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Art Diary

Horse in Majesty – At the Heart of a Civilisation

28 June 2024

The Palace of Versailles, which will this summer host several Olympic and Paralympic equestrian events, is also holding a major exhibition dedicated to the horse and its evolving role in society (2 July–3 November). More than 300 examples of equine paintings and sculptures from 16th to the 20th centuries are divided into 13 distinct sections. These include ‘Of horses and Kings’, ‘The horse: master of war’ and ‘Horses and science’, as well as a final section exploring the end of equestrian civilisations, titled ‘Galloping into a new world’. Rather than being contained to the gallery, the exhibition sprawls into some of Versailles’s most famous spaces, including the Hall of Mirrors and the Dauphin’s apartment. Find out more from Palace of Versailles’s website.

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Head of white horse (1800–1825), Théodore Géricault. Photo: Thierry Le Mage; © RMN Grand Palais (musée du Louvre)

Combat of the Giaour and the Pasha (1835), Eugène Delacroix. Photo: © CC0, Paris Musées Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris

Rearing Horse (1605–10), Adriaen de Vries. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles