When you tell art lovers that you collect horse paintings to hang on your walls, most will ask you whether a reproduction of “Whistlejacket” by George Stubbs is against your walls. If not, you will not be seen as a horse painting fundi! Instead, they will wonder how a collector of horse paintings can not have a replica of his home’s most famous horse painting in Western art history.
Although they are correct regarding this real-life picture of the racehorse Whistlejacket as the most famous horse painting, many other artists have created stunning depictions of horses, and many of their paintings are famous.
Well, I have an excellent reproduction of “Whistlejacket” on my wall. Still, I will gladly share some of the other famous horse painting replicas you can have in your personal collection.
The Polish Rider (1655) by Rembrandt van Rijn
There is a story connected to this painting. Some art scholars believe this is not a Rembrandt artwork but a creation by one of his students. One of the reasons they offer to validate their theory is that “The Polish Rider” and “Portrait of Frederick Rihel” are the only two equestrian portraits in Rembrandt’s portfolio.
Nevertheless, I believe it is a Rembrandt artwork he created around the 1650s. It portrays a young man traveling on horseback through a murky landscape. Art historians are unsure whether the artwork was created as a portrait of a living or historical person. And if so, of whom.
Equestrian Portrait of George Washington by Rembrandt Peale
Yet another horse painting that art enthusiasts love is ‘Equestrian Portrait of George Washington’. The painting was created in 1808 by Rembrandt Peale. Peale was an artist who captured the “atmosphere” of the post-Revolutionary United States with his art. His “Equestrian Portrait of George Washington” reminds me of the origins of the United States. Peale did this painting from memory. But although it was done from memory, Peale’s canvas tells the story of early American patriotism.
Some of his memories date back to 1795, when Peale was 17 years old and did his first painting of then-President Washington. In “Equestrian Portrait of George Washington,” of which a replica is hanging against my walls, Washington towers into view astride his horse. Looking at the paintings, it seems like he is staring at you. Peale promoted the memory of Washington as an unequaled leader, remaining mounted and always leading.
Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques Louis David
The reproduction of “Napoleon Crossing the Alps” is also one of the favorite paintings of many individuals to sit and look at. This masterpiece is one of David’s most famous paintings and one of the most reproduced images of Napoleon. It shows a strongly idealized view of Napoleon and his army crossing the Alps through the Great St Bernard Pass in 1800.
Interesting, “Napoleon Crossing the Alps” is a series of five “identical” portraits of Napoleon Bonaparte painted between 1801 and 1805. Four copies were intended for four different venues, and David kept the fifth one in his studio until his death.
The original painting was a commissioned work by David. After Napoleon had crossed the Alps, presents between Charles IV of Spain and Napoleon were exchanged. One of the gifts to Napoleon was this still-to-be-commissioned painting by the painter David. The French ambassador to Spain requested the original painting from David on Charles’ behalf. The painting was to hang in the Royal Palace of Madrid as a goodwill gesture to the new relationship between Spain and France. David accepted the commission.
From the beginning, Napoleon had asked David to use the painting as propaganda and portray him mounted on a fiery steed. However, initially, the crossing was made on a mule. Napoleon instructed David to produce three reproductions of the artwork- one for the Château de Saint-Cloud, the second for the library of Les Invalides, and the third for the Royal Palace of Milan.
A Dash for the Timber by Frederic Remington
Another famous horse painting I have a reproduction on my wall is “A Dash for the Timber.” Frederic Remington created this Impressionistic painting in 1889. The painting shows eight mounted cowboys and their packhorse in full gallop. They are racing for the cover of the trees ahead as they are chased by a war party of Indians on horseback. You can see three cowboys shooting backward over their shoulders.
Remington very skillfully portrays the horses in this painting. They are galloping with nostrils flaring and muscles straining, and this masterpiece is the epitome of the American frontier’s visual description. This painting was created in Remington’s studio when he was twenty-eight after several journeys to the frontier and observations of the activities of the U.S. Cavalry.
La Chasse (“The Hunt”) by Albert Gleizes
Style-wise your favorite reproduction against your wall will be “The Hunt” by Albert Gleizes. It is an example of Gleizes’ dynamic Cubist style. You will find it an excellent conversation piece. Not everyone likes the cubist style, but it is regarded as one of his greatest works.
It was painted in 1911 and portrayed a hunting scene with seven people and numerous animals.
The painting conveys the tension between the men on horseback and the animals.
Many famous horse paintings have been created over the centuries, and you have a wide choice of horse painting reproductions you can hang on your walls. In addition, horse paintings are usually excellent conversation pieces because art lovers and horse lovers are always commenting on either the painting techniques or the depiction of horses.