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Horses and People in Art: Ancient Connections

October 2018 by Dr Georgina Downey
An art historian who's published extensively on the domestic interior, Dr Georgina Downey is the human of Classic, the dressage schoolmaster and Angas, the Cairn terrier. In this regular Horses and People in Art column, she provides a unique equine-centred perspective to famous equestrian artworks.

Xenophon’s texts on horsemanship written around 350BC were considered, for a long time, to be the earliest extant works on equitation. For the training of the military horse, Xenophon set the pattern. In fact, extracts from ‘On Horsemanship’ and ‘The Cavalry Commander’ are still required reading for candidates of examinations administered by the British Horse Society1.