Cover: Horses: History, Myth, Art, from Harvard University PressCover: Horses in HARDCOVER


History, Myth, Art

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Product Details


$35.00 • £27.95 • €31.50

ISBN 9780674023239

Publication: January 2007


192 pages

175 color illustrations

North America only

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.