2013 is closing fast on us, i must admit I do not like that the New Year starts in the dead of the winter, I rather take the Persian New Year tradition of Nowruz that falls around the Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, but things are as they are :)
Ad rem, Jean-Louis André Théodore Géricault aka Theodore Gericault was a marvellous Romantic painter from early XIX century France, whose works are admired all over the world.
I do like his brushwork as shown in portraits or period scenes, but I find his horses and riders even more appealing and worth studying, for they are wonderfully drawn and painted, with so much spirit and love for the subject that I never cease to marvel.
About his studies Jean-Louis Andre Theodore wrote himself:
''To draw and paint after the great Old masters. -Read and compose - Anatomy. Antiques -Music -Italian. -Take courses in ancient art, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, at two o'clock... draw after the antique ... go yo M. Guerin's in order to paint after nature ... Concern myself with the style of the Old Masters and compose, without going out and always alone.'' ( in Nina Athanassoglou-Kallymer, 'Theodore Gericault' 2010, p 20)
We should note that he first studied with a famous French horse painter Carle Vernet (1758-1833)
Horace Vernet, also a great painter of horses and military, teacher of Polish painters eg January Suchodolski and Juliusz Kossak.
About his horses a cousin of his Henri Moulin said in 1865 -
Horses, as he himself confessed, just made him crazy, and perhaps no other painter better than himself felt so vividly the beauty of this proud and fiery animal ... so much was his passion for the horse akin to madness ... An excellent rider, his greatest pleasure was to gallop wildly through the countryside, preferably mounting pure-blood horses and always selecting the wildest ones. ( Nina Athanassoglou-Kallymer, p 14)
Love the Chasseur a Cheval of the Imperial Guard (Napoleon I )
Barb horses racing in Papal Rome - part of the old Carnival of Rome
the studies of horses, done in oil or watercolour
cavalrymen - like this Wincenty Krasiński
and many others
and Mazeppa -
as the Russians say - pa ka - :)
British Museum research website, and I find this one interesting - shows a Spanish horse between the pillars, with a cavesson etc, and the stallion's trainer?
images come form Wikimedia Commons and wikigallery.org