In a thoughtful post titled, Horsing Around, filled with gorgeous images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, curator Barbara Drake Boehm tells us about horses in the Middle Ages.
Inspired by an an ivory chess set from the Isle of Lewis (Outer Hebrides) Scotland, the author reflects on the sizes and colors of Medieval horses based on how they appear in artifacts and works of art.
Horses have been integral to human civilization for thousands of years. Their importance is underscored by how often they appear, and the care with which they are rendered — as in this chess set. Those details gave curator Boehm ways to compare the appearance of Medieval horses to horses today.
It was the geographic proximity of the Outer Hebrides to Scandanavia that led Boehm to profile present day Icelandic horses because they look so similar to the horses ridden by the knights of the Isle of Lewis chess set.
In our illustration, “Theodosius Arrives in Ephesus” from The Cloisters Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, horses are shown in three different colors — including blue. Perfect!
Photo purchased from iStock