Tuesday, August 10, 2010

War horse 'dextrarius opertus'

Fascinating subject and wonderful art - great horse and his (as it was a stallion or a gelding) equine friends 1250-1450 AD.

    the image (color insert into the same but a black and white one) above of a knight in full 1420-30s suit of armor mounting his fully caparisoned horse, note horse has a chamfron to protect his head,  comes from the illuminations and poems book by Medieval writer Catherine de Pisan(Pizan) published in the XV century  http://xenophongroup.com/montjoie/pizan.htm  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christine_de_Pizan
Bayeux Tapestry horses http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bayeux_Tapestry_5.jpg
pre-1250 charging knight http://www.corbisimages.com/images/67/9181137F-172A-4F8F-9F12-0B3D6B4B6C9C/IH164168.jpg
 some medieval iconography of the Middle Ages golden era - 1250-1450:

 Ucello horses (at Fornovo the Italian heavy horse fought the French almost to a vicotry)  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/08/Paolo_Uccello_023.jpg

Tourney http://x35.xanga.com/f6fa82660753577263791/m52329369.jpg 

 famous painting http://www.corbisimages.com/images/67/7A3557AA-9405-4B67-9870-58839B5EAE97/CS005704.jpg

Paolo_Uccello's Hawkwood  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3c/Paolo_Uccello_044.jpg/280px-Paolo_Uccello_044.jpg

 another Italian condotiere http://www.lukespence.com/art/102/ch-21-italy-1400-1500/don-horse.jpg
Verrocchio condotiere   http://www.paradoxplace.com/Insights/Equestrian/Equestrian_Images/Verrocchio%20Colleoni%20c1483%20BR.jpg
great horses and palfreys of the clergy painted by Jan van Eyck http://www.cavhooah.com/info/wp-content/gallery/early-cavalry/knighted-cavalry-and-noblemen-painting-by-jan-van-eyck-circa-1390-1441.jpg

Caparisoned horse with a great helm rider http://geopolicraticus.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/cangrande.jpg
 more caparisoned horses http://www.corbisimages.com/images/67/7E4821A0-91CF-46A0-A9FB-A0237F59C61A/IH164100.jpg
 king using his servant to mount his white horse http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Medieval/war/BattleOfManzikert.jpg
here in many others we have the use of double reins http://www.corbisimages.com/images/67/4FF14BF0-465C-4CC1-8308-0955D2646C21/CS004792.jpg  
battle of Poitiers  http://www.man.poznan.pl/~ritter/tmp/psie/Rycina_Poiters.jpg
 combat http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/ConsulterElementNum?O=IFN-8100062&E=JPEG&Deb=38&Fin=38&Param=C

one of the most famous illuminations Luttrell Psalter knight and his ladies http://www.boryssnorc.com/oldsite/images/articles/heraldicfrocks/luttrell_psalter.jpg
one of the most elaborated curb-bits with lots of control and damage potential http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/04.3.478a,b
 Spanish rowel spur http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/14.25.1737
 high saddle, curb and breastplate on a famous Bamberg sculpture http://www.roma-antiqua.de/forum/galerie/data/500/Bamberger_Reiter.jpg

past 1450 -man-at-arms, a beautiful watercolor  by Durer http://de.academic.ru/pictures/dewiki/100/duerer_-_studie_reiter_1495.jpg

 Let us recall that our own Polish king Wladyslaw II Jagiello rode a roan stallion at the battle of  Grunwald  (Tannenberg) Ad 1410 

One of the most advanced equestrian cultures of the European Middle Ages - Teutonic Knights and their horses in this article by one of the most noted medieval scholars - Sven Ekdahl  http://www.deremilitari.org/resources/articles/ekdahl.htm

great page on caparisoned horses or rather the Medieval caparison itself http://www.larsdatter.com/caparisons.htm
palfreys http://www.pizan.lib.ed.ac.uk/miniatures/144a.jpg
allegory or truth - ladies ridding caparisoned warhorses http://molcat1.bl.uk/IllImages/Kslides%5Cbig/K010/K010289.jpg
ladies with Alexander http://i26.servimg.com/u/f26/11/53/58/72/a154.jpg
 ladies in horse combat http://i26.servimg.com/u/f26/11/53/58/72/a143.jpg

 this page has many illuminations of warrior ladies of the Middle Ages http://mediaephile.com/forum/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1213254594

finally nothing beats a pacing horse, for comfort and pleasure of riding it - in this wonderful miniature http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bb/BritLibAddMS35166ApocalypseUnkFolio3SealBlackHorse.jpg

Above late Medieval hunters of the XV century painting - in the foreground a wonderful white stallion being ridden in a complete collection, he could shame many a rider at today's dressage competitions, note all the horses have curb-bits and second rein, and a bridle without nasal/nose band.


mediaephile said...


thanks you for the link :)

"this page has many illuminations of warrior ladies of the Middle Ages http://mediaephile.com/forum/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1213254594"

But this page is about "warriors ladies" that are often said as warrior but who are NOT warrior. They are allegories or amazones or mythic characters, but never real ladies who may have fight. :)

Eodhel, for mediaephile.com

Dario T. W. said...

hello Eodhel,
very true, the page is about the 'allegorical women-warriors' as a theme in the Medieval illuminations - I elected to link to my blog your page because this collections of beautiful artwork is extraordinary. I am a great admirer of the medieval art, especially where equines are the subject. Medieval illuminations are often connected to allegory, symbolism etc, so your collection of these allegorical women-knights falls within that theme. But you right to correct that these are not real fighter, as real women warriors were rather few - eg Joan of Arc. But many times medieval queens and princess had to done armor and mount a horse to bolster their realm claim or fighting spirit of their warriors. In our Polish history 'king' Jadwiga (Hedwig), granddaughter of Casimir the Great, had to do just that. Thanks for your comment and correction :)

Oriana said...

I'm beginning some serious research into horsewomen of the medieval period. My question is this, what evidence is there that these women were NOT actually warriors? There are authenticated cases of women fighting.