~ The Magical World of Horses ~









Dance 2017.
Oil on canvas
 42x30 cm





Morning 2016.
Oil on canvas
 30x39 cm
» Detail








Devil 2014.
Oil on canvas
 40x28 cm
  » Work in progress
 









The King 2011.
Oil on canvas

 59x42 cm
» Work in progress
  » Detail
 



Mirror 2010.
Oil on canvas

 27x30 cm
» Detail









Friendship 2009.
Oil on canvas

42x30 cm
» Detail


   






Connection 2008.
Pencil
 30x24 cm


   




Fairies 2007.
Pencil
 29x32 cm


  
  







The call 2007.
Pencil
 50x35 cm




  


Family 2006.
Pencil
 40x57 cm



  


Sunset 2006.
Pencil
 28x41 cm



   


Winner 2005.
Oil on canvas
 40x56 cm
» Detail


   



Awakening 2002.
Oil on canvas
 24x30 cm




   



Blue blood 2002.
Oil on canvas
 24x30 cm











Love 2001.
Pastel
 31x29 cm










Curl 2001.
Pastel
 40x30 cm











۞

The old sacred books say that the Almighty made a horse out of a gust of wind. They say that all the treasure of the world is in between its magical eyes. Might and pride are within its mane. It will fly without wings and win without a sword. Because of its endurance, loyalty and obedience, one considers it one of the greatest living blessings. He nurtured and maintained it for centuries as his most precious friend and assistant. Many of his achievements in war and peace have come true with it, so it is often praised in many folk and heroic songs. Powerful empires were formed on its back and collapsed under its hooves. It tirelessly carried heavy armor, weapons, equipment and ammunition and passed through impenetrable forests and mountains, in order to win many victories together with his master. By virtue of it and the deadly chariots, Persia was once a martial superpower. If it was not for it, the world would be different; Alexander the Great would never be called the “Great” and won many territories, and Napoleon’s conquests across Europe would not have come true, but only one big dream would remain. In the battle of the mainland, the Romans used a cavalry, which was especially enhanced during the reign of Diocletian and Constantine. In the year 376, on the border of the Roman Empire, the merciless Huns appeared with their magical horses. They first started to use stirrups, and they represented a great danger for all people, even for powerful Romans. In 378, the Huns teamed up with the Gothic cavalry and defeated the Romans in the Battle of Hadrianopolis. Seventy years after this battle, the Romans led their last fight in which the largest number of horsemen took part. In 451, in the Catalaunian Plains, they were fighting, with Attila at the head, and twenty years later the Roman Empire collapsed. After the collapse of the Roman Empire and the death of Attila (453), the Empire of the Huns dominated its territory, and the border was preserved by Byzantium under the command of Belisarius, forming a great cavalry. Byzantium was constantly attacked by the Avars from the Pannonian Plain, who were famous for leaving the stirrups on their way from Mongolia to the Danube. Fear of Huns and Avars can not be compared with the fear that caused the Mongol hordes under the leadership of Genghis Khan. During 1206, the Mongols entered the northern China and destroyed it in a few years, and then began to conquer Europe. Their destruction can not be compared with the destruction in all wars, and their terrible horsemen trampled and destroyed everything that was on their way. Famous Genghis Khan became king in the thirteenth year and managed to unite all Mongolian tribes. He defeated the whole of Europe and continued conquests until his bizarre death, when he was killed in the hunt under the hooves of his own horse. China was reunited in 1279 by virtue of Kublai Khan (grandson of Genghis Khan), and became a new and progressive empire. The last Mongolian tribe, the Tatars, captured Asia and the Middle East, even threatened the Ottoman Empire, led by the fearless Tamerlane. His cavalry had only one formation unit consisting of ten thousand horsemen. Each horseman acted independently, but as a whole they were very well organized and disciplined. However, after Tamerlane’s death, in 1405, his empire collapsed, and the rest were only memories of terrible destruction, accomplished with the help of famous horsemen. Proud and noble, their horses are born only to triumphs: when everyone gives up, they move forward; when we all go down, they climb to new heights; when all the retreat, they’re hard as rocks, defying all odds. The lances of many turbulent times were smashed on their powerful chest. Throughout history, they have always been faithful companions of people and contributed to the development of civilization. We meet with them even on, twenty-eight thousand years before the new era, old paintings in the Chauvet Cave, in Ardèche canyon, in France, and on lovely statuettes made of stone, bone and horn, found in a cave in southwestern Germany. In ancient times, some nations considered horses sacred animals. Their endurance has laid the foundations of many fortresses and ramparts, and their divine beauty appears in many paintings, illustrations, pastels, drawings, frescoes and imposing statues and sculptures all over the world. Marcus Aurelius, emperor and philosopher, is remarkably presented with the statue of horseman at the Capitoline Hill in Rome. Unknown soldiers and heroes made in bronze and stone, rest with their magnificent friends on many vast squares. Their miraculous strength and legendary beauty are an inexhaustible source of inspiration to many artists, who have made a major contribution to cherishing the value and beauty of this magical animal. Glow in their eyes left a unique and indelible trace, and their deep mysterious view accompanies us in all walks of life. Although we believe that we are close enough to them, and we know enough them, they were and have always remained a big secret. The magical world of horses is all around us, and yet we have not been able enough to examine and discover it. Unique Palomino horses, known by their golden body and silvery white tail, are the big mystery for scientists. The graceful, magnificent and playful Lipizzaner is a master of the arenas and parades. We look at it with admiration while performing a dance, known only to it. We enjoy in rare moments of elusive beauty and snowy whiteness, and we wonder how come there’s so much magic in one being. Beautiful Haflinger, with light mane and a strong heart, is struggling with rugged landscapes and the sharp peaks of the Alps. The Andalusian horse cruises in Spain, while its luxuriant, wavy mane, fluttering in the wind. Intelligent and obedient, it was the truest friend of many kings across Europe, and is considered the best horse in the world. Agile and graceful, black Friesian participated with knights in many medieval wars throughout Europe. Gorgeous and priceless, the horses are present everywhere: in our past, present and future; in fairy tales and forgotten wilderness, in the world’s greatest battles, in the traces of endless caravans of warm desert sand. If the road takes us to the vast expanse of India, on its gates will welcome us proud and elegant prince of the kingdom of Marwar desert, which for centuries has tirelessly carried warriors of the Rajput tribe on their strong backs. Its Arab and Turkmenistan origin identified in the lively movement and high durability. North American Mustang with its magic won the whole world: beauty, grace, speed and independence are intertwined in it. While it rushes across the field to meet the setting sun, it seems to us that the flame erupts from its lush mane. Because it symbolizes strength and freedom, it is distinguished as one of the most common motifs in art. Even Sappho, one of the greatest poets and the most famous women of all time, in her verses says that the most beautiful thing on the black earth is the cavalry squadron. Tang Dynasty painting is especially well-known for processing the themes of knight’s ambient and wide landscapes with horses in the gallop. In the paintings of Paolo Uccello, which represent the battle of the horsemen, the depth of space opens up in the confusion of intertwined horse legs. We meet with their epic beauty in the works of many Renaissance artists (Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Albrecht Dürer, Titian, Benozzo Gozzoli), the canvases of Baroque greats (Rubens, Velázquez, Van Dyck) and in the age of Romanticism (Delacroix, George Stubbs, Théodore Géricault). Richly equipped, powerful white horses and terrifying riders are a frequent motif on Raphael’s paintings and frescoes. Rubens created a type of ideal horse with narrow head, wide croup, tense legs, long fluttering mane, with a tail resembling a feather and trembling nostrils, a fiery gaze. Especially expressive are the horses in the painting “The Battle of the Amazons”, one of his most lyrical and harmonic works, regardless of the war theme. In the hands of this great artist, they become magic. The movements, peculiar only to his brush inspire every observer who stops in front of them. The daughters of Leucippus radiate energy and expressiveness in his painting. Everything on this composition, full of dynamics, is dramatic, and, as we observe, it seems to us that the drama will flow into the space outside its frames. Powerful and upset horses contribute to the drama of this unique moment, in which Castor and Pollux, their decision to take Leucippus’s daughters, are put into action. Silk fabrics split with their beautiful bodies under the hands of famous warriors. Almost hyper real painted jewelry and clothing of the horsemen evoke an astounding atmosphere, in which all teeming of passion in the whirlwind of movements. Rubens’s grandiose canvas “The lion hunt” is a scene where there are no winners. In an incredible scene, the strongly movement of subjects, terrible beasts, spears, sharp swords, frightened horses, crushed bodies beneath their hooves and dark clouds indicate a difficult breath of death. Horses are a frequent theme and of Degas’s artworks. This great artist chose unusual angles and perspectives and in a completely different way presented the world of horses. By virtue of the glittering coloring, a thick layer of color and unusual light effects, he left behind a whole series of masterpieces. He used pastel and oil colors and tried many techniques. More than two thousand very original paintings, pastel drawings and sculptures he left behind. The themes of the first known Degas’s sculptures were horses. His work on sculptures helped him to better understand their positions and movements, which he later used in the making of paintings. He was looking for models on horse racing. The painting “Race Horses in Front of the Grandstand” was based on sketches from real life, yet the dull tones and long shadows under the feet of the horses show serenity, not so characteristic of the artworks of other painters with motif of horse. There is nothing in this painting of the usual feverish atmosphere that dominates on horse racing. Degas shows the moment of breather and natural, relaxed positions of horses and jockeys. Gauguin is one of the rare artists who painted horses without sketches. As we look at his work “The White Horse”, it seems to us that the painter traveled to the magical world of horses and that for a moment he was part of that world. He saw and presented them in a completely new and unusual way. His white horse is green, and he was persistently trying to explain to the audience that this is exactly what is essential, and that everything in his paintings has been devised and calculated for a long time. The position in which the horse is located is taken from one relief from the western fringe of Parthenon, whose reproduction Gauguin had. The horse’s environment, with twisted blue branches behind which two riders are on a red and brown horse, is inspired by his own observation in which imagination overcomes descriptive realism. Due to a somewhat high perspective, the observer seems to himself to be there, within the magical world of timeless beings, which fully accept and understand each other, despite their different colors. Through his way of working, the great artist tried to describe the beauty of simplicity from which everything in our universe began and to which everything is returning. He thinks that everything should be subordinate to pure colors and that from their layout in the painting it depends on how we will see and experience them. “The White Horse” is the first painting of the series with a theme of man and horse, which will Gauguin be taken in his last years. His “Riders on the beach” were made in free style, without sketches and from an interesting perspective, but with meaningful lines and colors, which still leave much space for observation, study and analysis. Painting and drawing horses is a big challenge and temptation. They attracted not only by its external beauty, but also that of unattainable beauty that they carry deep within themselves for centuries. The whole eternity made of rare precious stones and all their pride, dignity and intelligence are reflected in their magical eyes. Those reflect a secret world, hidden somewhere in the mist of the rocky mountains, in the dust of horse racing, in the call of wild herds, in the spring green of flower meadows, in the company of the gods. Born in Greek mythology, they will continue to travel all the time and to shine with their whiteness, hooked in the chariot of war god, Ares. Some of them disappeared on the waves of the sea going to meet god Poseidon. Emerged as the fruit of Poseidon and Medusa’s love, begun in soft grass and in the scent of spring flowers, magical Pegasus of golden wings, flew to Zeus’s castle, the father of all gods, and brought lightning and thunders to him. One constellation, which in the sky shines somewhere, between Andromeda and Aquarius, bears its name. There are many Chinese, Russian and Greek legends about the unicorn, for which there is a belief that he lived until the fourth century BC. It was a symbol of purebred, honesty, and sincerity. The hunters’ intention to catch it was futile. It was believed that its horn had incredible power. According to Chinese traditions, unicorn first appeared in 2697 before the new era in the palace of Emperor Huang Di. This period, which relates to its appearance, is considered incredibly well and gender. In those years musical instruments were found and the first time all Chinese tribes were united. The unicorn appeared for the second time before the death of the emperor in order to bring him to his grave, to the land of the greatness. Brave and loyal, horses remained to live on the pages of many works of great philosophers and writers. The extraordinary works of the Greek philosopher Xenophon still represent valuable material for all those who want to study them. Proud-spirited and diverse, horses maintained their characteristics despite many hardships. Rare are the moments when we can hear the whisper of their soul. They speak with movements and views. Always beautiful, inscrutable, different and their own, they connect centuries and civilizations. They gallop with its chest, withstand efforts with heart and win with character and a fiery spirit. Their eyes are persecuted, harassed and forced us to think. Once we connect ourselves to that magical view, it is very difficult to separate from it. It follows us everywhere. Many stories and legends, created on the slopes of an unexplored and interesting world, are woven in it. One of them is the Legend of the golden horse. “Once upon a time there were two kings who could not agree on the boundaries and were continually fighting. As for equal forces, their armies failed to resolve long-standing conflicts. No side wanted to give up. After many exhausting battles, one of the two kings suggests that they go out to the duel, and so decide who of them will take part of the land that has caused many troubles of the two nations. The second king, not wanting to be anything worse than his opponent, accepts the challenge. After the decision was made, the kings started preparing for the duel. The most difficult of all was to choose the best horse in the sea of endurance and strength, which for years, from the conflict to the conflict, settled in them. The first king chose the most powerful and the second king the bravest horse. Looking at their masters, they eagerly awaited the day of the struggle to show themselves in the best light. Only the earth under their hooves knew what a conflict of strength and courage seemed to be. The soil was trembling with the desire to win. The king struck the king, the crown on the crown, the horse on the horse, the spears crossed. Lightning broke the sky, and it seemed as if God himself was angry that the two rulers for years had not been able to stop at the abyss that had swallowed many lives. Still, they did not give up. They watched each other angrily as their spears cut the sky and as upset horses followed their movements. They knew that one of them would remain in that field and that only one moment of inattention would suffice to bring down all the dreams. The struggle of two tireless rulers lasted for a long time, and just as everyone thought they would never end, the first king struck strongly on the other, whose brave horse, realizing that it had to give his life to save its master from death, jumped on the sharp spear of his opponent. Thus, the second king takes the victory over the long-standing enemy and decides requited his horse. Many advised him how to do it, but he nevertheless decided to bring his own decision, just as his brave horse, at the most critical moment, in order to save the life of its master, made its own decision. The king decides to build a large golden statue of his brave horse on the high hill, where the sharp spears were crossed. He invited all the artists from the kingdom to gather and start work as soon as possible. The best sculptors from all over the country came to participate in this unique and great project. They worked hard for years to faithfully show the beauty and strength of a brave horse. The voice of the magnificent wonder that stands on the top of the hill has expanded to the farthest kingdoms. People from all over the world came to see the magical horse, which was proudly standing in the place of its death. It was glowing both day and night, and many travelers, in order not to go the wrong way, were oriented towards it. The king was proud of his artists and gave them a large sum of money for the effort. One night a prophet appeared to him in a dream: “Dear king, you have taken many victories and won many borders, but many people have remained unhappy after these victories. Don’t you think it’s time to retire and spend old age in peace? I know you are proud and never withdraw, but I also know that most of all you love your brave horse which gave its life for you. What is worth living in abundance if we do not spend it with those we love? You know that all the secrets of this world are in my hands, so I have one that I only keep for you. The golden horse will revive if there is no war for the next ten years.” After this dream, the king decides never to fight again. He dissolves the army and decides to live in peace for the next ten years, in the hope that a miracle that the prophet has announced in his dream will happen. And the miracle happens. After many years of impatience, people from all over the world gathered around the high hill to attend a unique event. Dark clouds are above the mountain as much as on the day of the duel. The lightning began to radiate from all sides and everything became magic. From the darkness the hooves, neigh and galloping brave horse were heard. It ran through the mountain and went to his lord, as faithful as it was in the most difficult moments. There is a belief that it always appears where there is no war, as a symbol of peace. It’s easy to recognize it because it carries the Sun in the eyes.”
(Suzana Stojanović)