Horse Portrait "Shamrock"
(British School, 19th century)
Oil on canvas, unsigned
6-3/4 x 9 inches (11-1/2 x 14 w/frame)
As the European and Western nations moved towards greater mechanization at the dawning of the Industrial Revolution, an increase in leisure time was one consequence. The importance of horses as both a tool and as a symbol of mythology, power and status has been with humans from the time of the first cave paintings over 20,000 years ago.
As people began to have more disposable income and free time, images of horses as adornments to the powerful and well-heeled-depicted atop a rearing stallion before battle-gave way to images of horses as beloved pets and objects of pride and envy.