Equestrian exhibition in Petworth

The Rountree Tryon Gallery opens a new sporting horse exhibition in Petworth.

Jeremy Houghton's portrait of Prince Harry
Jeremy Houghton's portrait of Prince Harry

Celebrated equestrian artists from the 18th century to the modern era come together in an exploration of the relationship between horse and human

Spokeswoman Nicole Dearden said: “Rountree Tryon Gallery, specialists in sporting, wildlife and maritime fine art, is opening The Sporting Horse, a new exhibition in its Petworth Gallery. The new show brings together celebrated equestrian artists from the eighteenth century to present day including James Seymour, Marcus Hodge, John Wootton, John Ferneley, Mirjam Verhoeff, Jo Taylor and Jeremy Houghton.

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“The exhibition brings together stylistically-diverse artworks across a range of media to explore the profound, shifting relationship between horse and human in the modern era. This is an era defined by the horse’s liberation from manual labour, one that has developed and valued the horse’s unique qualities of speed, intelligence, courage and joie de vivre.

“From the founders and masters of the sporting genre in the early 18th century to today’s young artists, the contributors to this exhibition are united by their appreciation of these characteristics.

“John Wootton’s substantial painting depicts the great racehorse Hobgoblin, the artwork’s value and scale reflecting that of its subject. John Ferneley Senior’s Portrait of Sir Francis Grant, meanwhile, celebrates the fashionable heyday of fox-hunting, then a novel opportunity for gentlemen to ride their own horses in a sociable and challenging context.

“Some of the contemporary artists, such as Mirjam Verhoeff and Jeremy Houghton, have developed distinctive techniques for evoking speed almost to the point of abstraction, while Jo Taylor’s work testifies to the power of the horse as an archetype in fantasy and the imagination. What emerges across the range of exhibits is an enduring affinity for the horse in art, as well as unalloyed passion for the versatility and spirit of this magnificent animal.”

Jamie Rountree, founder and director of Rountree Tryon Gallery, said: “We are delighted to bring The Sporting Horse to our Petworth Gallery, an area of England synonymous with horses and racing.

“The new show reflects an appreciation of the horse and the exhilaration that comes from watching its speed and movement. A good artist knows just how to capture this while conveying a sense of intensity and movement in a few brush strokes. The Sporting Horse takes you on a journey from the 18th century all the way through to contemporary times. It’s a must see show for horse enthusiasts.”

The Sporting Horse is showing until August 19.

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