic works of N. E. Sverchkov and P. K. Klodt, related to the theme of the horse and the formation of a special aesthetics of this art. The cult of the horse was equally aristocratic and democratic, complicated in terms of evaluation and at the same time accessible to understanding. At that time, whole portrait galleries of horses began to form in the houses of officials and nobles, and genre works with scenes from the life of horses were being assembled. These works - paintings, drawings and engravings - combined idealization and naturalism. Works at this time are ordered, collected, presented, replicated.

List of Russian artists addressing the topic of horse

  • Avilov M.I. (1882-1954)
  • Beggrov K.P. (1799-1875)
  • Burliuk D. D. (1882-1967)
  • Vasnetsov V.M. (1848-1926)
  • Vinogradov V.A. (1858-1893)
  • Vrubel M.A. (1856-1910)
  • Georgian P.N. (1835–1892)
  • Dmitriev-Orenburg N.D. (1838-1898)
  • Kandinsky V.V. (1866-1944)
  • Kovalevsky P.O. (1843-1903)
  • Korovin S.A. (1858-1908)
  • Larionov M.F. (1881-1964)
  • Makovsky K.E. (1839-1915)
  • Orlovsky A.O. (1777-1832)
  • Petrov-Vodkin K.S. (1878-1939)
  • Pirate K.K. (1813-1871)
  • Samokish N.S. (1860-1944)
  • Svebach B.E. (1800-1870)
  • Sverchkov N.E. (1817-1898)

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