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Horses: History, Myth, Art

Horses: History, Myth, Art

by Catherine Johns


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The remarkable relationship between people and horses has been evoked in art from the beginning of the bond between them. In this beautifully illustrated book, Catherine Johns explores the horse in art from the ancient world to the modern era.

In early human history, horses were among the wild creatures hunted for meat; they were domesticated comparatively late, around 4000 B.C. As people developed from hunter-gatherers to farmers, the horse offered the potential for a revolution in power and transport—the ability to move farther and faster transformed society. Johns tells the story of the horse and highlights the key roles this animal has played in human warfare, travel, ceremony, hunting, racing, and in myth and symbolism.

The themes are presented in stunning four-color illustrations of British Museum objects that trace our perceptions of the horse through time and space, and convey the wide variety of images that have been created of this magnificent creature: in colossal and life-sized sculpture, in paintings, and in minuscule form on coins, gems, and jewelry; and from the world of ancient Greece and Rome to the arts of India, Africa, China, and Japan.

Horses appear in stone and metal, ceramic, wood, bone, ivory, and textiles. From the Horse of Selene and a gold model chariot from the Oxus treasure to Persian miniatures and prints by Duerer, Stubbs, and Hokusai, this book will inform, entertain, and delight horse lovers and all readers interested in this inspiring animal and its profound contribution to human culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674023239
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 01/31/2007
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 234,911
Product dimensions: 8.46(w) x 8.46(h) x (d)

About the Author

Catherine Johns is a retired curator of Romano-British collections at the British Museum.

Table of Contents

Foreword and Acknowledgements     6
Horses and Humans     9
The Image of the Horse     29
The Dawn of Art     30
Horses in Nature     34
Riding     40
Racing     52
Hunting     62
Chariots and Carts     68
Horses and Heroes     78
Gods and Saints     82
Knights and Warriors     92
Parades and Processions     98
Royal Horses     102
Horses and Nobles     114
Art and Style     122
Breeds and Types     130
Asses, Onagers, Mules     136
Care of Horses     146
Objects of Use and Ornament     152
Myths and Monsters     168
Further Reading     188
Illustration References     189
Index     190

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