maroon horse

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Today we show…a huge portrait of a horse. The Whistlejacket (the name of the horse) is one of the most famous horses in art history. He belongs to the Marquis of Rockingham. Horse artist George Stubbs painted him life-size, standing against a plain background. In 1762 Stubbs was invited by Rockingham to live “for a few months” at Wentworth Woodhouse in Yorkshire, his main country house. Stubbs painted many portraits of horses, but the heroic gesture and vacant background of the “Whistle Jacket” are unique in his work, and in horse portraits in general. We see the horse standing in the equestrian “levade” pose, but with his head turned to the viewer, brewing a romantic study of solitude and freedom. The painting is an early hint of Romanticism and a challenge to animal painting, which occupies a humble place in the genre hierarchy.

We also wanted to challenge some areas, so we created a new set of animal-only postcards! They are very beautiful and feature art from all over the world (we are really beyond the classics of European art history). Check them out here ! 🙂

PS Meet Alfred Munnings , who loves horses as much as Stubbs and has painted countless horse portraits.

292 x 246 cm

National Gallery

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