2,500 Years Of Horsemen Clichés

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Two very specific images of the horsemen on rearing horses were so popular with the patrons that they became clichés.
The third series of the images is not likely to be a cliché invented by artists, but the subject was appearing naturally in s very similar way throughout millennia, so it is worth tracking its evolution.

Horsemen Receiving Victory Emblems For 2,100 Years

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Here are several very similar images: a male horseman on a rearing horse is receiving an emblem of victory, often a laurel wreath but sometimes a ribboned necklace, from a winged, almost always female, creature. This very specific iconography was appearing in art objects throughout over 2,100 years in very different cultures: Ancient Greece, Sasanian Persia, Catholic Flandres, Dutchy of Savoy, France and Bavaria, Protestant England and Orthodox Russia! Observe that on all modern era portraits the sovereigns are holding a baton, Marie Jeanne Baptiste of Savoy-Nemours, who holds a sword (and the cherub with a laurel wreath seems to have changed his mind and is flying away from her!).

Bell-krater showing a horseman crowned by Nike,cr. 420 BC, Attic
Bell-krater showing a horseman crowned by Nike,
cr. 420 BC, Attic
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Oinochoe showing a horseman and an amphora showing a horseman, beginning of the 4th century BC, Attic
Oinochoe showing a horseman and an amphora showing a horseman,
beginning of the 4th century BC, Attic
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Situla with an Amazonomachy scene, 340–330 BC, Apulia
Situla with an Amazonomachy scene,
340–330 BC, Apulia
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A bowl with a scene of a triumph of Constantius II, mid-4th century AD
A bowl with a scene of a triumph of Constantius II,
mid-4th century AD
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Frederik Hendrik and Maurits as generals, with the Battle of Flanders in the distance, 1650, Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert, Flemish
Frederik Hendrik and Maurits as generals, with the Battle of Flanders in the distance,
1650, Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert, Flemish
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Equestian portrait of Marie Jeanne Baptiste of Savoy-Nemours, Duchess of Savoy, 1660-75, Giovanni Luigi Buffi, Duchy of Savoy
Equestian portrait of Marie Jeanne Baptiste of Savoy-Nemours, Duchess of Savoy,
1660-75, Giovanni Luigi Buffi, Duchy of Savoy
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Louis XIV on horseback crowned by the Victory, 1674, Pierre Mignard
Louis XIV on horseback crowned by the Victory,
1674, Pierre Mignard
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John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, before 1723, Godfrey Kneller
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough,
before 1723, Godfrey Kneller
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Equestrian portrait of Prince Eugene of Savoy,early 18th century, Jacob van Schuppen
Equestrian portrait of Prince Eugene of Savoy,
early 18th century, Jacob van Schuppen
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Allegory of the Victory at Poltava (Apotheosis of Peter I), Unknown, circa 1710
Allegory of the Victory at Poltava (Apotheosis of Peter I),
Unknown, circa 1710
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Peter I at the Battle of Poltava, Johann Gottfried Tannauer, 1724 or 1725
Peter I at the Battle of Poltava,
Johann Gottfried Tannauer, 1724 or 1725
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Elector Maximilian III Josef of Bavaria on horseback, 1758, Georges Desmarées, Bavaria, Germany
Elector Maximilian III Josef of Bavaria on horseback,
1758, Georges Desmarées, Bavaria, Germany
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Victory crowning a Prince, probably Louis XIV, early 18th century, Guillielmus de Grof, Bavaria
Victory crowning a Prince, probably Louis XIV,
early 18th century, Guillielmus de Grof, Bavaria
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Elector Maximilian II Emanuel of Bavaria as Victor over the Turks, 1714, Guillielmus de Grof, Bavaria
Elector Maximilian II Emanuel of Bavaria as Victor over the Turks,
1714, Guillielmus de Grof, Bavaria
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Elector Maximilian II Emanuel of Bavaria as Victor over the Turks (detail), 1714, Guillielmus de Grof, Bavaria
Elector Maximilian II Emanuel of Bavaria as Victor over the Turks (detail),
1714, Guillielmus de Grof, Bavaria
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William III garlanded by Victory,early eighteenth century, French School
William III garlanded by Victory,
early eighteenth century, French School
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Horsemen With Batons, A Status Symbol Of The 16th-19th Centuries

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Being portrayed on a rearing horse, preferably dressed à l’antique, wearing a sash and holding a baton, was a status symbol in the 17th-century gentlemen, pretty much as #followme photos for the 21st-century ladies (see below). The trend has appeared in the second half of the 16th century in prints, reached its highest point in the 17th century, then dispersed throughout Europe, descended into trivialization and disappeared by the middle of the 19th century. Unlike the victory symbols cliché, this image was not reserved for the royalty, the aristocracy could use it as well.

French king Louis XIV (1638 – 1715) and two field marshals, John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722, England) and Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663- 1736, the Holy Roman Empire and Austria), deserve a particular mention since they were have been represented on the paintings that combine both clichés.

In addition, Prince Eugene of Savoy feature on a painting with two, maybe even three horsemen on rearing horses with batons.

Louis XIV on horseback crowned by the Victory, 1674, Pierre Mignard
Louis XIV on horseback crowned by the Victory,
1674, Pierre Mignard
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John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, before 1723, Godfrey Kneller
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough,
before 1723, Godfrey Kneller
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Equestrian portrait of Prince Eugene of Savoy,early 18th century, Jacob van Schuppen
Equestrian portrait of Prince Eugene of Savoy,
early 18th century, Jacob van Schuppen
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Eugene of Savoy during the Battle of Belgrade (1717),cr. 1720, Johann Gottfried Auerbach
Eugene of Savoy during the Battle of Belgrade (1717),
cr. 1720, Johann Gottfried Auerbach
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The image was first used for the antique heroes and rulers, but soon after it was adopted to portray the contemporary patrons.

Giovanni de Medici in a Duel, cr. 1578, Hendrick Goltzius, Netherlands
Giovanni de Medici in a Duel,
cr. 1578, Hendrick Goltzius, Netherlands
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Marcus Curtius, The Roman Heroes series, 1586, Hendrik Goltzius
Marcus Curtius, The Roman Heroes series,
1586, Hendrik Goltzius
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Emperor Julius Caesar on Horseback, plate 1, 1596, Antonio Tempesta
Emperor Julius Caesar on Horseback, plate 1,
1596, Antonio Tempesta
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Equestrian portrait of Carlo Emmanuele, Duke of Savoy,Raphael Sadeler I, 1580-1600
Equestrian portrait of Carlo Emmanuele, Duke of Savoy,
Raphael Sadeler I, 1580-1600
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Portrait of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, cr. 1596-1637, Antonio Tempesta, Italy and Netherlands
Portrait of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange,
cr. 1596-1637, Antonio Tempesta, Italy and Netherlands
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Portrait of Elector Frederick IV, 1592-1622, Jacques Granthomme, France
Portrait of Elector Frederick IV,
1592-1622, Jacques Granthomme, France
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Portrait of Henri IV on horseback with Paris on the background, 1553-1610, probably after 1594, ?
Portrait of Henri IV on horseback with Paris on the background,
1553-1610, probably after 1594, ?
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Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden at the battle of Breitenfeld,1632, Johann Walter
Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden at the battle of Breitenfeld,
1632, Johann Walter
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Equestrian portrait of Prince Tomaso of Savoy-Carignan, son of Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy, 1634-5, Anthony van Dyck
Equestrian portrait of Prince Tomaso of Savoy-Carignan, son of Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy,
1634-5, Anthony van Dyck
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Equestrian Portrait Of The Count-Duke Of Olivares, 1634, Diego Velázquez
Equestrian Portrait Of The Count-Duke Of Olivares,
1634, Diego Velázquez
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Equestrian Portrait of Prince Balthasar Charles, 1634-5, Diego Velázquez
Equestrian Portrait of Prince Balthasar Charles,
1634-5, Diego Velázquez
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Archduke Leopold, later Emperor Leopold I, 1600-1658, Caspar Gras
Archduke Leopold, later Emperor Leopold I,
1600-1658, Caspar Gras
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High relief of king Louis XIII on horseback, 1818, after the statue by Nicolas Jacques destroyed at the Revolution (1792)
High relief of king Louis XIII on horseback,
1818, after the statue by Nicolas Jacques destroyed at the Revolution (1792)
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Equestrian portrait of victorious Louis XIII, 17th century, Claude Déruet (attributed to)
Equestrian portrait of victorious Louis XIII,
17th century, Claude Déruet (attributed to)
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An equestrian portrait of a gentleman, ?, Studio of Claude Déruet
An equestrian portrait of a gentleman,
?, Studio of Claude Déruet
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Equestrian portrait of Louis II de Bourbon, the Grand Condé, as a boy, 1643-7, Gonzales Coques
Equestrian portrait of Louis II de Bourbon, the Grand Condé, as a boy,
1643-7, Gonzales Coques
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Equestrian portrait of a prince in armour, with the Order of the Golden Fleece, before 1684, Gonzales Coques
Equestrian portrait of a prince in armour, with the Order of the Golden Fleece,
before 1684, Gonzales Coques
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Equestrian statuette of King Josephs I, 1693, Matthias Steinl, Austria
Equestrian statuette of King Josephs I,
1693, Matthias Steinl, Austria
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Equestrian Portrait of King George I of Great Britain, before 1723, Godfrey Kneller
Equestrian Portrait of King George I of Great Britain,
before 1723, Godfrey Kneller
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Equestrian portrait of August II the Strong, Louis de Silvestre, circa 1718
Equestrian portrait of August II the Strong,
Louis de Silvestre, circa 1718
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Equestrian Portrait of Fernando VII of Spain, 1808, Francisco Goya
Equestrian Portrait of Fernando VII of Spain,
1808, Francisco Goya
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Future emperor Alexander II of Russia, 1840, Franz Kruger
Future emperor Alexander II of Russia,
1840, Franz Kruger
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Horsemen Hunting With Dogs For 2,000 Years

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Cliché of a hunter on a rearing horse with a hunting dog underneath the horse has equally been popular with many cultures. It might seem like a very obvious iconography – and indeed it is – however it also highlights the cultural continuity, where the form changes, but the subject persevers.

Kantharos with the depiction of two horsemen with spears and dog hunting stag, mid-6th century BC, Boeotian
Kantharos with the depiction of two horsemen with spears and dog hunting stag,
mid-6th century BC, Boeotian
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Amphora with the Dioscuri on horseback, Attic, cr. 500 BC
Amphora with the Dioscuri on horseback,
Attic, cr. 500 BC
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Cylinder seal with a scene of a rider in a Median dress with a spear and a dog chasing a fallow deer, 538 BC-331 BC, Achaemenid Persia
Cylinder seal with a scene of a rider in a Median dress with a spear and a dog chasing a fallow deer,
538 BC-331 BC, Achaemenid Persia
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Bowl with the Depiction of a Lion-Hunt, Early 4th century BC
Bowl with the Depiction of a Lion-Hunt,
Early 4th century BC
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Detail of the architrave frieze of the Nereid Monument showing a dynast at the bear hunt, cr. 390-380 BC, classical Greek, Xanthos in Lycia, close to present-day Fethiye in Mugla Province, Turkey
Detail of the architrave frieze of the Nereid Monument showing a dynast at the bear hunt,
cr. 390-380 BC, classical Greek, Xanthos in Lycia, close to present-day Fethiye in Mugla Province, Turkey
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Aleksandrovo tomb, fragment of a mural, 4th century BC, Haskovo district, Bulgaria
Aleksandrovo tomb, fragment of a mural,
4th century BC, Haskovo district, Bulgaria
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Fragment of a sarcophagus of the type called 'Sydamara sarcophagi', 3rd century, Asia Minor
Fragment of a sarcophagus of the type called 'Sydamara sarcophagi',
3rd century, Asia Minor
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Mosaic with a scene of hunting Amazons, 4th or 5th century, Nile House, Tzippori (or Sepphoris, or Zippori) National Park, Palestine (modern Israel)
Mosaic with a scene of hunting Amazons,
4th or 5th century, Nile House, Tzippori (or Sepphoris, or Zippori) National Park, Palestine (modern Israel)
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Hunt of the Hare, fresco painting on mural transferred to canvas, cr. 1125, Hermitage of San Baudelio, Casillas de Berlanga, Soria, Spain
Hunt of the Hare, fresco painting on mural transferred to canvas,
cr. 1125, Hermitage of San Baudelio, Casillas de Berlanga, Soria, Spain
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Inlaid tile showing a hunter on horseback and a dog, medieval, Chapter House, Westminster Abbey, London, U.K.
Inlaid tile showing a hunter on horseback and a dog,
medieval, Chapter House, Westminster Abbey, London, U.K.
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Inlaid tile showing a hunter with a dog, 13th-15th century, Laon region, France
Inlaid tile showing a hunter with a dog,
13th-15th century, Laon region, France
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Hart-hunting with greyhounds and raches, illustration of The Hunting Book of Gaston Phebus, early 15th century, France
Hart-hunting with greyhounds and raches, illustration of The Hunting Book of Gaston Phebus,
early 15th century, France
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Deer-hunting with greyhounds, illustration of The Hunting Book of Gaston Phebus, early 15th century, France
Deer-hunting with greyhounds, illustration of The Hunting Book of Gaston Phebus,
early 15th century, France
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The Hunt in the Forest,cr. 1470, Paolo Uccello, Florence, Italy
The Hunt in the Forest,
cr. 1470, Paolo Uccello, Florence, Italy
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Cliché Created In 2011

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Nataly Osmann and Murad Osmann, Web Summit 2017 in Lisbon
Nataly Osmann and Murad Osmann, Web Summit 2017 in Lisbon
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Clichés are still all around us, even if we don not notice them. If you use Instagram, you might have noticed that there is a large number of quite similar images. These clichés are fashionable “must-haves”. They make an object of envy, and attract likes and followers.

One example is #followmeto: a lady with her back to the viewer leads her cameraman by the hand (cameraman’s hand is visible) to some interesting destination. This trend was created by a Russian couple Murad Osmann @muradosmann and @natalyosmann back in 2011. Murad says he started taking the photos almost by accident after his then-girlfriend Natalia became annoyed of him taking pictures and grabbed his hand and pulled him forward – and he carried on taking pictures.

Many Instagram users have started to follow the trend. It is hard to estimate how many such photos were taken, probably between 100,000 and 1,000,000 on Instagram alone.

Selection of #FollowMeTo photos by Murad Osmann and Natalia Zahkarova
Selection of #FollowMeTo photos by Murad Osmann and Natalia Zahkarova
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Ladies leading by the hand into the wild by various Instagram users
Ladies leading by the hand into the wild by various Instagram users
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Behind the scenes of one of #FollowMeTo photos made by Murad Osmann and Natalia Zahkarova
Behind the scenes of one of #FollowMeTo photos made by Murad Osmann and Natalia Zahkarova
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Behind the scenes of a #FollowMeTo photo of an unknown Instagram user
Behind the scenes of a #FollowMeTo photo of an unknown Instagram user
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