Thursday, May 26, 2016

Gaspar ter Borch - a Dutch Baroque horse and rider

 it is a Spring time in full blood (ok, Northern Hemisphere), horses should spend more time outside if stabled, in a fine pasture-land, nipping and grazing, and train more and more everyday, to return to the last year's fitness level.

Speaking about the stables and corrals, let us travel in time to the fine, golden times of the XVII century Dutch Republic, where in Deventer lived a painter known as Gaspar ter Borch (son of a painter of the same name)  who specialized in genre painting, and he was very good at it :) .
We should note that he started very early,  the piece being the subject of this entry he painted only at 17.
Before we get to the piece this is he in a self-portrait painted at mature age.

Ad rem,
this painting is titled 'Man on Horseback' and portrays an armored but anonymous soldier shown from the rear.
In this image Gaspar is giving us only the rear view of this Dutch (presumably) cuirassier of the 30 years war and his bay mount.
Well, we can study a bit of this and that from the image.
We can see that he is wearing 3/4 armor (a frontal of a 3/4 armor here, a full armor here), with the rear skirts of his buffcoat covering the saddle's cantle. What we can see of the horse-tack is very limited, only the wide, shiny iron stirrup and a bit of a cinch (bark strap ). But his long riding boot is equipped with a nice rowel spur. No crupper to secure the saddle and then our painter gave us a full view of a typical slopping hindquarters of the Baroque horse.

Nota bene our rider is armed with a broadsword in a black scabbard hanging from a shoulder pendent. We cannot see if he has any firearms but most likely  he would have.

more XVII century Baroque Dutch horses from various artists
a horse market by Pieter Wouwerman, brother to Philips.

 military scenes

traveling without a pomp, often dangerously

palfreys and cart horses

ending with a typical Dutch painters' scene of winter merriment and frolics on frozen streams, ponds, and canals when life was so good :)

all images are in Public Domain (Wikimedia Commons)

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