Artwork Description

Oil on canvas, stretched and ready to hang.

Signed on the front.

This artwork comes with an external frame

This painting shows a Horse Holder moving off with the section horses, after the other three troopers have left their horses in his care to go into action, or as they called it “go off on a stunt”. Two Troopers of another section are seen behind heading into the area of action. You can tell by the expressions of the horses that they are eager to get away from the direction in which the noise of military action is taking place.
The basic unit of the Australian Light Horse was the Section, which comprised four riders and their horses. The third rider in the section was always the Horse Holder.
Trooper one would pass his horse’s reins between the jaw and the headstall of horse number two, and then to the right hand of the Horse Holder, Trooper two would hand his horse’s reins to the right hand of the horse holder and Trooper four would hand his horse’s reins to the left hand of the Horse Holder. Thus the Horse Holder controlled two horses with each hand, his own and one led horse on the left with his left hand and two led horses on the right with his right hand.
The usual mode of operation for the Australian Light Horse was to ride to an attack position, where three riders would dismount and hand their reins to the horse-holder and go forward to attack, or to take a defensive position, while the horse-holder would withdraw the horses to wait out of firing range in what was hopefully a safe position. When the troops required their mounts again, to either go forward or retreat, the horse-holder would quickly return leading the three horses for the rest of the section to remount and move off.

This painting was inspired by the ordinary duty of the horse holder in action, but it is far from an ordinary painting – it is quite magnificent. The warm tones of the hazy moonlit night, lends an awesome and beautiful effect to the drama of the action being portrayed. The artist’s brushstrokes are free but the detail accurate; You can feel the tension, the fear, the impatience, and the confidence of the horses in their handler, and the quiet masterful and purposeful control of the horse holder in this rather dangerous but oft repeated situation.
This magnificent painting demands an equally magnificent frame. Double framed, with a soft neutral toned slip that has a warm blush towards the inner raised gold edge against the painting – this brings out the highlights within the painting; the wide deep traditional mould of the outer frame has hoof-print shaped features which suits the subject and the soft gold over black coloring gives a khaki effect that matches the uniform of the Light Horse.

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Mixed technique similar to the old masters- Predominantly oil paint including fast drying alkyd oils over an acrylic under painting, with some tempra and thin oil glazes which creates the luminance.

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Stretched and ready to hang

This artwork is currently stretched and ready to hang.

It comes with an external frame.
Framed dimensions - 143.0(W) x 108.0(H).
Artwork dimensions - 120.0(W) x 85.0(H).

Ron and Jennifer Marshall

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