research product . 2021

Power and softness : the image of the horse as a vehicle for new representations of power

September, Aramis;
Open Access English
  • Published: 01 Jan 2021
  • Country: Finland
The purpose of this thesis was to analyse representations of the horse in art history and examine ways in which representations of the horse could be used to posit new positive representations of power. The theoretical section explored the lineage of horse imagery in art history; this section also explored power imagery as well. The portrayal of the horse in Western art was analysed from the Renaissance onwards in order to have a firm historical understanding. From this base of understanding, the potential for new image creation was discussed. Paintings and statues were the primary focus of the thesis for its analysis. Possibilities for new and more positive images of power were explored through visuals featuring horses. The analysis suggested that because of the horse’s roots in art history as well as its powerful physical strength, status as a prey animal, and its gentle sensitivity, the horse was an image eminently suited for use in positing new and positive non-toxic images of power. Further, the analysis suggested that these new explorations stand in opposition to power images and power conceptualisations based in toxic masculinity and patriarchy. This contrast of new imagery and socially constructed expectations provided the starting point for critiquing current power imagery and moving beyond toxic imagery.
free text keywords: Fine Art, fi=Kuvataide|sv=Bildkonst|en=Fine arts|, horse, fine arts, art, art history, portraits (works of art), painting (visual arts), masculinity, Degree Programme in Media and Arts
  • Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage
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