Galloping Toward Beauty: Five Horse Paintings for Every Budget

Haul out the cloven hoof boots and whip out your pony-hair checkbook: it's time to shop for horse paintings. We've scoured antiques and arts dealer website 1stdibs to track down five exceptional paintings that won't escape your barn or your budget. 

The finest art collections have horses as a subject in their pool of paintings. The most respectable horse paintings capture the unique scale and mysterious figure of the horse in all of its glory. Those with a wry sense of humor find the very concept of the horse hilarious: the spooked expression, the perpetual out-of-context, devil-may-care existence; the seemingly incompatible whinny and neighs. Every aspect of the horse is a delightful relief from the serious world. 'Horse girls' are the most desirable type of woman with their respect and celebration of all things horse- and their embodiment of the "I'm so out of it, but I'm in on the joke" personality that horses are also famous for. Ever since horses were invented as part of the industrial revolution, artists have been depicting the species with reverence and pride. Everybody from fat horses to hairy horses; stern steeds and muscly stallions have had their moment in the painting booth. Artists have grappled with carefully capturing the horse's unique non-human-human expressions, their visually challenging scale, unusual physicality, and playful energies. Now is absolutely the hour to incorporate an equestrian beauty into your collection. 

Julius von Blaas:  A magnificent Edwardian painting at the Gallops - racehorses exercising (1905)

Julius von Blaas: A magnificent Edwardian painting at the Gallops - racehorses exercising (1905)

1. No one is joking. This 1905 painting of a bunch of horses relaxing on the road really is magnificent. The shiny bodies of the horses is so relaxing. The docked tail is a sign of a time gone by. The scale is captured effortlessly although the horse in the foreground left (shall we call her Grandfather Clock?) has a small head. Of course, the casually-thrown horse garments on the ground shows that horse riding and all of its associated luxury should be taken for granted- respect be damned. We're obsessed! ($207,669.26, at 1stdibs).

Jan Wyck:  The Grey Arabian (Undated)

Jan Wyck: The Grey Arabian (Undated)

2. One can instantly glean two things from this gorgeous painting: one, early depictions of horses consistently miscalculate the size of a horse head. Two, Miss Jan Wyck knows a thing or two about making a interesting composition. Check the lower right: more horse-related shit on the ground: right on time! The era of privilege! Scope the peacock on the wall. Made you look! Looking pale and boring. Man in the back absolutely vibing with his horse, probably frolicking and enjoying life! But then, there she is: The Grey Arabian, at the ready to spill the tea. Tided up but barely interested in going anywhere, The Grey Arabian might have been standing there for two minutes or two years. This is the brilliance of the horse. Look at its knowing eye. ($194,689.93 at 1stdibs).

Janice Sugg:  Untitled Horse (Undated)

Janice Sugg: Untitled Horse (Undated)

3. Miss Janice Sugg effortlessly captures one of the funniest qualities of the horse: its element of dumbfounded presence, its relenting character- its nosy versioning. A horse that at once looks completely out of place and out of control. Goofy and tall, offering a side eye and a downward snout, this horse is here, waiting for its next command. A little too tall, a little too skinny- this horse is a performer- a brave soldier in the war against beauty. ($235.00 at 1stdibs)


Valentina DuBasky:  Horse and Figures in Grey Field (2017)

Valentina DuBasky: Horse and Figures in Grey Field (2017)

4. A horse's silhouette is one of the most challenging visual engagements in all the world. Encountering a horse silhouette, one is not sure to burst into laughter or burst into tears. They have such an improbable shape. They are so anatomically unlikely. In this way, we're so fortunate to have them. DuBasky captures the disconcerting and physics-defying view of the horse in Horse and Figures in Grey Field. Look at those toothpick legs. What are the odds! The snout of the horse here is so simple and free. The mane is free, too. Ecstatic with energy, this horse has clearly come gladly out of the willows. Its hair ripples. Wonderful. ($4,200.00 at 1stdibs)

Susan Crawford: Istabraq (1999)

Susan Crawford: Istabraq (1999)

5. Did you know they were still making paintings in 1999? It's hard to believe. But brave Susan Crawford made this stunner right before Y2K hit and the Dot Com Bubble shit hit the fan. She is a true visionary. In the time of technological advancement, here is a show of taste. And what taste! Here's a jockeyed horse. It doesn't take much to notice this horse is hauling ass in the painting which measures an immaculate 50.8 cm (H) x 76.2 cm (W). It is a bit remarkable, but notice the scale of the head in this 1999 painting versus the 1905 we feature above. People never knew! It took all the way until 1999 to get the scale of a horse head right! But that's just part of the magic of the horse. Thank you, Susan! ($77,875.97 at 1stdibs)

6. Honorable Mention: Joaquin Goldstein Cabieses: Karma (paintings for race horses) suite (10 prints) (2013).

Here is a man with absolute sensitivity toward horses and art. This artist created works for some racehorses to relax with/get hyped with. The horses really love looking at them and massaging their wearing faces against them. If you thought your barn needed art, now is the moment. Toss out the old John Wayne posters and fill your barn with these contemporaries beauties. Your horses are going to be obsessed the moment they lay their huge eyes on them. ($4,000.00 at 1stdibs)