Sep 14, 2011
Oct 28, 2008

Saddled Arabian Horse in Courtyard

Saddled Arabian Horse in Courtyard


Carle Vernet

(French, 1758–1836)

Pen and brown ink, brown wash, with gray wash, over black chalk or crayon, heightened with white gouache and white chalk

Support: Brown wove paper, perimeter mounted to cardboard, with decorative overmat (19th century?)

Sheet: 15.8 x 24.2 cm (6 1/4 x 9 1/2 in.); With mount: 22.3 x 30.7 cm (8 3/4 x 12 1/16 in.)

Bequest of Muriel Butkin 2008.398



While his father, Joseph, was known for marine paintings, and his son, Horace, became a celebrated Romantic artist, Carle Vernet excelled in representing battles and animals, especially horses. Vernet was an expert rider himself, and in his pictures he precisely described various breeds and horse dressings. Although the artist never traveled further from France than Italy, his drawing of an Arabian horse contains elements that make it seem as if he observed the animal in its native environment. He documented the unique saddle and included exotic architecture in the background and palm trees at the right. Vernet was able to study exotic breeds and costumes in Paris, both in the military corps and at the horse races.

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