Art / History / Projects

Google Art Project : One of the Family

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The first time I knew about Google Art Project was about two years ago. I was very happy to learn about the initiative. As a person who finds museum and museum collection a very rewarding way to learn, the access that Google Art Project enables a new playground I can’t wait to use. Later on in the development, Google Art Project also features User Galleries, where users could use images from the open collection and curate them.  Once I have pictures in my personal gallery I can use it for sharing it with others.

So I started practicing making online exhibition using specific themes of my own personal interest. This time about relationship between human and horses. I selected 10 pictures from over 400 pictures I have previously selected from the entire collections that is available. It is an interesting experience to see how horses depicted in artworks over centuries. For instance, I stumble upon fascinating story of Caligula’s favorite horse Incitatus whom he admire and love very much that Caligula appointed him as a Consul. Another theme that I immediately recognize is depiction of white horse. This seems to be an occurring theme in paintings across cultures centuries over centuries. White horse is very rare breed and those we refer to as white horses also includes grey horses which grew white as the horse gets older. Other pictures of horses are the magnificent flocks of wild horses in a field which indeed a sight of its own. A lifelong classic, of course, is depiction of a leader or soldiers on a horse.

Pictures that strikes me the most, however, is an intimate connection between horses and human. A picture by Frederik George Cotman (1850-1920) guided me to frame the exhibition. The pictures strikes warmth and closeness of a family and their horse. The horse sticks its head into dining area to get food or snacks rather. And the mother gives a piece of bread to the horse. The little child also wants to give food to the horse from the far end of the table. Such warmth exudes from this picture.

There is also another picture of a drawing room. There is no one in this drawing room. Here you could see walls filled with paintings of horses. It is quite an amazing room. It isn’t clear whether this is a salon of a horse racing enthusiast or a sportsperson but to me, it shows a passionate relationship between the person who use this room and horses.

Emanuel Stockler, Drawing Room of a Sportsman, 1856

More on the exhibition you could access here: One of the Family

I had a good time making this mini online exhibition with Google Art Project. But if I could make adjustments to the user feature, I wish I could develop sub sections within a gallery. At this moment I am limited to work only with one theme in each gallery.

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