L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Bathing the horses

The Bathing of Horses (sketch), by Arkady Plastov, 1937.

Bathing the horses, a task performed by young fellows, bare and bareback, is the rather surprising subject of many paintings. Both in military and agricultural milieus, in seaside and lakeside settings.  Always very jolly and frolicsome, they are.  Never having ridden a horse while naked, nor ridden a horse into a large body of water, and certainly not both simultaneously, I can't attest to the likely pleasure of the experience, but I figure it's an efficient way to get a horse clean. Or they wouldn't do it that way, right?  But it must be said that, while it may or may not be so in actual practice, in painted form, anyway, the vigorous activities of healthy, naked, splash-y young horsemen are inherently quite homoerotic. Yes, they are.

Bathing the Horses, by Anatoly Treskin, 1940.
Anzacs Bathing in the Sea, by George Washington Lambert, 1914.
Bathing of a Red Horse, by Kusma Petrov-Vodkin, 1912.
Oscar Matthiesen, 1906.
Horse's Bath, by Joaquín Sorolla, 1909.  (The Spanish keep their hats on.)
Horses Bathing in the Sea, by Lucy Kemp-Welch, 1900.  (Apparently, the riders remain clothed when it's a lady painter.)
Summertime, by Rowland Wheelwright, ND.  (More British modesty.)
The Bathing of Horses, by Arkady Plastov, 1938.
Male Nude With Two Horses, by Ludwig Vacatko, ND.
Bathing a Horse, by Valentin Serov, 1905.

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