Horses in art

Alnwick Town Centre
Alnwick Town Centre

The speaker at Alnwick Probus Club was Dr John Cox who is a veterinary surgeon at Liverpool University animal hospital. He gave his talk based on Horses in Art.

His interest in art and horses has lasted a lifetime, although he could neither paint or draw the animal.

His talk took our group back to times when caves contained fantastic drawings of animals and onto the present day. He said we could look at paintings of horses and be either confused or unsettled It was a purely personal thing that we all possessed.

Some of the slides of horses from the photo montage showed them to be drawn 13 metres long. This is going back 15,000 years. It was an Ice Age image and was found in the Dordogne in France.

He showed many images of horses going back many centuries, not drawn by masters but by ordinary people.

Nearer to home, he showed us a picture of the white horse at Uffington, which is 1,000 BC.

Fascinating facts such as - do horses lift all their feet off the ground as they gallop had to be proved and this was done by the artist George Stubbs in 1872.

This was achieved by a new camera shutter which had a faster film that he used to record the gallop as the horse passed the shutter at ground level. It was proved that indeed at the gallop the four legs are off the ground.

His talk gave us so many facts that it was difficult to record them all. It was clear that he had a depth of knowledge and a passion for his subject. This was clear to all who listened to him.

A lovely expression he used often was he would just gaze in amazement at certain pictures. He was a pleasure to listen to and all agreed he was an excellent speaker.

A vote of thanks was given for a splendid presentation.