25th January 2017

The Horse and Modern Art from George Stubbs to Mark Wallinger

The horse is so rooted within the psyche of the Western imagination that it has maintained its expressive power, as the current production of War Horse so eloquently testifies. This lecture traces major themes from Stubbs, the greatest horse painter of all time, through Degas, Duchamp-Villon’s Large Horse, a modern metaphor of horsepower, and Munnings’s horses as defining images of Englishness, to Picasso’s agonised horse in its death throes in Guernica, expressing the city’s horrific destruction in the Spanish Civil War. The lecture concludes with the very diverse ways in which our leading contemporary artists have made use of the expressive power of the equestrian image. Mark Wallinger’s gigantic 50 metre high horse will soon loom over the Kent countryside in Ebbsfleet.

Dr Nicholas Watkins

Nicholas Watkins is Emeritus Reader in the Department of the History of Art and Film at the University of Leicester. He is a curator, critic and author and lectures extensively to universities, museums, art galleries and art societies. His numerous publications include Matisse (1984), Bonnard Colour and Light (1998), The Genesis of a Decorative Aesthetic (2001), Marino Marini (2007), Behind the Mirror: Aimé Maeght and His Artists (2008), and on television, Pierre Bonnard: A Love Exposed (1998). He is a regular contributor to The Burlington Magazine and other leading art journals.