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20 March 2018The Horse, Modernity & Modern Art: from Stubbs to Mark Wallinger
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The Horse, Modernity & Modern Art: from Stubbs to Mark Wallinger Dr Nicholas Watkins BA (Hons) MPhil (Courtauld) PhD Tuesday 20 March 2018

Dr Nicholas Watkins is an Emeritus Reader in the Department of the History of Art and Film at the University of Leicester. His career has included roles as curator, critic, author and, of course, lecturer. His numerous publications include works on Matisse and Bonnard and the impressively entitled Genesis of a Decorative Aesthetic.

The horse is so rooted within the psyche of the Western imagination that it has maintained its expressive power, as the hugely successful theatrical production of War Horse so eloquently testifies. This lecture traces major themes from Stubbs, the greatest horse painter of all time, to Degas, Duchamp-Villon’s Large Horse, a modern metaphor of horsepower, Munnings' horses as defining images of Englishness, Picasso’s agonised horse in its death throes in Guernica (1937) which expresses the horrendous destruction of the city in the Spanish Civil War. The lecture concludes with the very diverse ways in which our leading contemporary artists have made use of the expressive power of the equestrian image. Mark Wallinger’s gigantic 50 metre high horse will soon loom over the Kent countryside in Ebbsfleet.

Further reading

Susanna Forester, The Age of the Horse, London 1988, Atlantic Books

Ulrich Raulff, Farewell to the Horse, London 2017