Book Review: The Horse: 30,000 Years of the Horse in Art

As evidenced by haunting figures painted upon unlit cave walls, man has a longstanding fascination with the power and beauty embodied by the horse. This breathtaking volume provides a journey through the more then 30,000 years of the horse in art. Heavily illustrated with stunning artwork beginning with caves in southern France, Pickeral goes on to show how the horse was represented throughout “primitive” cultures. The Eastern Horse highlights work by Mou-Lan, Ando Hiroshige and Adolf Schreyer while examining the horse’s cultural influences and roles. Assorted works of Leonardo da Vinci along with paintings by Anthony van Dyck illustrates The Power Horse while providing the reader with renewed appreciation for the artistic detail and in awe of the elemental power this noble animal. Similarly, each subsequent chapter focuses on a different aspect of the horse from mythical to real, fast to romantic, the new world to modern with the very best examples from the likes of Theodore Gericault, George Stubbs, Edgar Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, George Catlin and too many more to mention.

Quite simply, this is the finest compilation of horse art available. Pickeral has created a captivating, comprehensive work that follows the noble horse from its small ancestors to the fine breeds we see today while illustrating its impact on human history. Whether your interest is centered specifically on the horse or art in general, there is much to savor here. 


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