above: Marina Abramović
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
The quintessential Renaissance man, da Vinci was a polymath with contributions ranging from painting to engineering. Leonardo’s fascination with horses resulted in detailed anatomical sketches and notes. His “Gran Cavallo,” though never completed, stands testament to his admiration for the creature.
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
The Polish composer is renowned for his romantic-era compositions, especially his piano works. Though more reserved in nature, Chopin enjoyed horseback rides, often finding solace and inspiration during his time outdoors.
Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
Apart from being the stalwart British Prime Minister during WWII, Churchill was also a painter. An accomplished polo player, Churchill’s rides on the battlefield and for leisure inspired many of his landscapes.
Lucian Freud (1922-2011)
A cornerstone in modern British portraiture, Freud’s works are visceral. Freud’s passion for horses reflects in his art, as seen in portraits featuring these majestic creatures.
Elvis Presley (1935-1977)
The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll needs no introduction. Elvis had a profound love for horses. He owned several during his lifetime and often rode at his Graceland estate. These animals provided a break from the hustle and bustle of his stardom.
Marina Abramović (b. 1946)
A pioneering figure in performance art, Abramović continually pushes boundaries. Her interest in the therapeutic connection between humans and horses has led her to delve into horse therapy sessions.
Viggo Mortensen (b. 1958)
Beyond his cinematic fame, Mortensen is a painter, poet, and photographer. His love for horses extended off-screen, leading him to purchase and care for the horses he rode in films.
Lucy Liu (b. 1968)
Known for her roles in movies and TV series, Liu is also an accomplished visual artist. Liu is an avid equestrian, often spending her free time riding. Her love for horses has been documented in interviews and personal anecdotes.
These artists, transcending eras and mediums, all bear a unique bond with horses. Their passion for these magnificent creatures often manifested in their work, providing a glimpse into a world where human creativity meets natural splendor. Whether through evocative compositions, spirited performances, or heart-touching portraits, their shared love for horses continues to inspire.
Be inspired by our equine friends and ignite your inner artist and horse lover with a horse riding holiday. Why not try something new on your next trip and explore the world from horseback?