Monday, March 1, 2010

Thulstrup's Horses

What I have for you today is some real vintage imagery. There are several subjects in Golden Age material that get repeated thematically. I've made you aware that the sea is a theme I am especially fond of—another theme that surfaces in art of this age, not surprisingly, is horses. When you think of early horse painters, Frederick Remington is likely the first in mind, perhaps followed by Charles Russell. (I actually prefer Russell) But here is a name I stumble across frequently while covering the late 19th century, and his horses were amazing.

Thure de Thulstrup (1848-1930) was born into the higher end of Swedish society. His father, a high-ranking military official, gave him a solid education, though military-based. Thulstrup's serious interest in art (he also served in the Franco-Prussian War in the early 1870's) did not happen until later on—his earliest illustrative employment was with the New York Daily Graphic in 1876. A part of the Harper staff during the 1880's, he would have been there when Howard Pyle was getting much of his early work for Harper's. What remained with Thulstrup from his earlier life was an understanding of military subjects—what was important to a soldier, what details were necessary—and the guy could draw cavalry like few others at the time. He did apply this same technical understanding to the occasional maritime piece, but military, and battle scenes—especially containing horses, remained his speciality.

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