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Legends of the Horse
Legends of the Horse

24x36, acrylic, © 2/07.
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“Legends of the Horse” depicts three ancient legends of the horse from Celtic, Nordic, and Greek mythology.
The white horses at the lower portion of the painting are depictions of horses from Scottish legend (Kelpie’s) and Nordic legend (brook horses). They were transformations of the Nix (water spirits), often described as majestic white horses appearing near rivers, especially in foggy weather. Anyone who climbed on their backs would not be able to get off, the horse would then jump into the deepest part of the river submerging and taking the rider with it. They would sometimes interbreed with domesticated mares whose foals were said to be the finest fleetfooted horses. The Kelpie’s or Brook horses were also said to warn of forthcoming storms by wailing and howling to the wind. In Scottish legend the Loch Ness Monster is said by some to be a manifestation of a Kelpie.
The horse depicted with the sun represents the Nordic legend in which the sun is pulled by a horse drawn chariot across the skies. Likewise the moon is also pulled in a chariot through the night sky. The image was interpreted from a 14th century BC. Bronze age statue called the Trundholm Sun Chariot, found in the moors of West Zealand County, Denmark in 1902.
The horse heads in the upper portion of the painting depict Greek mythological horses named Balius (dappled) and Xanthus (blonde). They were the immortal offspring of the harpy (Podarge) and the west wind (Zephyros). In some interpretations the father was said to be Zeus.
The petroglyphs on the rock faces (lower right and left sides of painting) depict Apache images of the horse in battle. (Alamo Mountain, New Mexico.)