Friday, March 18, 2011

"Tang Dynasty Prancer"

"Tang Dynasty Prancer", oil on linen, 12x12

My father, who passed away this past October at the age of 92 years, passed along his great love of horses to me. As I've mentioned in previous posts, as a young artist horses were the subject of many of my paintings; many of them my Dad's. The hearts of artists and poets throughout the ages have
been captivated by the beauty, power and grace of these wonderful creatures.

My Dad had such a way with them, such a gentle touch; it was apparent to all who knew him. Now, I do not see a horse without thinking of my Dad and the while I paint them, I think of him, as well.

As a still life painter, the Tang Dynasty horse has become a great source of inspiration for me. Within the Tang society (China 618-906AD) the horse played an important role and was revered for their vigor and strength. They symbolized strength and status, as well as reflected on the personality of their owners and the prosperous and powerful Tang Dynasty itself.

Ceramic models of the owner's horse have been found preserved in their tombs. Upon death, many Chinese horsemen were buried with clay horse sculptures and horses on which human figures are mounted, occupy a special place.  These would often be found either preceding or following the coffin.

The Tang horse portrayed in my painting "Tang Dynasty Prancer", 12x12, oil on linen, is not an authentic Tang horse but a reproduction which occupies a special place in my studio and which I treasure nonetheless.   I've painted a number of them which I'll display in future posts. 

I hope you enjoy their elegant, and often dramatic, beauty as much as I enjoy sculpting them with paint.  For me, with each brushstroke, the ancient horse comes to life.

This framed painting is available for purchase at: [Space] Untitled or for further information please email me at

Please see the post above to see this painting framed. 

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