Complex Made Simple

Christie’s pays tribute to the horse

Christie’s announces The Art of the Horse cross-departmental private sales to be showcased in Shanghai and Hong Kong this fall.

Coinciding with the grand opening of Christie’s new Shanghai headquarters at the Ampire Building (October 21-30), and shown at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (November 21-25), at the time of the Hong Kong autumn sales, the exhibition features highly important works exploring the portrayal and symbolism of the horse from diverse cultures across the ages.

Namely, Arab culture has always given great importance to the horse, and Arab art has been depicting the animal for centuries. Knowing the cultural importance of the horse in the region; we can be sure that regional art enthusiasts will surely bid online to pay tribute to the horse.

This unique show comprises more than 50 works from a broad range of collecting categories, from paintings, drawings and photographs to sculpture, jade and jewellery, with a total value of more than $30 million.

“Equestrian art is a genre that transcends local markets and collecting categories. From the great names of Stubbs, Géricault, Degas, Munnings and Marini in Europe, Remington, Botero and Prince in the Americas, to Xu Beihong and Ma Jin in China, with fabulous antiquities, Renaissance sculptures, jade, and jewellery, the works in this exhibition provide a feast both for those who love horses, and those who admire great works of art,” explains John Stainton, international director, and co-curator of the exhibition.

The exhibition includes three works by Edgar Degas, one of which is Cheval se cabrant, an original wax model executed circa mid-late 1880s-1890s and cast from 1920-1921, which is widely considered to be one of the finest, most expressive and formally sophisticated of Degas’ surviving sculptural representations of the horse.

The role of the horse as a sporting inspiration is exemplified in the energetic and striking racing scene, The Start, by Alfred Munnings .

“The Art of the Horse pays tribute to the enduring qualities of the animal, made manifest in art. Physically majestic and culturally symbolic, the horse is revered both in Asia and the West. In light of this, the exhibition is especially timed to coincide with the opening of Christie’s magnificent new home in Shanghai and with the Hong Kong Autumn sales,” says Jonathan Stone, chairman of Asian Art and co-curator of the exhibition.