Book Review: ‘The Book of the Horse’

Art lovers, take note!

Horses have long inspired artists, all the way back to primitive cave paintings. As all of us who have spent our lives with horses understand, there’s an almost spiritual appreciation for not only their outward appearance and physical abilities, but their soulfulness and character as well.

It’s this appreciation that is chronicled in Angus Hyland and Caroline Roberts’ The Book of the Horse: Horses in Art. As the horse’s role in mankind shifted, so did his representation in art, and this small but vibrant book captures that evolution: selections from the past five centuries in full color are interspersed with profiles on influential artists who made equines their subjects. Inspiring quotes are sprinkled throughout the book as well, making this guide a great mini-homage to the horse in art.

Cover-to-cover, The Book of the Horse is a quick read; it’s not the typical large, glossy “coffee table book” but could make a good casual read or quick reference for those with an appreciation for both horses and art. I would not call it an exhaustive reference on the history of horses in art, nor a full catalog of every major equine or equestrian artist in history, but it’s a fun, enjoyable introduction for individuals with an enthusiast’s interest.

The Book of the Horse is available for sale as of today via Laurence King. It’s sized appropriately to be a stocking stuffer!

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