Monday, December 21, 2015

The General's Horse

graphite on paper
A4 (21 x 30 cm)

This is a drawing of a statue in the Glypoteket in Copenhagen. It is not a live horse, but a horse of a warrior from another century.
It is not a happy horse. Today we would say the horse is behind the bit, meaning that his nose is behind the vertical. This usually indicates that the rider has a harsh hand and pulled the horse's nose towards its neck via brute force with the bit, a piece of iron laying in the horses mouth. The open mouth is also a testament to the rider's strong hand, if the mouth were closed, the nose would be even more behind the vertical. This must be very uncomfortable for the horse.
The horse is well muscled and conditioned.  It is well groomed and his mane braided for the occasion, and the bridle has a golden trim. The warrior, who is not in the sketch and was broken in the statue, is also dressed in full armor.  While majestic the horse also shows pain and oppression.