Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Horses from Old Poland - real or imaginary

 Salvete Omnes,

a little post on some horse imagery and one court painter that never made it to his royal patron.

Flemish painter, the scion of the artist family, Ferdinand van Kessel, active in Breda (the same town made famous by Diego de Velasquez painting), at some moment in his artist life became a long-distance court painter for our Royal Majesty king Jan III [Sobieski].
Among works van Kessel painted for king Jan III were allegorical panels showing the four continents, and I would like to bring your attention to the panel dedicated to Europe (panels are held in Vienna, Austria, in the Kunsthistorisches  museum).

in this panel there are two smaller ones that contain horse and these panels purportedly show the Polish royal city of Krakow and English city of London respectively.
the panel with Krakow

in this panel there are two horses - perhaps Old Polish horses. One horse is a 'tarant' and 'dropiaty'- spotted horses of the leopard complex coat type.

the other animals are also  very interesting - a bear, a moose (European elk), possibly an auroch, lynx etc.

and the London panel



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