Saturday, February 20, 2016

Geertgen tot Sint Jans - horses and riders

perusing Wiki Commons galleries of painters one may come across many detailed images, not even available in print, of masters not of high notoriety and popularity in our day and age.
One of such masters may be Geertgen tot Sint Jans, a second half of XV century painter from the northern Burgundian realm prematurely deceased at the very young age of 28, author of very few surviving works (perhaps iconoclastic protestants destroyed his art during the period of Reformation in the Low Countries), but especially of this famous painting John the Baptist in the Wilderness - if you are a student of the Late Gothic art , Low Countries of the late Middle Ages or religious art in general.
Well, let me turn your attention to his art showing horse and rider -

From the Adoration of the Magi (circa 1480 in Vienna) comes this beautiful detail

From a another beautiful  Adoration piece (148-5, at the Rijksmuseum ) - come these details

In both paintings we get to see the New Testament subject matter which is indisputable, but then paying closer attention to the second plane/background we get a glimpse of the XV century riding style, i.e., long legs, curb-bits, tack and saddles, and robust Medieval horses. Now, we are in the Low countries, the homeland of the Dutch and Friesian horses, yet we see grays, bays, bucksin and palominos here... then perhaps so adored presently black Friesian horse was bred later, during the XVIII century or so?



Unknown said...

witam, myśląc o różnorodnej maści koni prezentowanych we flamandzkich rycinach, podejrzewam bardziej artystyczną wizję autora- pokazać "wypasione", czyli barwne przedstawienie, niż prawdę o maści fryzyjskich koni.

Unknown said...

and what do you think about this all- connected with arabian horses breeding in Poland? or maybe you never comment the present time?

Dario T. W. said...

Per color aka masc konska: ludzie sredniowiecza- rycerstwo i arystokracja plus duchowni - kochali sie w roznorodnosci, w tym w kolorach swych koni,ktore zreszta takze farbowano. Wiec wydaje mi sie ze tutaj mamy do czynienia z przedstawieniem rzeczywistosci. Burgundia byla bardzo bogata w XV wieku. Tak jak bella Italia - konie byly jak samochody dzisiaj, od luksusowych po bardzo utylitarne, choc nigdy tanie - tanie konie byly na stepie jednynie..

Dario T. W. said...

Per Polish goverment's action on their stud farms of Janow Podlaski and Michalow?
Well, it is Poland's national property, the government - according to the principles of parliamentary democracy - can run state property as they see most reasonable and beneficial to the state and the people, don't they?
I hope they will take good care of the horse farms, but these recent appointments, replacing seasoned managers Trela and Bialobok with these two folks who are rather untrained ones, do not show a good care, forethought. afterthought, nor resolute planning, in terms what is the best for the stud farms.

however, I find it 'strange,' repugnant to prosperity, bad-business practice and completely misguided that the horses are not insured locally, the very lack of insurance policies on these expensive breeding equines is so injurious to the state treasury and taxpayers when actual do occur. And in course of doing business you cannot never predict when accident happens and loss occurs, especially when breeding horses. So yes, they have to change these policies as per insurance etc.
Famous horses that died in 2015 due to sickness mare Pianissima and stallion Esparto - - are probably the tip of the lack-of-insurance iceberg..
It is a bad, Communist style thinking not to have these wonderful animals insured - after all it is only 5% per annum of their declared value (so say horse insurance companies in Poland ). I guess the owner - Polish Agricultural Development Agency - has been run by some very incompetent people for the last 27 years.
I also would like to know the contracts that have been singed between the stud farms and the foreign parties, when it comes to leasing stallions, especially mares and wombs (with their embryos). But that is my lawyering curiosity - especially on the details of related to venue, jurisdiction, choice of applicable stud Books rules and of which party etc..

I would love to see a reform of these hiring and insurance practices for the state-run horse farms, but then I am more of a fan of private ownership... including breeding horses - after all the famous Polish horse breeding was created and successfully maintained by our private landowners, who imported these animals from the desert, Hungary and Turkey etc.

Unknown said...

Thanks a lot for your detail respond. Therefore maybe should (or already exist) two heads of a stud farms- one expert of breeding and one typical manager. I can't go through the fact- that people who left years of their lives and hearts for breeding horses are frown out - just as a rubbish. I had seen such situation- it is very bad and I feel ill of it.
Once again thanks for a "man's" approach to topic;-)

Unknown said...

About those colors of horses- it can be truth- that the rear colors were the most desired. Well, It can be a good answer;-))