mercredi 19 janvier 2022

History Secret - Part Four


After we did the first filming with Excalibur, we got some work to do because the script kind of mention that there will be banners for the next episode with him.
So we did one.

Excalibur was not impressed.

Some other horses were...
It was the case of Quirian, my friend Sabrina horse... wich was supposed to be on the same filming. So he got some banner time too.

Then it was ok for both of them and we were "ready".


Next day, we headed back to Digoine Castle with the two stars of the day.

We got costumes for them...
Quirian beeing taller and the most experienced horse got the honor of the horse cover, but both matched together with medieval saddle and most looking historic bridles. They looked just.. dashing!

Before the actors takes their places on horseback, we played a bit in the castle garden. We wanted to be sure none of them will spook with that horse cover flying in the wind, but mostly we wanted to play a bit. That's not everyday that you can ride a medieval horse ;)

 As both horses were okay with the gear...

It was time to let them play!
Do you have guessed of wich historic characters they were going to be the charger?

Richard the Lionheart, for Quirian and... Philippe Auguste, King of France for Excalibur.

And now, you want to know if the King of France could have got an appaloosa in medevial time, right?
Maybe this time my answer is a bit more complex than usual...

Middle Age had spotted horse, they were some before and they were some after... So they should have been some in between. But probably less, in regard of the records we have.

It seems that spotted horses lost in popularity during middle age, you can see that because they are barely no spotted horses on medieval paintings and sources...

Though they are some... if you search after it.

But you'll found a spotted horse mostly as the horse of Death (one of the four horsemen of apocalypse). Culture and religion may have pushed the idea that they were a death omen.
And then, have them decline because of popular belief.

But in reality, we don't really know for sure why spotted horse lost their popularity. Probably because fashion and trends comes and goes too.
BUT I managed to found evidence of spotted horse in chevalry...

(c.1445-c.1450  Knights Jousting from Sir Thomas Holme’s Book of Arms)

And even somethin' that looks like one maybe two spotted horses, in a very close reference to Richard the Lionheart, a depiction of... his mother!

("Eleanor of Aquitaine, Isabella of Angouleme and two squires riding on horseback" - fresco from 13th century, Chapel of St. Radegund, Chinon.)

So would Philippe Auguste, King of France been riding a spotted horse? Probably not, but there's a really thin chance that yes. In any case my searchs cannot confirm a firm no.

And if you are wonderin' why we choose Excalibur for the role, knowing it wasn't the most historic choice? Well because he was, after Quirian, the best horse we had for such a filming that could have been spooky. We choose a solid minded horse, for the actor safety.

Here's a sculpture of Richard the Lionheart...

And a painting of Philippe Auguste, King of France (the guy in blue on the white horse in the middle of the battle)

Are thoses greys spotted horses? I'd say yes probably.
Versus our actors... 

Sorry, founding reliable pictures of medieval figures is hard. Most of the time, you only found romantic paintings of those legendary character, like this one... Who depict Richard the Lionheart (on the champagne dilute-like horse) and Philippe Auguste (on the white horse) at St Jean d'Acre during crusades.

(Merry Joseph Blondel (1781 - 1853): "Saint-Jean d'Acre remise à Philippe-Auguste et à Richard Coeur-de-Lion".)


I've kept that picture for the end, just because I wanted to speak about THAT RIDICULOUS banner in regard of what we expected...


Speaking of romantic view of the middle age, guess what? There's a huge presence of spotted horses on them, so here's some. After seeing thoses picture, you would just agree with me that Excalibur isn't such a bad color choice for a romanced history ;)

(Drawings by Carl Otto Czeschka)
(Jugend cover by Joseph Andreas Sailer)

(Junghanns JP: "Der Heilige Martin vor dem Martinszug in Düsseldorf")

(Martin Wiegand: "Parsifal")

This time, both horses got a huge teaser picture on facebook's official page of the show.

And we got some more Castle pictures!
Thanks to Clémentine for thoses ;)

mardi 18 janvier 2022

How to spot spotted horses for sure in paintings...?

Let's talk about somethin' that's a huge problem when I search for historic appaloosa painting:
Knowing for sure if the painter have done a spotted horse or a dappled horse... because it happend that I found a painting and then a friend told me "but that one? that's just the painter who wanted to do a dapple but failed".

So let's be clear, here's how I determine if I have dapples or spots in front of me ON A PAINTING (this is not an article about genetic, it's about what is drawn in front of me, right?!)

It's a SPOTTED appaloosa horse...

-If the horse have a light base and dark spots.
-If the horse have a dark base but white and/or spotted bump.
-If the horse have a black base but light spots on (snowflake).
-If the horse may have really solid appaloosa vibes like dark color around the bones zone of it's body.

Yann Arthus Bertrand : Knabstrupper (Knabsrup), Hugin.
Yann Arthus Bertrand : 'English' Appaloosa, Spottie Dot Com.

It's a DAPPLE horse if...

-If the horse have a dark base and light spots. Usually base would be grey or brown.
-If the horse have a medium/light base with white spots.

Yann Arthus Bertrand : 'English' Hunter, Ivanhoe.
Also, I've seen that MOST of the painters know what they do, thinking they are all lame is not a great way of seeing things. Even medieval painters depicted dapples perfectly with their naive drawings.

So in my view, that's a dappled horse:

Most likely this one is a spotted horse, even if you can have a doubt:

But that horse? A spotted horse with no doubts...

But, wait, you know a thing?
It can be more difficult than that. Because if by our day, spotted horses are known as "appaloosa color" it wasn't in ancient time. No no...
Seems like they didn't do distinction between our famous spotted horses and our famous dappled horses... let's see thoses paintings names:

Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691): A Dapple Grey Horse
 (With my logic: Grey "Dapple" Horse)

Van Calraet, Abraham (1642-1722): A Dappled Stallion with a dog in a stable
(With my logic: Spotted "Appaloosa" Horse)

Baron Reis d' Eisenberg (1685-1764): No 29 A dappled grey horse of the Spanish Riding School performing a dressage movement
(With my logic: Spotted "Appaloosa" Horse)

Philipp Ferdinand de Hamilton (1664-1750) : Vast hilly landscape with a saddled dappled-grey and horses at a watering place
(With my logic: Spotted "Appaloosa" Horse)

Aaand if you thinks by now we are done, we just started our journey, take a look at this one title:

Johann Georg Von Hamilton (1672-1737): Portrait of a dappled horse from the stud at Eisgrub performing the Levade 
(With my logic: Spotted "Paint" Horse)

Oh dear... we are in trouble...

So let's define a new spotted color...

It's a spotted PAINT horse...
-If the horse have large spots like a common cow pattern instead of dots, no matters the color.

Yann Arthus Bertrand : Pottock stallion, Judo.

That color, with "paint" spots is most of the time called SKEWBALD (and they are very commons, much more than our spotted appaloosa):
John Ferneley (1782-1860): 'Lofty', a Skewbald Carriage Horse, with a Greyhound
(With my logic: Spotted "Paint" Horse)

Wouter Verschuur the Younger (1841 - 1936): Two Skewbalds Horses in a Stable
(With my logic: Spotted "Paint" Horse)

 J. Harris (1861-1884): Two Skewbalds Hoses by a Stable
(With my logic: Spotted "Paint" Horse)
But there's another name for that "paint" color... wich can also be a matchy matchy for our spotted horses... the infamous PIEBALD denomination:

Johann Georg Von Hamilton (1672-1737): The Piebald Horse 'Cehero' Performing Cabriole
(With my logic: Spotted "Paint" Horse)
Paulus Potter (1625-1654): The Piebald Horse
(With my logic: Spotted "Appaloosa" Horse)

Pieter Cornelisz. Verbeeck (1610 - 1654): A piebald horse tied to a hitching post and two dogs before an inn
(With my logic: Spotted "Appaloosa" Horse)

So let's be clear: the Spotted Horse were a thing in history. There's no discussion to be about that. But they weren't just identified as it with a clear name.
Oh wait.. there was a supposed name... TIGER HORSE... but I see it very rarely.

(With my logic: both Spotted "Appaloosa" Horse)

David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl (1628-1698) : Blue Tiger, favorite horse of King Charles XI
(With my logic: Spotted "Appaloosa" Horse)

While we are here, let's talk about one other tricky color that can makes my search difficult... the roan horse. Because that search of the truth have no end.

It's a ROAN horse...
-If at least the head and legs are darker than the body, with most likely no to barely no spots.

Yann Arthus Bertrand: Rhenish Westphalian Draught stallion, Hurrican.

Thoses are really difficult because you can really sees anything when a painter do a roan.
Jacques Laurent Agasse (1767-1849): Lord River's roan mare.
(With my logic: "Roan" Horse)
Painting by August Querfurt (1696–1761)
(With my logic: "Roan" Horse)

Die Gartenlaube (1886)
(With my logic: "Roan" Horse) 

Painting by Roelandt Savery (1576 - 1639)
(With my logic: "Roan" maybe "Paint" Horse) 

And I have to be honest, roan horses gaves me real headeaches somethimes, because when I first see this...

Johann Heinrich Roos (1631–1685): Zigeunerlager in antiken Ruinen
(With my logic: eeerrrrhhh a "Roan" Horse) 

I spot spots... but that is most likely just a roan one with scars. Let's be honest.

But when I see this...

Józef Brandt (1841-1915): Caravan On The Move
(With my logic: "Roan" probably "Appaloosa" Horse) 

My head explose. I really sees an appaloosa, but I may really want to see one where they are only a roan one. We will never know.

Luckily for me, somethimes I have just *no* doubts at all.

Wilhelm von Diez (1839-1907): Soldier feeding horses
(With my logic: Roan "Appaloosa" Horse)

Roan can even be tricky with greys horses that can be with appaloosas horses... real debate start here?
Let's define a last color.

It's a GREY/white horse...
-If it's plain grey, or plain white.
-If it's a dapple grey going white.

Yann Arthus Bertrand:Pure-bred Arab stalion, Almesdam-Patch.

We have do this again... no choice...

Pieter Cornelisz. Verbeeck (1610 - 1654): A grey horse tied to a hitching post before an inn.
(With my logic: "Grey" Horse)
Circle of John Ferneley: A grey in a Stable
 (With my logic: "Grey" maybe "Appaloosa" Horse)

Circle of John Ferneley: A grey horse.
 (With my logic: Spotted "Appaloosa" Horse)

Otto Bache (1839-1927): A white horse.
(With my logic: Spotted "Appaloosa" Horse)

A few more... wich I am unsure but well, I see what I see. When spots aren't obvious it's always difficult, but spotted horse can be unspotted so...

Roos Johan Heinrich (1631-1685): A peasant on horseback taming a wild horse.
(With my logic: Spotted "Appaloosa" Horse & Spotted "Paint" Horse)

Philips Wouwermans (1619-1668): The wathering place.
(With my logic: Spotted "Appaloosa" Horse)

Attributed to Jan van Huchtenburg (1647–1733): Study for the Figure of Prince Eugene de Savoy.
(With my logic: Spotted "Appaloosa" Horse)
Another factor that might not help, is that some painter just have done all thoses colors, so they were aware of all of them and could have mixed the names or my sources most likely can have mixed the names. Quality of the images might not help at all too. Somethimes also, the names are clear and you just follow them. Let's see some final example:

Baron Reis d' Eisenberg: No 21 A Danish horse with a dappled grey rump of the Spanish Riding School performing dressage steps.
 (With my logic: Spotted "Appaloosa" Horse)
Baron Reis Eisenberg: No 51 A dappled grey horse of the Spanish Riding School performing a dressage move.
  (With my logic: Grey "Dapple" Horse)
Baron Reis Eisenberg: No 8 A piebald horse and rider from the Spanish Riding School.
(With my logic: Spotted "Paint" Horse)
Baron Reis Eisenberg: No 41 A skewbald horse of the Spanish Riding School performing the Pesade.
(With my logic: Spotted "Paint" Horse)

Baron Reis d' Eisenberg - No 26 A red roan horse of the Spanish Riding School performing dressage steps.
(With my logic: Spotted "Appaloosa" Horse)

Thomas Weaver (1774 - 184): A Piebald Cob in a Landscape.
(With my logic: Spotted "Paint" Horse) 
Thomas Weaver (1774 - 184): Appaloosa Horse And Spaniel.
(With my logic: Spotted "Appaloosa" Horse) 
Thomas Weaver (1774 - 184): A Grey Mare, 'Rose', and a Portuguese Bay Hunter.
(With my logic: "Grey" Horse & maybe "Roan" Horse)
My conclusion: Spotted Appaloosa are my favorite, with Dappled Horse (but I prefers appaloosa because dappled just finish plain grey/white at the end).
When I was a child, my father always told me that he loved the fact that for horses, that loves apples, the dapple carryied their own apple. (it works in french too: apple = pomme / dapple = pommelé)
I agree with him.
I'm also glad to have found so many historic spotted horses references.

Adam Frans van der Meulen (1632-1690): A Pair, Chevaux au repos.
 (With my logic: Three Spotted "Appaloosa" Horse / one flaxen chestnut, one dilute (palomino or cream), one "Grey", two Spotted "Paint" horses)