cover image The Horse: From Cave Paintings to Modern Art

The Horse: From Cave Paintings to Modern Art

Edited by Jean-Louis Gouraud, Michel Woronoff, Henri-Paul Francfort, et al, Abbeville, $150 (400p) ISBN 978-0-7892-1018-0

"The horse, the noble animal par excellence" is celebrated in this painstakingly curated volume. At almost two feet high and weighing over three pounds, this is a substantial but worthwhile commitment for the reader. The editors chronicle the horse's appearance in painting and sculpture, from prehistoric times to the late 20th century. While Picasso's stirring anti-war painting "Guernica" and Seurat's "At the Circus" are two of the more famous works included, it's the photographs of ancient cave art, found in Saint-Germain-en-Laye and other places, that is most evocative, giving readers a glimpse into art and history that they likely have never seen (indeed, some of the works are difficult to view even at these sites), and connecting them to people who lived thousands of years ago. Unfortunately the text, translated from the original French, is dry and irritatingly out of synch with the art on the page, but it's the beautiful photographs that matter in a volume like this and they are remarkable. Art fans will gain a new subject for their appreciation, and equestrians will be glad to see their muse so celebrated. Photos. (Oct.)