The Horse is a playful and enlightening exhibition celebrating the role this majestic animal has played in the development of human civilisation throughout the millennia. Drawn from the holdings of each department within the National Gallery of Victoria’s Collection, the exhibition presents a wunderkammer of the horse, tracing depictions and celebrations of this magnificent animal through works spanning a 3000 year period. From noble steed to the work-horse, the exhibition begins with ancient depictions in Greek mythology, segueing to China during the Han and Tang dynasties, then turning to India during the Mughal Empire (1526–1827). The Horse also explores the animal’s more recent manifestations ranging from horse racing to the glamour of equestrian imagery in today’s fashion world. Panoramic in its breadth and encyclopedic in its scope, the exhibition ranges from ancient Greek vases, photographs and major oils on canvas, to saddles, sculptures, riding garments and a Melbourne Cup.
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