Friday, April 20, 2007

Artistic Influences Part II

I've been giving a good deal of thought to the master horse painters who've influenced my development as a contemporary equine artist. My post about artistic influences last week led to these artists that I left out.

Ahh...Caravaggio. "The Conversion of Saint Paul". The gentleness of this pinto as he carefully lifts a leg to avoid stepping on St. Paul. The light, the color, the drama...

When I was in art school studying the impressionists, I searched out Edgar Degas' racing paintings while my peers studied the dancers. Degas obviously loved the races as much as I. No starting gates here. Look at this horse straining for grass as they line up for the start.

"Shoeing" by nineteenth century English artist Sir Edwin Henry Landseer. He was most famous for his canine paintings but also rendered beautiful equine and wildlife paintings.

Another English painter, a bit more contemporary, Sir Alfred Munnings. When I worked at Santa Anita Park in California, his paintings adorned the walls of the Turf Club. It wasn't long before their increasing value necessitated an auction at Sotheby's. I'm so glad I had the chance to see them in a most appropriate setting. Each painting commanded around a million bucks.

Back at stateside, Frederick Remington's "Dash for the Timber" is one of my all-time favorite paintings. It's said that Remington requested his tombstone to read "...let it be said he could paint the horse...". I don't know how true that is but I'll say it for him. No magnificent steeds here but rather scrappy, tough little horses in a race for survival.

In my opinion, the painter's painter - modern, living artist Andre Pater. You can see the influence of Munnings on his work. The hounds are his specialty, but he can paint anything.

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